A Very Still Week

lake george
I knew I’d be traveling to my mom’s cabin in Upstate New York long before Sam and I started dating. But a few months ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted to share this place with him. So I wrote a letter with my flight number and a few lines. Something to the effect of: Family is important to me. You’re important to me. I’d love for you to be here. A few weeks later—after having not seen each other for five weeks and after coming to terms with the fact that Sam was swamped with work and wouldn’t be able to make it to the cabin —weeks that had started to feel like months as the reality of tight hand-holding, knee-cap cupping, and the sexiest neck on this side of the Mississippi became more of a memory than I was all that comfortable with, I too got an email with a flight number. It wasn’t my flight number. The passenger’s name was Sam. 

And so it was: we would travel to the cabin together. And it’d go a little something like this: Sam would make fun of the size of my suitcase  (it was a little overboard, I’ll admit) but would also be the first to lug it up curbs and staircases. He met my aunts and uncles, grandparents, a few cousins and significant others and settled right into the fine art of porch-sitting with comfort and grace.

aunts

He sang along to “America the Beautiful” after a few Negronis at the dinner table on the 4th of July (this is, for the record, the first time we’ve done this. I swear.) He flipped blueberry pancakes like a champ for a gaggle of brightly-chinoed and loafered men and cousins gearing up to get in a run in before the mosquitoes descended.

pancakesHe beat me at tennis after I’d boasted that it could never happen. He helped me quickly lick the too-big soft-serve cone I mistakenly ordered just so it wouldn’t drip all over the hot car. He volunteered to always drive and point out landmarks so I could easily find my way around the country roads if need be.

Sam entertained himself while Zoe and I whipped up banana pudding in the kitchen and had earth-shatteringly important conversations such as how to best relay tone in text messages or the average price of a studio apartment in Manhattan.

banana pudding
In the late afternoon, Sam would disappear on the kayak around noses and bends and row back after what seemed like hours as if it were nothing. He’d ask my grandmother how she and my grandfather met and tell me things about the two of them I’d never known before. We’d stay up late reading in overstuffed arm chairs while everyone else was tucked into bed, taking turns refilling the one glass of bourbon that we passed back and forth. The whirring upstairs fan, the clanking of ice cubes, and the turning of pages the only sounds disrupting the hot, still night. He’d study maps of the area surrounding the cabin and read old books on local history strewn throughout the bedrooms. And chat with men on ferries.

sam on ferry
Thinking back on the past week and a half, I feel a sense of calm. A calm that is so common after a good vacation where the days are punctuated only by meals, swims, occasional tennis matches, and chapters of whatever novel you’re reading.

zoe reading
Days stretch on and on and you begin to feel farther and farther from the stresses of your business or rent checks or finding a decent parking spot outside of your apartment. So it’s that calm, certainly. But it’s also a calm that has stemmed from a certain kind of knowing. A knowing that, despite the distance and the time that inevitably must pass before we see each other again, things are just right. We’re doing things just right. And I know the future will include many more drinks, walks, morning runs, early evening swims, airplane trips, talks about books, and pancakes.

So I leave you this morning with a recipe for the blueberry pancakes we made up at the cabin. Pancakes have been written about before, for sure. In many ways, there’s nothing revolutionary to discuss—there are only so many ways to do a new kind of pancake. So you won’t find that here.  But you will find a rock-solid recipe adapted from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook that has a likeable (and not all that common) splash of melted butter in the batter itself—a recipe that you can whip up in moments to feed a hungry morning crowd gathered around your dining room table.

A recipe your grandpa might talk about the next day. As with most pancake recipes, feel free to add your favorite fruit or little bits of chocolate. You can easily turn these into fluffier pancakes (referred to as griddlecakes in the book) with a trick that Sam taught me and that The Fanny Farmer Cookbook mentions, too: whip the egg whites and incorporate them separately.

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

  • Yield: 16 Pancakes
  • Prep time:10mins
  • Cook time:15mins
  • Total time:25mins

The amount of milk you use here determines the thickness of the pancakes, so start slow.

Slightly adapted from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook

Ingredients

1/2 - 3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup white flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup blueberries

Instructions

Beat the milk, butter and egg lightly in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and add them all at once to the first mixture, stirring just enough to dampen the flour. Add blueberries and stir to combine. Lightly butter a griddle and over medium heat, pour about ¼ cup (for larger griddlecakes) of batter to form each pancake.

Comments

  1. shannalee

    Beautiful post. Love hearing about your love story. And pancakes.

  2. Kasey

    Your vacation sounds absolutely lovely, Megan. And the sweetest part of all -Sam and your grandmother chatting about things you didn't even know about! That's so special. I relish the calm of time away. Can't wait to see you! xo

  3. Danielle

    I feel calm just reading this - thank you, and welcome home xo

  4. Dana

    Having just returned from the East coast, this post resonated with me. Those warm nights! How I love them! I'm glad you got to share a special place with him and it sounds like he fit right in to your group - that is big. Hoping to see you next time you are in town...

  5. Lisa Waldschmidt

    These may be the first pancakes made in the new Chicago apartment!

  6. Ashley

    Just reading this post made me feel as if I had been on such a vacation. So perfectly carefree and content I now feel. Glorious. That's a good one you have right there. Keep him. :)

  7. Jeb

    I almost wrote that this post was fan-f*%@ing-tastic, but I thought it would be crass. :)

    Seriously wonderful, Megan. Seriously.

  8. Mary

    Gorgeous, gorgeous post, Megan.

  9. Mary

    ps. Just saw Jeb's note. Awesome.

  10. momgordon

    I was probably hoping that when a picture of me appeared on your blog I was NOT wearing a bathing cap with big rubber flowers on it! The porch misses you!!

  11. Notes from Holly St.

    I'm new to your blog and this post was so beautifully written that it gave me goosebumps. It made me feel so at peace, as if I were on that vacation with you. Lovely!

  12. thedailycannibal

    Actually, the flowered bathing caps kind of explained a lot about the rest of the post. Especially the bit about swilling bourbon late into the night.

  13. Jess B

    Please add to your list of life goals to write a novel someday. Your writing is amazing!! Thank you for this post, I feel more relaxed, as if I went on this vacation. xoxo

  14. Dixie Caviar

    So cute! This post makes we want to go share a bourbon with my beau... and perhaps make pancakes in the morning.

  15. Jacqui

    so much summer and love in this post. love it.

  16. Doris

    wow - that was an amazingly refreshing blog post to read! Calming...

  17. El

    So glad you guys had a good time. Seriously now...when are you going to sit down and write that best-seller?

  18. Adriana

    This was such a beautiful post to read. I'm happy for you! and I have a friend visiting this upcoming week, who I love to feed, and pounds of hand picked berries in the fridge. This recipe is just perfect.

  19. Kimberley

    So many perfect summer details. And in all that perfect, slow, summery heaven, I'm kind of enrapt. I hope that you get to carry that lovely, calm feeling with you for the rest of the summer.

  20. Anne Zimmerman

    Love this! Can't wait to catch up and share stories about epic July journeys!

  21. Denise | Chez Danisse

    You have me thinking of a great line from The Maytrees.

    "Nothing about them was rich except their days swollen with time."

    1. megang

      Denise. I love, love, love this quote and remember vividly when I read it for the first time. Thank you for the reminder, the quote, and the desire to re-read The Maytrees. Happy Summer to you.

  22. Bowen

    Sounds like a dream trip ...

    Just froze two gallon bags of blueberries for future use - looks like I should take some out for pancakes this weekend!

  23. tracy

    love this little sneak peak of your trip. sounds like you had a fantastic time. I'm reading this while Cooper takes a nap...drifting off into day dreamland. Thanks for that. xoxo

  24. kickpleat

    I love it. Sounds like a wonderful holiday and so great to share it with the people you love best. And pancakes, yes, pancakes!

  25. Lori

    Megan, you are such a gifted storyteller. This post is so wonderful.

    1. megang

      Thank you so, so much Lori. That means a lot. Glad you're (still) enjoying the blog!

  26. Ann

    The moment I saw your photograph, I was instantly transformed back to my two summers in Lake Placid. It was 1977 and 8 and life was so much simpler and the beauty of it all remains.

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