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The New Year Always Brings the Promise of New Routines and Goals to Make Our Lives Better

By Mark Mulcahy

Simple things like reading more and watching less TV, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and eating more Melissa’s organic fruits and vegetables pay dividends over the course of the year.

I also like to consider all the simple pleasures that bring moments of happiness to my busy week--things that make me slow down and appreciate what’s right in front of me, such as foods that bring me pleasure or routines that start the day off just right.

One of these routines occurs every Sunday.

I have a morning ritual of making pancakes--nothing fancy, but always well thought out when it comes to the final outcome. Sometimes I make the batter from scratch, but if not, I use an organic buttermilk mix. This is mostly determined by how much time I spent diving into the Sunday paper and whether I’ve lost track of time in a slew of articles and commentary. One thing I am sure of, though, no matter which batter I pick, is which seasonal organic produce item I’m going to use.

Organic Fuji Apples

Today it will be Melissa’s organic blueberries and Fuji apples. The blueberries are to be added just as the batter is starting to bubble on the grill to become part of the warm rounds of light airy goodness. The apples have their role in the final scene. Sliced and added to a hot cast iron skillet with butter and cinnamon, they will add their sweet-buttery flavor to the top of the warm stack.

My favorite way to prepare my plate is to place a pancake in the center and drizzle it with local amber honey. (I love to watch the pancakes absorb this nectar, filling them with beautiful goodness!) Then I add slices of apples, followed by a dollop of fresh plain local organic yogurt. Add another cake and repeat until I’m stacked 3 high. This--and a glass of fresh squeezed Valencia juice--has me wanting to repeat this process every Sunday I’m home.

Organic Strawberries

The produce characters change, though--next Sunday it may be strawberries that join the batter. Baked pears and cinnamon on top are another favorite, especially when I add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to melt and run down the sides.

While fruit keeps me happy in the land of Sunday cakes, let's not forget my savory side. When my girls were growing up, it was not uncommon for me to make their cakes then start on my own savory edition, which might include grilled organic onions, sliced avocado, hummus, or salsa as a topping instead of syrup. While this surprised them, it made sense to me and brought me many breakfasts of Sunday morning delight.

What’s your routine? If you don’t have one, I encourage you to create your own version of mine. There are no rules--only memories of new traditions waiting to be created in this New Year of possibility.
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