Cottage Cheese Pancakes

They come out thin, almost like crepes, with a hint of sweetness so soothing, you don’t really need maple syrup to enhance them.

My eldest son always asks for cottage cheese pancakes when it’s a special morning or I have the time to make them but today, it was my idea. Perhaps because I’m looking down the barrel of the last week of summer, it didn’t seem so labor-intensive to crack the six eggs, scoop the cup of cottage cheese and measure vanilla, milk, oil, flour and sugar into the blender and whip it all into a thin batter that fries in butter to become something that starts my kids’ day with happiness.

I made that this morning, and cut up cucumbers and tomatoes from the farmers market, too. The vegetables went into a bowl with basil from the garden, and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and za’atar, then I drizzled the mixture with olive oil made in Israel’s hills.

There is something incredibly gratifying about using the items that grow beside our house, or are waiting in our refrigerator, and turning them into meals that satisfy the people I love.

This is the second to last Friday of summer for us. It’s a wide open day with the only plans being the transfer of the children to their father’s house at 3:15 for his weekend. Other than that, the cousins will come soon and we will spend a few hours at the neighborhood pool because it is finally warm enough to be outside in the sun.

Later, Dan and I are going to a community dinner at a synagogue we love. And then we will explore the weekend in peace and quiet, just the two of us, savoring those hours, those days, those nights, because they come and they go just as quickly.

Next week is the exclamation point for this quick passing season. One long week stretching into an extension of a holiday weekend, and in that time, we can frolic and play and imagine and dream for the last moments of summer to wrap around us, seep inside to stay with us as we go into fall.

Then, school begins and with it comes routine … the expected start and end to every day with assignments and obligations and so many events fit into the hours between waking and drifting off into sleep.

In a way, I welcome it. We all need the framework of purpose and goal.

And yet, in a way I lament this change of seasons, for the freedom that comes with summer is something that we would be better for keeping inside of us all year-round.

It’s a mission I’ve set for myself, at least, to remain as free of spirit and dream as I have been since June, even if I have to set the alarm clock to wake early enough to make lunches and take the kids to school.

I, too, have deadlines to meet and meetings to attend, work to accomplish, people to satisfy.

But more than that, there is the satisfaction of the soul that I seek to achieve. That goal is timeless, unattached to season, and perhaps, the most important goal of all.

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