Being a child once is not too far removed even if the years say so. It’s in being a mother where I get to overhear the banter of “Pretend you….” between sisters and friends, anguish of being excluded, and laments from feeling ugly. Children tell us a lot….if we only take the time to listen.
My puffy pink coat, her strawberry lip gloss, us tethered together inseparably in the cold cement pipe half buried in the ground. Hiding from the chaos known as first grade recess as we drifted away together in our made up world where the girl heroine always succeeded.
She would braid, actually twist my long golden hair, while I admired the sparkle in her azure eyes laughing about the days to come. Never anything in particular; rather, simple joys of being a six with our biggest fear of Willy Oran trying to kiss us. Didn’t he know I was wanting David Fembers to kiss me instead?
I stare into her round chocolate brown eyes, her top lip slightly jutting upward when she talks and her giggle. Oh man, her giggle takes me back to my six year old self, and pinky promise secrets in that old cement pipe. I see the worry of night vex her as it did me, while running in a field, hair whipping aside with life’s trinket stories tumble in her belly; as they did mine.
Second grade brought a different world. No best friend, a loathed teacher and one awkward haircut with top teeth growing in to resemble a horse’s mouth.
When my girl begins sobbing at night about being ugly, I feel like I’m scooping up a seven year old Kamille; as well as, my sweet girl.
When my daughter says she didn’t eat her lunch (even though she was hungry), it means, “I was embarrassed by what you packed for me.” Yet, it says something even deeper, which is, “I really care what people think of me.”
I have always believed that I am just as much my child’s student as I am their teacher. Listening for the nuances, facial expressions, the quiver of the bottom lip, avoiding eye contact, the constant whining really communicating they really, really need a hug are the echoes of my own heart pumping. Watching my daughters converse, giggle, cry and talk take me to the red carpeted bedroom with Vintage Strawberry Shortcake sheets. Hearing the fears of darkness at night remind me of how I too pulled my blanket over my head certain there was a cobra in my room (it was only socks come morning light).
The vivid imagination, reckless abandon in play, and well-versed fear of “what-ifs,” help me to never lose touch with the escaping reality why children matter in this world. Because, I know my feelings and emotions and thoughts mattered to me when I was a child, and they sure as heck matter just as much to children.
As an adult and a mama, I thank God to walk the humble path behind my daughters, their friends, and their peers. Children give us adults the gift of remembrance. Remembrance of who we once were, and how we should never lose sight of that person. The person who giggled with her best friend, dreaming about the worlds they would conquer, and never felt ugly, or afraid of the days to come.
In this month of Advent, and all things urging us to stay busy, busy, busy, I look to these moments of snuggling with my daughters to hear their hopes, dreams and fears as my key hospitality. I take pause from all the things to take the inconvenient trip to the library, or bake with my girls, in order to find the rest in hospitality. I am humbled time and again how little our hospitality actually needs to look like, and yet boasts of such grandiose magnitudes. May I offer you these delicious grain free cardamom sticky biscuits for a slow down morning with those you love.
- Sticky part Ingredients
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups chopped pecans, toasted
- Biscuit Ingredients
- 4 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tb baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cold
- 1 cup buttermilk (you could easily do coconut milk and add 1 Tb lemon juice)
- Sugar topping Ingredients
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cardamom ground
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 pan with coconut oil, including sides and set aside.
- Sticky Syrup: Combine the coconut sugar, maple syrup and butter (or coconut oil) in a small saucepan over and melt over low heat. When butter is melted, increase the heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook, uncovered, until the syrup thickens (about 3-5 minutes). Stir in the pecans. Pour the prepared syrup into the greased pan and spread evenly.
- Making the biscuits: In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder (corn-free), and salt. Ensure that the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. Blend it until most of the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, and the butter resembling small peas.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add ½ cup of buttermilk, stir using a fork. If the dough seems too dry, add the remaining ½ cup of buttermilk and stir together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured and pat into a ¾ inch rectangle. Cut into 12 square biscuits using a sharp chef’s knife.
- Make the sugar topping: In a small bowl, combine the coconut sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Using the coconut oil, brush the tops of the biscuits with it. Then, sprinkle the spice sugar mixture over the buttered biscuits. Place the biscuits sugar side down on the syrup in the pan. Use the remaining coconut oil and brush the tops of the biscuits and sprinkle the rest of the sugar spice on top.
- Bake the biscuits for 30-35 minutes, which will be a little resilient in the middle when you press with a finger. The sticky pecan sauce will be bubbling. Cool slightly, then place a large platter over the pan and invert the biscuits. Allow the syrup to come out and scrape any remaining nuts. Serve immediately.