We were driving from a place called Morrisburg to Ottawa. Flicking across the car windows were scenes of sparse farmland - a sight for my sore city eyes. Grey building after grey building melting into green fields dotted with ramshackle red barns and perfectly symmetrical rows of crops. Each field was at a different stage. The youngest ones balled up and protective, bracing, unsure. The older ones had opened right up. Big flat leaves soaking in as much sun as they could. It was like they knew that without it they wouldn't grow. Without it they would die. Only a foot and a rickety fence separated the young and the old, but it may as well have been the Niagara River. Rain pelted the rental as we drove closer to the city. Broken conversations overlapped with podcasts and the odd direction request from my brother’s iPhone.
I watched a plump raindrop shoot across the window, collecting smaller ones like a hungry packman. My family laughed hard at something on the radio. Mum and dad were sitting in the front, scanning the countryside and sharing a comfortable silence – the kind that takes love and years to perfect. The kind where two lives had been gently coerced into one. Not against their wills, but because together they are more. Only an hour earlier dad was making mum tea and bringing her a biscuit in bed, before they both laced their sneakers and explored the quiet country streets together, laughing and racing each other to imagined checkpoints. Mum made the breakfast, dad made the tea. Mum packed the bags, dad loaded the car.
I thought back to our BnB hosts Candy and Pete – their perfectly prepared house, garden and most-delicious-breakfast-scones-you'll-ever-eat. They'd both stood there in matching aprons listing the ingredients in unison. They are so, so delicious! I said. I'm pretty partial to them myself, Pete had said, smiling proudly at his wife. Candy was dressed pretty conservatively, but as she waved an arm towards the nearby river to tell us where to look out for the huge freighter ships coming into the bay, I noticed a curly tattoo on her inner arm. I wondered whether she'd know Pete then. They seemed so in sync. Candy had to rush out to get ready to go to work. As she disappeared through the doorframe I noticed another tattoo on her back. Pete lingered a little longer, giving us his thoughts on global warming, before making us promise not to make the beds.
The rain droplet rolled on, forcing its way across the crowded window. More and more buildings and an old RV park zoomed by in the background. My brother’s girlfriend Ray giggled at something Hugh whispered in her ear. Their hands lay folded on top of each other's like fallen leaves. Both floated down from totally different trees, landing together and working out where to go from there. They shared scones and bagels for breakfast, halving everything exactly. They checked emails and schemed on projects as we all piled into the car.
I could see another fat droplet rolling down from the top of the window. It looked to be heading straight for the path of the other one. Sure enough, they collided. But instead of exploding into a bunch of tiny pieces, they fused into a bigger droplet and rolled off into a totally different direction altogether.
- 3 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
- 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt (plus extra to serve)
- Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1.5 cups instant oats
- 1 egg
- 1 cup coconut
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup Blueberries
- 3 tablespoons orange zest
- 3 tablespoons pure Canadian maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees Celsius.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add butter and rub into the dry ingredients with your fingers. It should feel kind of like breadcrumbs.
- Add the vanilla extract, maple syrup, yoghurt, egg and milk and combine.
- Halve the mixture and shape into two large flat rounds on a lined baking tray. Cut about a quarter of the way through the mixture with a knife before popping in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with Greek yoghurt.