One of Simon’s favorite books is Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle. It’s an (unintentionally) hilarious story about a poor kid that just wants a big pancake for breakfast, but, is set in a time and place where he needs to cut and thresh the wheat and take the grain to the miller for flour, get an egg from the hen house, milk the cow, churn cream into butter, and get a fire going all before he can actually prepare the pancake.
I love that the book gives a sense of where your food comes from and just how much work really goes into making a simple pancake. Thankfully, though, we happen to have flour in a jar on the shelf, milk and butter in the fridge, and eggs on our counter all ready to go.
Typically, we’re a weekend waffle family, but seeing as Pancake Heaven is coming up, thought we’d engage in some pancake making of our own. This is an exercise in nostalgia for me, since almost every weekend, my dad would make a giant batch of pancakes or french toast for us. I even have the square-shaped pan he used to cook them in – perfect for four ‘cakes.
So, we pulled out our trusty Joy of Cooking and got to work. I prefer the mild tang of buttermilk pancakes, so that’s the recipe we went with. Without buttermilk on-hand, you can easily substitute regular milk with some lemon juice. I usually just add a spoonful or two depending on how much milk I’m using, but you can google for a more precise measurement.
Simon made a great scooper/stirrer, and we had pancakes in the pan in no time. While the cakes were cooking, I added some blueberries and chopped strawberries we had sitting in the fridge to a small pot with a splash of water, and cooked them (mostly covered, on low/med-low) until they broke down into a jammy compote kind of thing. The fruit itself was sweet enough we didn’t even need to bust out the syrup.
A single batch of pancakes makes more than our family of three can take down on a given morning, so we like to freeze the extras and re-heat for a quick breakfast – especially on those mornings we’re out of bread. They’re just as good topped with peanut butter or yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit if you’re not looking for a weekend sugar rush on a week day.
Now these were, of course, super tasty (has anyone ever had a bad pancake?). We have our pancake bellies ready, and are all SO excited to join everyone for a round-two pancake feast on Saturday. See you all there!
Sarah Blackburn (Simon, pre-primary)