Your challenge this week: to eat pancakes for breakfast, to be as indulgent with your TOPPINGS as your TIME spent with your family around the table.
This challenge encourages the following values:
Kindness, Courage, Gratitude, Generosity, Resourcefulness, Patience.
What you need to complete your challenge this week:
- At least 1 hour
- 100g of flour, 2 big eggs, 300ml of milk, a little bit of oil and a pan
- Fillings and toppings – whatever you like!
- A table and chairs so you can all sit and eat together
If all else fails…
Buy a pancake mix from the supermarket but I promise you making pancake batter is easy as pie!
Pancake topping idea #1 Nutella and strawberries
Food for thought for the grown-ups:
Breakfast – the most important meal of the day, or so they say. In my house however breakfast 5 days out of 7 is a mad dash to find clean bowls (usually straight out of the dishwasher), hunt spoons, to get cereal inside said bowls and not on the table, to get the cereal and milk in the mouth and not down the clean(ish) uniform and all in enough time to brush teeth before leaving the house on time. It’s like a daily assault course up and down the stairs, tripping over shoes, school bags and each other and if I’m completely honest if we all get to school on time I give myself a private little round of applause in the car park before reporting for duty looking as professional and ‘together’ as I can. Just me?
Pancake topping idea #2 – Lemon and sugar
Weekends, on the other hand, are a different story and, when possible, we enjoy a lazy morning, we embrace pyjamas and slippers, cup of tea after cup of tea, laying on the sofa, or if we’re lucky sitting in the garden with a magazine and slowly emptying the bottomless drawer of lego. It doesn’t need to be pancake day in my house to eat these delicious little edible canvases so my breakfast treat to the boys is always the humble pancake – they absolutely love them and I can’t cook them and get them on the plates quickly enough before they’re eaten and I can feel their pleading eyes on me, willing me, to cook quicker!
Pancake topping idea #3 – Maple syrup, tinned peaches and creme fraiche
This is definitely more of a cooking challenge for you and a patience challenge for the children but it’s also a wonderful way to explore food combinations, textures and enjoy a little bit of mindful companionable eating. Sit, cook, chat and indulge without a clock ticking nearby and enjoy the company of your children, your family. I have such fond memories of sitting with my family eating pancakes. I remember vividly my mum teaching me to cook pancakes and toss them in the pan to turn them over – I was pretty young as I remember it so I’m starting to teach my eldest son now. Years ago when he was little we would invite friends round for pancake parties, I’d churn them out and put a huge pile of pancakes on the table laden with treats to roll up in them. Good times and good memories.
Pancake topping idea #4 – Ice cream and warm fruit compote
Whenever I make pancakes the simplicity of the recipe never ceases to amaze me. How a few ingredients, in a matter of minutes, can provide the basis for a meal. According to historians pancakes were first known to be eaten by neolithic societies. They were made before we had pans and ovens. They were later eaten by the Romans, the Saxons, by the Greeks. The basic recipes came to differ slightly but the principle idea was the same. It is no surprise really that such a versatile foodstuff has remained popular through time, given that it contains just three cheap, obtainable ingredients, flour, eggs and milk, the cooking process is simple and quick and it can produce a savoury meal or a sweet treat. If you haven’t made them before then this is your little push to have a go… there really isn’t a great deal that can go wrong.
Pancake topping idea #5 – Strawberries and squirty cream out of a can!
And for the children:
Well, aside from the patience element which I have already mentioned what values can children learn from sitting and eating pancakes with family? Gathering around a table together with food is a perfect non-confrontational opportunity to talk about life and the universe (…or what’s going on at school). Try talking about all the things we have in our lives that make us happy, that we’re grateful for, family, pink smarties, lego, swings, football, our best friends, a day at the seaside etc. Ask your children what they feel grateful for, it’s an excellent window into your child’s world. This little edible challenge also teaches your child about kindness and generosity. The family have to share the pancakes as they appear and be patient whilst they’re cooking. In my house, I cook the pancakes fresh so they’re straight out of the pan and onto the plate… we have to take it in turns but all the waiting makes the eating so much better.
Pancake topping idea #6 – Bananas, yoghurt and golden syrup
If your children are old enough why not teach them how to make pancakes? It will teach them a great life skill, give them a sense of accomplishment and teach them a little about resilience – the acceptance that some pancakes are successes and many more are failures but they all taste the same in the end**. The task teaches resourcefulness, what ingredients do we have and what yummy toppings can we muster from the cupboards. It’s such a simple recipe, a simple cooking process and a rewarding treat.
Pancake topping idea #7 – Blueberries and honey
Pancake topping idea #8 – Jam!
So go for it,
Look in the cupboards and grab the plain flour, a few eggs, and some milk. Find a pan, some fruit and yoghurt and some willing hungry tummies for to fill. Enjoy this one, there are recipes everywhere on the internet and in most recipe books. If you’re still not sure, message me and I will send you my best recipe and pancake flipping tips.
**NOTE: If you want to introduce your child to the cooking process of pancakes I am all for this but please please make sure your children are old enough to responsibly cook with heat – the pan will get hot and they must not be left alone at any point in the process.