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Bookish bites : Pancake, Pancakes!

Milo adores this book. Possibly more so than The Hungry Caterpillar and Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth our other Eric Carle titles. I have no idea why it strikes a chord with him, especially as I’ve tried making him pancakes before on Shrove Tuesday and he’s spat them out in revulsion – sigh. I think it might be down to the process Jack has to go through to make the pancakes. And the jam.

If you are not familiar with Pancake, Pancakes! here’s a brief synopsis. Young Jack wakes early in the morning wanting a big pancake for breakfast. His mother is busy (aren’t we all), so sends Jack on numerous short trips out to get the ingredients needed to make pancakes. He has to chaff wheat and take it to the mill to make flour, milk a cow for the milk, churn the cream from the milk into butter, collect eggs and collect jam from the pantry to spread on top of his pancake. He then has to help his mother as they make the pancake together.

While I am sure that most children would be exhausted and frustrated by having to do so many “chores” before breakfast, or indeed to even begin to make breakfast, Jack doesn’t seem to be. He sets about these tasks with little fuss and enjoys his pancake at the end of it and quite rightly too, it’s well deserved.

I enjoy Jack’s breakfast journey – it’s a series of interesting lessons for a little one to learn where ingredients come from, that there is a process to go through before flour appears in a packet in the kitchen cupboard or very simply that chickens and hens lay eggs. And we learnt through Pancake, Pancakes! that Milo is willing to wait for his breakfast despite begging for it as soon as he wakes, provided there’s a little entertainment getting to it! Oh, and don’t forget the jam!

We all read the book together as a family (it was a Saturday morning so no need to be rushing), then went to the kitchen to find the ingredients all out on the surface as they are in possibly my favourite spread in the book.

We followed the rather delightful recipe that Eric Carle himself has included in the back of the book. The recipe was measured out in cups which was unfortunate as mine had come to a crashing end when Milo’s dad dropped them on our stone kitchen floor yonks ago, so we used Charlie and Lola mugs instead!

Milo took over from there, and didn’t really listen to the small instruction of mix the eggs and milk slowly into the flour. Both were poured in straight away before there was time to stop him, followed by some very enthusiastic mixing.

The mixing unfortunately wasn’t really enough to get a lovely smooth mix, but hey, lumps of flour and eggs are what making pancakes with a toddler’s all about, right?

I took over with the cooking of the pancakes… there was some flipping from Milo’s dad (not so good!) and some from me (awesome flipping skills!) and then they were served. With jam.

Milo’s verdict: he ate about a half of his pancake and said they were “very nice” before scraping and eating the jam off the other half. Pancake progress?!

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