To many kids, the most exciting thing about February is Pancake Day! It’s a really exciting time in the kitchen, because it’s cooking at its most hands on: cracking eggs, whisking batter, flipping pancakes and topping them with lots of delicious things at the table. And the young ones can get involved at every stage – if you don’t mind a bit of mess.
It’s a really easy way to introduce children to batters, which form the basis of so many things, not least the joy of baking. As you make the pancakes, explain where all the ingredients come from and what else you could make with them. The recipe Jamie has perfected is really simple – all you need a mug. Crack an egg in a bowl, then add a mug of flour and a mug of milk. Those proportions work at any quantity: for every egg just add an extra cup of flour and milk. The kids can do this or you can, but the really fun bit for them is turning that messy mix into a lovely smooth batter with a whisk or fork. Just make sure they’ve got an apron on…
Then comes the exciting bit. You should probably do the cooking, because you’ll be using a really hot pan, but older kids can have a go if they want. Just make sure you’ve got enough batter to make enough to eat, inevitably some will end up on the floor, or even the ceiling if the kids have a go. Store the pancakes on a plate with kitchen paper between them so they don’t stick.
Once all the batter is used up it’s time to get topping. It’s a great chance to show them all sorts of food, from the classic (lemon juice and sugar) to the more inventive (try the topping on Jamie’s one-cup pancakes). If you can, get a whole spread of sweet treats out and let the children top their own – encouraging them to include at least one fruit. Blueberries, raspberries, mangoes and strawberries would all work really well, and could go with ice cream or yoghurt, or a spread such as Nutella or even peanut butter.
Another really brilliant recipe is Jamie’s Pancake cake, which he made with lots of kids at his music and food festival, the Big Feastival. It’s incredible fun to make, and delicious to eat, if a little naughty.
Have a flippin’ good time!