It is a Shrove Tuesday soon, one of my favourite days of the year. A day that just pops up on the calendar with no prep or expense required, and whilst of course for many it is a special time of the religious calendar, it is also the perfect opportunity to have fun with the little ones.
Pancakes are quite a regular event in our household. I love sitting round the table on a Sunday morning to pancakes or bacon butties (depending on the mood we are in – sweet or savoury) and fresh orange juice. Having lived in the States for a while, I absolutely love American Style Pancakes with maple syrup and blueberries, or my personal favourite, raspberries. When I was pregnant with Belle we went to an American Diner for brunch and I really fancied bacon with my pancakes – a thought that previously had always made me feel a bit ill! But, boy am I glad for that craving because it is the most delicious thing ever! The sweetness of the maple syrup teemed with salty crispy bacon works brilliantly, and if your currently wrinkling up your nose like I used to, I promise you, you really must give it a go.
But the rest of the family are traditionalists and there is no chance whatsoever that I will be serving up American Style pancakes this Shrove Tuesday – unless of course I want to get tea-towels thrown at me in response! So paper thin English ones is the menu for the day.
The secret to great pancakes is a really hot frying pan – not something which you want anywhere near the children so I recommend making up a few whilst they are otherwise entertained and letting them and the pan cool prior to letting the little ones near them.
With your pre-made ones, there are all sorts of fun things you can do. Who can toss it the highest, who can toss it the most times in 30 seconds, who can toss it and spin round in a circle whilst it is in the air and still catch it! Or how about a good old fashioned race – with two teams, two pans, two pancakes and a whole bunch of giggles.
When the fun and games are over then you can make a fresh batch up and serve them hot with lemon juice and sugar – or as Dalton likes them with a smear of Golden Syrup.
I highly recommend Nigella Lawson’s pancake recipe which you can make up in advance and keep in the cupboard. You simply add the wet ingredients when you want to use it. It is designed for the American style ones but works equally well for traditional Shrove Tuesday style ones – just add more milk to get the mix to the right consistency. Or you could of course make up your mix with the help of your sous chef as part of the fun. Be sure to securely fasten an apron around their waist (we have some gorgeous ones including adorable tabard style ones) before letting them loose with the whisk!
We hope you have a fantastic Shrove Tuesday. Happy flippin!