Saturday, April 17, 2010

If you give a Baby a Blueberry Pancake . . .

She’ll eat the whole thing.  And she'll want to help cook more, so you'll have to distract her from "helping" by giving her a whisk.  But giving her a whisk will make her think she's going to get to mix the batter, pour the batter, eat the batter.  You see where this is heading . . .  a big MESS and a HAPPY baby.

Anyhow, you will love this recipe because it involves BUTTER! Lots of it. You add melted butter to the batter. And then later you add a slice of butter to the pan each time you start a new pancake. This explains why these blueberry pancakes were so good that we didn’t even use the syrup. I didn’t even think about the syrup. And neither did my kids.

Two new and exciting cooking skills were introduced in this recipe.

1) Cracking eggs! Yup, I let Sawyer do it by himself. Or at least I was ready to, but he didn’t really want to get egg on his fingers. So he cracked it and then I pulled it apart. Usually, I don’t even let him hold the eggs so this was a big step.

2) Flipping with a spatula! I know we don’t even think about this being tricky because as adults we do it all the time. But Sawyer was as excited about getting to do the flipping as I would be if I learned how to toss pizza crust in the air without messing it up. (Sidenote: our favorite places to watch pizza pros at work are Flying Pie Pizzaria in downtown Issaquah, Zeeks Pizza in the Issaquah Highlands, and Tutta Bella off Gilman.)

Seriously, he talked about how he got to flip the pancakes himself ALL DAY. “Me put-ed butter in the pan, me pour batter in and it cook-ed for a little while, me put-ed blueberries, mom put-ed the spatula under, and me flip-ed it over!”

He was a little worried about the hot pan when we started off. So I had him practice the flipping motion with the spatula before he tried it with the heat and the actual pancake. And we did the first one with my hand over his. But he did the rest himself- I was having visions of myself reading at the kitchen table, feet up, chai latte in hand, while he cooks me breakfast! The secret to his flipping success was following Mollie’s advice and cooking only one pancake at a time so that there was plenty of room to maneuver the spatula and a larger area for the uncooked side of the pancake to land.

Another genius piece of cooking wisdom was Mollie’s plan of pouring the milk into a smaller pitcher and having kids pour it into the measuring cups over a pie pan. It worked like a charm. I used the pitcher from Sawyer’s tea set which was just the right size and weight for him to be able to pour on his own.

And as you can see he had a blast dropping the butter into the hot pan and watching it melt, dumping the batter into the pan, and especially dropping the 6 blueberries onto the pancake as it cooked. If only I was this excited to cook dinner every night.

So, if you let your child flip their own pancakes . . .
they will want to make them every day. And they will eat them all up!

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