Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Pancake Day! Updated

According to the fun loving folks at A Magical Childhood, Shrove Tuesday (as pancake day is more officially known), has its roots in a tradition of families using up ingredients, such as eggs and sugar, restricted during Lent.

We don't observe Lent, but just by coincidence, I spent last weekend placing pancake themed books on hold at the library, thinking maybe we'd spend some time next weekend trying out the recipes included in them (there are a LOT of picture books with pancake recipes at the back). The first few of the books have already arrived in, so we had Tomie DePaola's Pancakes for Breakfast already to go for this morning.

The book is typical DePaola, so a big hit in our house, and we thought the recipe (which you can view here, with a sadly, negative review) was fantastic - so much for reviews.

The pancakes turned out light, and fluffy, if not quite as fluffy as the blueberry pancakes from Wende and Harry Devlin's Old Black Witch, but delicious all the same, and when coupled with a few additional pancake themed picture books, made for a great kick off to the day.

All of the books above, except for the last two, promise perfect pancake recipes.

If you've already had breakfast, don't despair, there's plenty more to do on Pancake Day than just eating pancakes. Activity Village, Holiday Station, and Stuff4Teaching all have several craft, and game suggestions, as well as links to printables, for last minute fun.


Now that a few more of the books above have arrived in at the library, I thought I should give a quick update to this post.

As it turns out, while the original Nate the Great story by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, does contain a recipe for Nate's Pancakes (you can also find it, here) Nate the Great and the Lost List does not contain the recipe, but only the ingredient list, with a few fishy additions. Thanks to Kendra for letting us know in the comments, that the first story contains the recipe.

Piggy's Pancake Parlor by David McPhail, and Curious George Makes Pancakes by Margret & H.A. Rey do not contain recipes, either. Rather, George adds blueberry faces to already mixed batter on the griddle (something we tried without success), and Piggy divulges secret ingredients, that make his pancakes a success - nutmeg and love.

My father, who died long before my children were born, was a big fan of nutmeg in pancakes too, so we tried some in a batch of the buttermilk pancakes, we made from the recipe at the back of Tamson Weston's Hey, Pancakes!

Weston's recipe (which you can view, here) was a big hit with the children. It made for very fluffy, tasty pancakes. And, everyone liked the addition of Piggy's secret ingredient except for me. I think I finally figured out why I never liked pancakes as a child.

We found one more children's book, with a pancake recipe, this time a blueberry pancake recipe, included too, Judith Bauer Stamper's All Aboard Math Reader, Breakfast at Danny's Diner, a Book About Multiplication.

The recipe only makes six pancakes. As you might imagine, it is necessary for the characters in the story to multiply the ingredients for more pancakes. After looking the recipe over, we decided to stick with a single batch.

With no baking powder, baking soda, or sugar in the recipe I was pretty sure it wouldn't end up being the children's favorite, and it wasn't. That honor goes to Weston's recipe from Hey, Pancakes!, though my favorite is still Tomie DePaola's recipe from Pancakes for Breakfast, above.

Of course, if you don't like pancakes, we found not just one, but eleven recipes for waffles, including - Grandma's Waffles, Perfect Pumpkin Pecan Waffles, Crazy for Chocolate Waffles, Pa Pa Jack's Oatmeal Waffles, Bountiful Banana Nut Waffles, Lucille Victoria's Lemony-Blueberry Waffles, Peach Melba Waffles with Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce, PB and J Waffle Sandwiches, Cheesy Mexican Cornbread Waffles, Betty's Berry Berry Berry Waffles, and Merry Christmas Waffles in Holly J. Williams Waffles at Grandma's.

If only I hadn't picked this week to start counting calories again!

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

Maybe well celebrate a day late :)

Anonymous said...

If only I had known...oh wait, I didn't know and still we had pancakes today. *smile* I thought that was funny. *smile* Glad you all enjoyed your pancakes and thankf for sharing the books. Sincerely, Mommy of two little blessings & so much more!

Phyllis said...

Wow, that IS a lot of pancake books! You know, there are two groups of people as far as pancakes are concerned...those that like fluffy ones and those that like flat ones. I found this out when my husband and I were first married and struggled to find the "perfect" recipe...turns out we were looking for different things! Funny thing is that everyone thinks there way is THE way, and thinks that if the recipe doesen't turn out their way, the recipe is not good. :)I am of the fluffy camp, so I am sure I would love the recipe you used. We are having breakfast for dinner tonight and we will have pancakes, of course. Happy Pancake Day!

Little Wonders' Days said...

What a fun theme!!

Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds said...

How fun.I never knew there was a such thing as pancake day.

Kendra said...

Just for fun.. in Australia they consider pancakes to be more a desert.. So when this American fed her English/Aussie mil pancakes for breakfast she was astounded that we {children included} eat these on a regular basis for breakfast. It was the funniest culture shock I've had yet!

Oh, and the very first Nate The Great Book {that's it's title NTG} has a pancake recipe in it and some funny ode's to pancakes. ;)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Kendra - Very funny - and I'll check out the Nate the Great book, too - thanks!

Eddie said...

We're in the fluffy pancake camp, except for my oldest who prefers crepes. Either way, we eat them as often as we can get away with. Happy Pancake Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea there were so many books about pancakes. They all look interesting!

Your pancakes look delicious!

Michele Latham said...

I love children's books with recipes. You can't NOT try them after reading the story!

Christy Killoran said...

We love pancakes and have read a few of those books. I'll have to check out the others.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

These are great recommendations - I have to look for some of this books even though we are a house of crepes at home :)

Amy Dingmann said...

Hooray for pancakes! :) You always do such a great job with thorough posts. :) And...was it my confusion, or do you NOT count calories for anything baked or cooked for a holiday? ;)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

MamaTea - After you turn 40 - EVERY calorie counts :)

Books4Learning said...

Seriously! I had no idea there were so many picture books about pancakes! LOL Great post.