Friday, 11 April 2014

Pancakes, Popcorn, the Park and A Project

The children have been off school for a week now and the weather has been marvellous :) It's been warm and sunny all week which means the children have been able to be out in the garden, on the trampoline, or with me, at the park. The picture above is the central green area of our road. We don't face onto it, but instead we are incredibly fortunate to face onto a massive field - "our field" - on which the children can play football or cricket, or go on their bikes. And I can supervise from a distance ......

..... as this is the view from my craft room! How lucky am I! Speaking of my Craft Room, it's taking shape nicely, not quite photograph-ready yet though, and probably not enough time to make it so until the children are back to school. I will keep you up to date though :)

Today the children were super happy when we had home-made pancakes for breakfast. I've found a fairly idiot-proof recipe, having tried and failed numerous times in the past. I just can't do crepe style ones, so instead I go for the puffier (and yummier if you ask me) scotch pancakes.
I use a recipe from this Nigella Lawson book. She strikes me as fairly reasonable so I'm sure she won't mind me sharing her recipe with you. I've written it out properly at the end of this post.
Basically you make a mix of dry ingredients that you can make ahead and keep in your cupboard. When you are in need of pancakey goodness you just weigh it out, add milk and egg, and whisk. You dollop it into a medium-hot fry pan ....
... and when tiny bubbles appear on the surface (if you look carefully you can see them in the picture above) then you know its ready to turn over to the other side....
.... which should be golden brown mmmm yummm!!! Cook for the same amount of time on the other side..... and then get ready to eat ....
.... we like them with maple syrup, cream (the squirty variety proves most popular in our house) and bananas, raspberries, or strawberries. Only 3 or 4 can be cooked at a time, and then they get eaten before the next batch are ready, so instead they can be kept warm on a plate under a low grill until they're all cooked. We can then all sit down to eat them together - they taste so good they are gone in seconds - they really are melt in the mouth, and with fruit it counts as 1 of our 5 a day - yay!

After breakfast we took a trip out to run some errands, and then finished up at the park...
..... gosh the children look like giants there - they really are growing up so fast - but its lovely that they are still happy to play in the park, such great friends for each other. After lots of hide-and-seek and "It" type games we went for a mini nature ramble in the adjoining woods. The children found lots of Interesting Things - a completely perfect abandoned snail shell ....
..... a bunch of feathers .... hopefully their owner got away in one piece ....
... and some pretty petals picked for Mummy .....

We rounded the trip off by bringing home ice-creams for them and a frappe for me ....
....if there's one thing better than a hot frothy cappuccino, its an ice cold frappuccino :)

It seems to have been a treaty-food-oriented day, because in the afternoon we watched a movie with popcorn .... oooo corn - another one of our 5 a day ??? I love our popcorn tubs - what do you think .....
.... they are melamine (or something similar), and so they're completely reusable. I got them a while back from a gorgeous shop called Shirleyz at our local craft village Holme Grange .... eating popcorn out of these makes DVDs at home feel just like being at the cinema :)

One final thing for today ..... during our mini nature ramble was that I tasked the Little People with a Special Mission - to find some twiggy sticks for a Special Project ....
...... Mission Accomplished ...... and you will have to tune in again for details of the Special Project :)

Scotch Pancakes
For the dry pancake mix:
600g plain flour
3 x 15ml tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
40g caster sugar

Mix all ingredients together and store in a jar until you are ready to make the pancakes.

For the actual pancake making:
150g dry pancake mix (from above)
1 egg
1x 15ml tablespoon melted butter
250ml semi-skimmed/full-fat milk

Whisk all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter.
Heat up your pan and grease slightly (I use spray vegetable oil, melted butter probably tastes even better)
Drop in a large tablespoon or so for each pancake, you can do 3-4 at a time.
When tiny bubbles appear on the top surface, flip the pancakes over.
Cook for the same amount of time on the other side, and then they are ready to eat!
Keep warm in warm dish, grill or oven until all of them are done.
Each 150g (ish) of the mix makes about 12-15 pancakes.
For my family of 5 (inc 2 hungry chaps!) I make a double batch which is about 25-30 pancakes. That's how popular they are :)
Have fun!


  1. Lovely day Jill, maybe pancakes will be on our breakfast menu this weekend. Very interested to see what you are doing with the sticks. Better not say what I use just that type of stick for till you have done your reveal. Happy weekend. Anne x

  2. Thanks Anne, I'm sure most people will work it out - but I do have a second plan for them which is less likely to succeed but I'll give it a try :) Hope you have a great weekend x

  3. Hi Jill, what a useful recipe.... to store the dry ingredients in a jar is such a good idea!
    Will you reveal your Secret Project before the Easter Weekend? Hope so!
    Pat :)

  4. Thanks Pat :) It's been a mad week with the children, not much time for "me" stuff, but I am hopeful that yes, I'll share the project before Easter. (slightly worried now I have bigged it up too much and it will be a huge ant climax lol :)

  5. I use that exact same recipe, super yummy. I make my own bread and if I have any sourdough starter I add a bit of that too.....delish x


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