Pancake day is going to be a bit different this year, now that I have a four-month-old baby at home.
Year after year on pancake day I’d charge into the supermarket on the way home from work and make a beeline for the pre-prepared batter mixes, ready to fight to the death anyone who got in my way.
Of course, the mixes had always been bought by sensible people days ago and so I’d make do with a half-opened bag of flour, a small plastic bottle of lemon juice in the shape of a lemon (why didn’t I just buy a lemon?) and whatever else I needed to make what would be an undeniably awful batter. I’d then douse the mixture in brandy in the vain hope of either making a tasty pancake or setting fire to my kitchen and putting everyone concerned out of their misery.
No, this year will be different.
I’ve got about half an hour with my son tonight between getting home from work and bedtime (his, not mine).
We are skipping bath time and instead I’ll get out the batter I prepared last night (oh yeah) and watch his little blue eyes widen as I toss pancakes in the air. I’ll also make sure he’s a safe distance away so that there’s no risk of him getting a pancake in the face.
Every year I hope we’ll do this together and, like with most things these days I feel all sorts of emotions as I do something I’ve done dozens of times before, but this time for the first time with my son. Then we’ll put him to bed and my wonderful wife and I will polish off the rest of the pancakes and a glass of wine before collapsing into bed, craving a sleep that is not broken every three hours. Yes, pancake day this year will be different.
This is one of my favourite pancake recipes. The sweetness of the maple syrup goes so well with the salty bite of the pancetta and the juiciness of the blueberries.
My wife is still breastfeeding at the moment so I want to make sure that the pancakes are also a decent meal for her. As well as the protein and calcium from the eggs and milk, there’s an extra kick of vitamins, potassium and iron from the blueberries and pancetta making it a decent dish.
Ingredients (makes 12 pancakes)
-300grams self-raising flour
-1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
-one knob of butter
-100grams pancetta (or bacon, cut into little chunks
-one handful of fresh blueberries
-sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl
-add the milk and eggs and whisk together until a batter forms. Add the butter and whisk again. This batter will now keep for 24 hours in the fridge.
-Pour a ladleful of batter into a greased frying pan and cook each pancake for roughly 2-3 minutes each side
-In a separate pan, fry the pancetta for a few minutes. Drain the fat from the pan, add the blueberries and a teaspoon of maple syrup. Cook for a further minute then remove from the heat.
-Spoon the pancetta and blueberries over each pancake, topping with maple syrup
Why is this good for mum and baby?
Eggs: Protein, Iron, folate, vitamin A, B, D, E, K, zinc
Butter: Calcium, vitamin A, E, K
Milk: Protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, B, D
Flour: Vitamin B, E, zinc, calcium, folate, fibre
Pork/Bacon/Pancetta: Protein, Iron, Vitamin B, zinc
Blueberries: Folic acid, potassium, Vitamin C, E, K