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He Makes Pancakes With Such Purpose

Making Pancakes

My eight year old son takes making pancakes very seriously, as you can see. This was the first time he did the entire process by himself. He mixed up the ingredients carefully following my recipe, and although he was prone to putting too many pancakes on the griddle at once, he made a fine flapjacker.

Jen’s Country Pancakes
(feeds my family of 6)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons ground flax
2 eggs
3 1/2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 cups milk

My son has already learned to mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then add them together at once. He stirs only until blended, because he’s learned the hard way that overstirring makes a flat pancake. But, my goodness, it’s hard to resist the temptation to overmix.

This hearty pancake is best served with butter and pure maple syrup. I got absolutely hooked on pure maple syrup when my neighbor brought me back a gallon jug of pure Vermont maple syrup several years ago, straight from her hometown. A little tip to get your kids used to the rich taste: mix the maple syrup with regular corn syrup, slowly decreasing the corn syrup over a period of days, until they are accustomed to the pure maple flavor. I do this to avoid the high fructose corn syrup in the conventional syrups.

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13 Responses

  1. Renae March 4th, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for sharing this great photo! It is big business making breakfast. :)

  2. Jen March 4th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Renae, “big business” is a great way to put it! He had such a serious look on his face — it was very sweet.

  3. Jane March 4th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    What a serious endeavour! They look yummy! My 8 year old son just made whole wheat pancakes the other day too. I realized it was time to get him started cooking more. His 11 year old sister is so keen all the time that I need to make sure he gets a chance in the kitchen too.

  4. mrs darling March 4th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    It looks like hes an old pro! Ive switched to real maple syrup too but the kids havent. I’ll have to try your idea!

  5. e-Mom March 4th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I’m definitely a pure maple syrup fan. (It takes something like 8 gallons of sap to produce 1 quart of syrup… don’t quote me!)

    Nothing like teaching kids to cook. So many good lessons to be learned in the kitchen. :~D

  6. Maggie March 4th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    You have quite a little chef there! I have never been able to develop a taste for maple syrup…even the authentic stuff from New England. HFCS and all, I still just like the other stuff better. I find heating it up makes it spread a bit easier so I don’t use as much :)

  7. mandi March 4th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Ahhh – Cute! Thanks for sharing the recipe. We love pancakes at our house too!

  8. Jen March 4th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Jane, I remember long ago when you posted a healthy pancake recipe, so I thought you’d appreciate this! I throw in all kinds of extra goodies, sometimes wheatgerm, here flax, maybe some fish oil… :-)

    Mrs. Darling, good luck with the switch. The kids were easy, it’s just the HUSBAND I’m having trouble with! I think he’s just to old to change to pure maple syrup. I mean, after 30+ years, there’s not much hope!

    e-Mom, I’ll have to look that up. The sugaring time is coming up over in New England – I think usually the end of March? Maybe a Vermonter will check in here and let us know!

    Maggie, My husband is the same way. It’s really just what you’re used to. Taste buds can be trained, but maybe mostly when you’re young?

    Mandi, like Jane, I think I’ve seen pancake recipes over at your place, too. I’ve made them every morning for the past week (or, someone here has!). My littlest is on a pancake kick. But typically, we make them about 3 mornings a week.

  9. heather March 4th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    My kids love to make pancakes. Great job ion the picture–he looks like he is enjoying it.

  10. heidi March 4th, 2008 at 8:41 pm


    I love the recipe and my boys spend many mornings cooking right along with me. I’ve added rolled oats (or barley), flax seeds, cornmeal, applesauce (in place of oil) and all kinds of things to my pancakes. I even saw a recipe for pancakes that was one cup of oatmeal (old fashioned) and 1 cup of soy milk. Let soak overnight, puree in blender and cook on a griddle. I added a touch of honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Not exactly like pancakes but really good nonetheless.

    And maple syrup is a staple in my house. We use it for a lot of things that need to be sweet.

    COoking… It’s math, economics, service and hospitality all wrapped up into one.

    Btw, I love the different direction your blog is going in. Your writing is very enjoyable.


  11. Jen March 5th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Heather, thanks for the compliments on the photo. I love this shot. I love how you can see my 4 yr old girl watching her brother, so wishing she could pour the pancakes; how you can see my 3 yr old boy at the table, happily eating his pancakes that brother made.

    Heidi, you’re another one that I know would have awesome recipe ideas! Mmmm, the oats & soy recipe sounds delicious. I need to find another place to buy bulk maple syrup. It’s expensive!

  12. Grace March 5th, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Oh great! You are raising him to be a wonderful man. His wife will thank you in the future, Jen. If I have son/s I’ll teach them how to cook too.

  13. JHS March 9th, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Thanks for contributing this post to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at This Full House. Be sure to stop by on Monday, March 10, 2008, and support your fellow participants by checking out all of their wonderful contributions.

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