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On Sunday morning, if I ask any of the boys what they’d like for breakfast, I get a variety of answers. My favourite is Lyoto’s because it makes me laugh so much.
“What day is it, Mommy?” he replies – and this is the part that makes me giggle, because his little five year old self, posing a rhetorical question whilst still wearing his Star Wars pyjamas just seems hilarious to me.
“Sunday is pancake day!” Jensen will call from the sofa.
We used to celebrate Pancake day, and every year we’d say that we wished we ate pancakes more often – and now we do. So we have pancakes every week now, especially since we bought our pancake maker last year – it’s like an electric skillet I suppose. It was originally bought to make crèpes with [which I am particularly skilled at now, apparently I have the wrist for it. As it may be the only area in which the mister can’t compete with me in the kitchen, I never mind making them. However, the boys soon discovered that it was even easier to griddle big, fluffy buttermilk pancakes and then they became the favourite for starting Sunday mornings.
Last Hallowe’en we made spiderweb pancakes, which were so fun and so easy to make [batter in a piping bag, spiderwebs drawn onto the hot griddle] and even monster pancakes with eyes in them [sugar eyeballs]. The usual Sunday order though is American pancakes with all of the toppings that they can find in the pantry.
This pancake day we’re celebrating with a new way of serving – pancake fondue. I had this brainwave whilst I was grating chocolate and getting it stuck everywhere on the grater, and trying to find the long sundae spoons for the nutella jar. Melted chocolate seemed like a very good plan and an alternative to the golden syrup we usually have.
Luck for us, we also have a very large super-fantastic fondue maker. It has griddles either side of it and can also do all kinds of other things – but most importantly it can melt chocolate and keep it gooey.
So, I made lots and lots of little pancakes ready for the fondue, and got everything ready for the toppings and sides ahead of the pancake making – otherwise the pancakes go cold, and I’m not fond of cold pancakes.
Pancake batter is so easy to make – to make fluffy pancakes I just used a generic pancake recipe with buttermilk instead of normal milk in it – or I cheat and buy Krusteaz from Costco. I bought the biggest bag ever a few weeks ago and we’re still using it. The good thing about instant mix is that it’s so fast if you need more pancakes – I like that a lot.
To make the fondue mix I just broke up about 6 bars of milk chocolate from our local supermarket and melted them slowly. If we weren’t using the fondue maker, to melt chocolate I crack the pieces into a microwaveable glass bowl and microwave on high for one minute, then I take the bowl out and stir for about thirty seconds. The chocolate won’t look melted when you take it from the microwave, but if you stir it you’ll see it really is. If it needs to be heated more, I do it on ten second intervals – otherwise you end up overheating it and it goes grainy and crunchy :/ Yuck.
We keep our toppings simple and fun – the boys love grape skewers and we’ve made these about a thousand times for them on blunt sticks [we use candyfloss sticks sometimes], and Jensen loves watermelon. He’ll eat the whole watermelon if we let him – but we cut some of it into hearts because Hero is starting to eat with his eyes now. The mister likes sugar and lemon pancakes, and everyone loves squirty cream. We also got lucky this week because whilst the bigger boys chose a little toy at the zoo over half term, Hero decided on a bag of mini marshmallows for his gift and so we broke those out too.
Our fondue maker also comes with these super cute little skillet pans for keeping side dishes warm under the fondue – and so I gave the boys one of these each to walk around the table and dress their fondue pancakes up in. This stopped so much mess and also stopped them completely overloading their pancakes with toppings [Lyoto would use a can of cream if we let him].
Once the toppings and fondue were ready, the pancakes took around 15 minutes to flip on the maker before we were ready to go! I gave the boys candyfloss sticks to dip their pancakes into the chocolate with because Buttermilk pancakes are thick enough to stay on the wooden sticks, and the little fondue forks would end up hurting someone without doubt.
Enjoy your pancake day – maybe you’ll try our fondue!