by Caroline

Do I really need to give you another pancake recipe? We’ve already given you Lisa’s classic griddlecake recipe, and I’ve contributed recipes for quinoa, pumpkin and lemon pancakes. But I am going to give you one more, because this recipe is so easy you can make it in your sleep, which, frankly, is often my state when pancake-making for my children: vertical and sufficiently responsive, but not entirely awake yet.

The recipe comes from Eric Carle’s picture book, Pancakes, Pancakes!, a book I have been reading to my kids for years about a boy named Jack who asks his mother for pancakes. She tells him she’s busy and will need his help, and then proceeds to direct (but not assist) him in each step, from cutting wheat for the miller to grind into flour all the way to milking the cow for milk (and churning some of it into butter) and gathering the wood for a cooking fire. Jack’s quite happy to do all the chores, and at the end he and his mother flip the pancake together, she spreads it with jam, and he tucks into an enormous, strawberry-jam topped pancake. It’s an excellent story — I revere Jack’s mother — but I have never dreamed of actually making the recipe with which the story concludes:

Until one day recently, as we finished reading, Eli said, “Let’s make these pancakes!” and he caught me at a moment when I was in the mood to say yes. I really didn’t think they’d be very good — no sugar, no baking powder — but I couldn’t sneak in any extra ingredients because Eli was determined to do the cooking himself, plus he can read now. He hardly needs my permission or participation at all:

And I have to say, the pancakes are perfectly good. They don’t hold up very well (no snack pancakes here), so eat them while they’re hot, whether they are stacked with jam:

Or poured and sliced into a homage to Giants’ closer Brian Wilson:

I’ll give you the ingredients, but pick up a copy of Pancakes, Pancakes! to get the whole story, read it with your kids, and then make some pancakes.

1 c flour
1 egg
1 c milk

Stir into a batter while your frying pan is heating, melt a bit of butter in the pan, then proceed, one ladleful of batter at a time, to cook your pancakes.