There’s something incredibly freeing about weekend wake-up calls in my house. Even when Joan decides we should get out of bed before 6am, I am relaxed and content as I stretch and yawn. You see, when Saturday and Sunday roll around I have two extra hands to help me catch my up-and-go babe before she walks off the mattress. I don’t need to worry about Joan heading for the stairs while I find my pants, nor do I need to throw toilet rolls at her if she comes at me while I’m using the toilet. On the weekend, there’s no need to endure the “pee while holding a baby” reality of most of my weekdays because Ben is around. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace.
The weekends are also for slow breakfasts that require more than one hand to prepare, and lately that’s looked like a plate of pancakes. In the back of my cupboard sits a perfectly good waffle iron, but somehow pancakes trump the breakfast battle. Saturday after Saturday I’ve found myself folding and flipping with a cup of coffee in my hand, while Ben and Joan read books and make animal noises. Joan’s impression of a lion is quite possibly the cutest thing in the entire world, the way she grooooowwwls with wide, cunning eyes and a cheeky grin. I stand in the kitchen, watching and listening as I sip and smile to myself. Breakfast takes a while to prepare, as I always make a big batch so that we have leftovers to snack on during the week. But that’s just fine…it’s the weekend, and I have two extra hands that are allowing me to watch my sweet, clever, funny girl lost in a world of lions and see all that she does from a different perspective. I also get to cook without a time restraint, without a baby pulling at my legs saying “UP” – one arm outstretched, palm facing the ceiling in a pleading, Saturday Night Fever come STELLAAAAAA pose. Because although Joan’s words are adorable, “ahhPPP”, I’ve come to realise that cooking in a relaxed manner is my ultimate way to “fill up my cup”, to centre myself and relax while also nourishing my family and stocking the fridge with a few leftovers. It’s important to me. Bless the weekends for giving me my peaceful kitchen moments.
These pancakes are our new favourite weekend breakfast. In creating them I had hoped for a wholesome recipe that used nutritious flours and avoided a lot of sweeteners, while still allowing for a tasty bite that had a nice texture. I think I did good with these babies, folks. We all adore them, Joan savours every last bite and won’t share any. Not a single crumb is left behind. I hear you, baby. Whenever I serve you leftovers from the fridge I actually feel full-blown jealousy. Perhaps I should just make a double batch and linger even longer in the kitchen.
Makes ~15 small pancakes
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (though baking powder works too)
240-250g very ripe banana, skin off weight (= ~2 medium bananas)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional)
Butter for the pan
Serving: we like to serve these with tart Greek yoghurt, tahini, toasted coconut flakes and more maple syrup.
Optional: cinnamon to the batter. And add berries (fresh or frozen) to the pancake once in the pan, prior to flipping (pushing them into the batter).
1. Put the flours and baking powder in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl, then whisk in the eggs and add the olive oil, milk, lemon juice and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients and fold through gently until just incorporated.
3. Add some butter to your skillet and heat it over low-medium heat. Once melted and hot, add a scant 1/4 cup portion of batter to the pan (we’re obviously going for a pancake shape here, which is probably unnecessary to say but hey, I just did), repeating with as many as fits in your skillet while allowing enough room to flip (I tend to have two skillets on the go and cook 3 pancakes at a time on each skillet).
4. Cook the pancakes for a couple of minutes or so, until the under side is golden and you can comfortably flip them with a spatula without the top of the pancake sliding everywhere. I like the pan to be very hot when the batter is added, but to cook them gradually over a low heat. I find this allows them to brown nicely and set well for easy flipping. Turn down the heat if they start to brown too quickly. Once flipped, cook on the other side until golden (a further minute or so).
5. Store cooked pancakes on a plate covered with foil, or in the oven covered with foil if you wish. Cook the remaining batter, adding more butter between them if you like and if your pan needs it. Serve the pancakes with tart Greek yoghurt, tahini and toasted coconut flakes, and more maple syrup if that floats your boat.