25 hours and 30 minutes with my two nephews have left me pondering all sorts of things. I am pretty sure that I have burned all sorts of calories running after a 3 and 6-year-old. The overnight at Mimi’s was a volunteer “gig” so that Mom and Dad could extend their long weekend. Memaw and I are doing a tag team to give a much-needed and well deserved break for their parents. Why a tag team? Well, Memaw and I are smarter than the average bear. We realize that “youngons” are for young-folk. It takes the two of us to cover the weekend. I had to take vitamins to cover my time slot. We won’t discuss that I caved about 7pm last night and mixed a refreshing Moscow Mule.
I love my nephews and enjoyed happy faces at my house. We crammed in, as much as possible. We visited the Fairhope Splash Pad and Park, fed the chickens, walked over to visit Granny, sat a spell on porch swing, had a tea party (please don’t tell my brother), played on the porch bed, the munchkins drug out many toys and games.
The 3-year-old grabbed my heart when he announced that he wanted a nap. I ran to the bed with books before anyone changed their mind. I think I heard Puccini in the background. We nestled in with books and blankets. About the time that I heard Puccini, again, the 3-year-old said “I not nap”. I sighed and responded, “That’s ok. Lets rest our eyes.” The 3-year-old is a tease.
Every visit to my house includes food at some point. I try to cook with my babes as much as time allows. I had consulted with my brother prior to the visit for the “foods they will eat menu”. Past experience has taught me that parent consulting is a must. I chose pancakes from the menu. Syrup being one of the elves main food groups. Pancakes are an acceptable choice because it has sugar. Not that sugar is the focus but that my nephews were leaving after breakfast. Pancakes with Mimi Magic (vanilla), sugar, syrup and sprinkled with confectioner sugar. The wee ones were going to eat and run. This was perfect for me. I am not sure yet how it worked out for Memaw.
Pancakes are good training for wee chefs. Everything’s mixed in one bowl. A hand-held manual mixer may be used to reduce the mayhem. If you have had the pleasure of a wee chef, I don’t need to expound on what I mean by “mayhem”. If you are puzzled by this, please call your closest family or friend with young children and volunteer to visit with the wee ones. I assure you that they will be grateful for the break. After your visit with the wee chefs, you will understand mayhem. It is a pleasant experience seeing food from their perspective.
Remember the rules for a good host. Always be gracious. Ignore the mess the wee chefs create. Provide the tools to make it easy for your guest to enjoy their cooking lesson. Despite your best efforts, don’t get offended if the wee ones won’t eat the fabulous creation once its ready. Always have a backup choice, fruit, PB&J or cheese and crackers. The important question is, “Can you make a snake pancake?”
Green Snake Pancakes
Serves 4 wee ones
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour (all-purpose)
3/4 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg beaten
1/2 tsp Mimi magic (vanilla)
Optional drop of green food coloring
Toppings: butter, syrup and confectioners sugar
Attire wee chef with apron, large dish towel under mixing bowl and manual mixer. (you can thank me later)
Add in all dry ingredients and allow wee chef to mix. The ingredient order is designed to minimize the mayhem with flour. In a measuring cup crack and beat egg well. Provide wee chef with melted butter, milk and mix well. Always make a big deal about introducing the Mimi Magic (vanilla) to wee chef. The smell of vanilla is magic. Add in a drop of green food coloring and stir. Combine with dry ingredients and mix briefly.
A large grill pan will allow for several small green snakes. On low, heat grill pan. Drizzle vegetable oil and spread evenly with a large spatula. Drizzle pancake on to grill in the shape of a small s. Practice makes perfect. Bake on griddle until brown and flip only once. Place on paper towel and continue making green snakes. Dust with powdered sugar.