I sometimes forget I'm the mom. Wait–let me clarify that. I don't mean that I forget that I'm the one who runs around each day without a head (or sometimes a clue) getting Scarlett from home to school, from school to lunch and then back again, from play date to ballet and then, finally, at dusk, who agonizes with her over a 40 word spelling test. It's just each year when Mother's Day rolls around my gut reaction is to think of my mom. She's who I'm used to celebrating and any one who knows me knows that she's my best friend. I'm also still very reliant on her. Maybe I don't need her to tie my shoe any more but no one, and I mean no one, can talk me down from a ledge better than my mommy. So I think of her first each May.
Photo by Maya Visnyei
Last year I bought my mother a weeping cherry blossom tree to fill the empty spot on the lawn where my dad recklessly dug up a tree we both loved. Now when she looks outside, instead of being annoyed by the blank plot of land, I like to believe she thinks of me. (Come to think of it, my father owes me a present for saving him from my mother's wrath. I mean, who digs up a tree for no reason?!)
I can already tell you I won't be getting anything too grand for mother's day. Scarlett and Dan have fun scheming together for the day's events but it's usually very simple. And I like that. The one thing they always do is make me breakfast. Dan usually helps her in the kitchen but, to be honest, Scarlett could now easily do it on her own. She's better than me in the kitchen and for sure she's better than Dan.
When Ceri and I were thinking of brunch dishes that we could run this week, we wanted to feature things that either older children could do on their own or an adult could manage with kids. I think this baked pancake (or Dutchy as it is more formerly known as) is perfect. The batter is just a few ingredients (all cracking and whisking fun) and the kids could slice the bananas with one of their own play knives. If an adult manages the hot oven, you've got an easy but tasty breakfast. And remember, the rule that one person does the cooking while the other does the cleaning doesn't apply on mother's day. If they make it, they also clean it and, while they're at it, they can make dinner too.
Baked Pancakes with Strawberry, Banana and Honey
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for ramekins
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 banana sliced
1/2 cup sliced strawberries, washed and hulled
Preheat the oven to 425.
Place about a 1/2 teaspoon of butter in each of six ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place it in the oven to melt the butter, about 3 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. Carefully swirl the melted butter around the ramekins to coat, making sure you get it up the sides.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs and milk. Add the orange zest, vanilla extract, butter and flour. Divide batter into each of the six ramekins. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and allow ramekins to bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancakes are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Using a paring knife, loosen the dutchy from the ramekin and turn it out onto a plate. Dress it with the sliced bananas and strawberries and drizzle with honey.