Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Men

"For Breakfast there were pancakes, and Ma made a pancake man for each one of the children. Ma called each one in turn to bring her plate, and each could stand by the stove and watch, while with the spoonful of batter Ma put on the arms and the legs and the head. It was exciting to watch her turn the whole little man over, quickly and carefully, on a hot griddle.  When it was done, she put it smoking hot on the plate."   
Taken from Little House in the Big Woods  by Laura Ingalls Wilder

(Illustration by Garth Williams)

There are some memories that vividly stay with you from childhood;  I was one of those children who were always reading and had a vivid imagination often sparked by something I  had recently read.  I first read the Little House Series, which tell the story of a little girl and her  family growing up as Pioneers on the   untamed Prairie in America  almost a hundred and fifty years ago, when I was about nine.  I was captivated by not only the stories of  bravery and adventure but also by the amazing illustrations that fitted so well with the text.  

Falling apart but still readable after thirty years!

One of these memories was of the pancake men made by Ma as described above.  Every year I try and recreate one but it seems I am not skilled in the art of pancake men making.  If Ma can make one in her log cabin on her hot griddle then surely I can make one on my gas hob in my warm 1950's house.  This  however  is about the best I came up with this afternoon:

It looks more pancake man after I have added the face which I know will make my little boys laugh!

I have just started reading "Farmer Boy" by the same author to my eight and nine year old, it tells the story of Laura's husband growing up in New York in the 1860's  and   he is about nine in the book. It's been far too long since I actually read them a story and I think I probably am enjoying it much more than they are!

Happy Shrove Tuesday!  Can you make a  pancake man?


  1. Wow - I'd forgotten that it's Pancake Day. I used to love pancakes with Golden Syrup when I was a kid. Nowadays I don't tend to have such a sweet tooth! JX

  2. That's so funny, it's given me a good giggle. I've never tried to make pancake men but I've just made regular pancakes with lemon and sugar as an after school snack for my two. I haven't read the Little House books but I used to watch Little House on the Prairie when I was young and loved it. I've recently discovered that the series is on dvd so I might just have to get them at some point.

  3. You make me chuckle Grace after a bleurgh day at work! Hubby does the pancakes here, whole house will smell of them in approx 1 hour! Will suggest this art to him, to have a go!

  4. It's wonderful how, thanks to your written words, I have been transported back to my childhood reading days. Yes, imagination was a powerful thing in those days. Thankfully I have managed to keep some of that magic. Thank you for sharing.


  5. Had to laugh at your pancake man sorry! Something I have never tried to do, nor gingerbread men.I feel like I have missed out!
    I used to love little house on the prairie and thought it was wonderful.They were poor but always seemed to have lovely idyllic lives.

  6. I have the very same edition of that book, and a box set too. How I loved those stories and the TV programmes too. I tried reading the first one to my girlie a couple of years ago but she just didn't go for it, perhaps it's time to try again .. after all, I'm really keen to reread them myself!!
    Love your little pancake chap.

  7. Love your pancake man, we had pancakes for tea. Julie xxx

  8. your pancake man is gorgeous. ma's batter would have been much thicker as American pancakes are more like scotch pancakes, and make thick fluffier pancakes, which you can shape easier, my children like mickey mouse shaped ones!


Thank you for your lovely comments, they really do brighten my day!