The Den and Burrow teamed up last week to make some rather delicious pancakes to mark Shrove Tuesday. And what a delicious week it was...
Traditionally a time to think ahead to Lent, a period of fasting and reflection, it's now a wonderfully convenient excuse to "use up" (or go and out and buy more of) the last of the richer ingredients in the store cupboard and challenge yourselves to eat as many of the buttery, doughy, round vehicles for sugar, lemon, or nutella, as you can physically muster!
Hands up, who just had pancakes for tea on Tuesday?
At Free Rangers, we happily cater for a huge range of dietary needs, whether this is dairy, egg, gluten or even soya, we devised recipes and concoctions to overcome this so that every child could enjoy some delicious pancakes. With the fire lit and Forest School rules discussed, the children got down to the tricky task of mixing and measuring out the vital ingredients.
Children carefully measured flour (organic gluten free, spelt or wholemeal self-raising), bicarb of soda (when needed), agave syrup (sweetener), egg (when needed), some milk (goats, cows, soy or coconut) and finally some chopped apple or banana to add a little texture and flavour. Once combined, the children flexed their arm muscles to whisk the batter into a light and smooth gloop, ready to be spooned into the preheated cast iron pan in our fire bowl.
After watching the coconut oil or butter melt and change into a liquid in the frying pan, the groups counted in 6 or 7 spoonfuls of our pancake mix, listening as it gently sizzled and bubbled. We also created a pancake song to the theme of "Ten Green Bottles, sitting on the wall", but instead sang "5 Little Pancakes, sizzling in the pan." We discussed when we should flip them, watching the bubbling edges slowly turn brown, and little air bubbles appear on the top before carefully turning them over to reveal the delightfully bronzed underside. Once flipped we cooled them on the plate before devouring! I think we set some records that week for speed eating...
Of course, for the children (and Ed), this was all about the pancakes. But look deeper, and you'll see gross motor skills being developed, especially for burrow children as they whisked and poured the various ingredients, you'll see the respect, safety and understanding of the fire being developed, you'll see an understanding of the "cause & effect" relationship between heat and materials happening as the pancakes cook and the butter melts, and you'll see children developing their own understanding of the senses. So whilst it's delicious fun for them, it also makes for some pretty tasty learning too!
We also need to say a big Well Done! to Lauren & Jess that week for taking the reigns during their first pancake sessions. It's no easy task and you both did a great job!
We hope you all enjoyed your pancake day! What did you have on yours?
Lemon and Sugar. Every time. 👌🏻