Quite some achievement in such a short time and all because I telepathically failed to pick up on an unwritten primary school memo stating that: five-year-old children must be encouraged to snack ALL THE TIME, and you must provide said snacks in her homework bag daily, obviously, you cretinous woman.
[Edit: I'd better clarify for some of my readers who have been kind enough to be aghast in their comments, that here I am being belligerent, melodramatic and bad-tempered because an institution has made me feel ignorant. The actual truth is that the kids apparently have snacks for playtime, and I hadn't supplied any. Go on now, make me feel bad for never even having considered giving her a morning snack before in her life. Dare you!]
Internally I veered from the irate (why the hell didn't they tell me this last week?) to the practical (gah, it'll need to be prepackaged and shopbought, because the homework bag is completely flat and full of paper) and back to the irate again (she's at school for barely two and half hours between breakfast and lunch at home, and school gives out free milk and fruit... yet I have to provide MORE food? WTF?).
So, my mission, should I choose to accept it (not that there's any choice about this): Quick, easy for small hands, won't make a mess in the homework bag, and (critically from my point of view) doesn't require any plastic tubbery that I definitely won't get back.
Luckily, Dan Lepard saved the day. Kind of (this is just really an excuse for me to tell you a story - as if you didn't know that already).
There's a lady of elegant maturity who has known me all my life. The kind of person who has sat next to my family in church since long before I was a twinkle in my father's eye. She made tiny cubes of tablet and macaroons to accompany the coffee after my wedding (and not your atas macaroons either, we're talking the Scottish ones made of potatoes). She made huge boxes of pre-sliced gingerbread and custard creams for my puerperial phase five years ago - demonstrating a clear understanding that high-calorie nourishment needs to be accessible with only one hand at that point in a girl's life. She is a baker of serious calibre.
But don't take my word for it. A few years ago, Dan Lepard wrote about her and published one of her recipes in his column for a national newspaper. Yes, she's THAT much of a legend. And, mercifully, the method that was printed, for pancakes, is exactly the same as my Granny's. Which means it is definitely right. Again, we're talking about the Scottish ones - not crepes, not fluffy American alternatives, not pan scones or drop scones or any of the other names that people give them - these are pancakes, plain and simple. Dan would agree I'm sure.
A large batch of pancakes, frozen individually in sandwich bags and chucked into the homework bag the night before - phew, I think I've found one solution that we're all happy with for the moment.
So if you're making raspberry jam this month (our wet Summer has been great for one crop at least), then I suggest you whip up a quick batch of these pancakes and smother them in butter and jam while they're still warm.
And if you have any other ideas that would fit my tightly-defined remit (small, flat, non-squishy/non-crumbly snack) I'd really love to hear your suggestions. Because I don't know if a plain pancake, no matter how good, will cut it as a playground snack every day for the next seven years...
|Black Isle wild raspberries|