Pancake breakfast

How our kids made us brunch and how we lived to tell about it

Now that we’ve been cooking with our children for several years, we’ve always wondered how well would they function entirely on their own. My boys have claimed for some time now that they are proficient in the kitchen, and while they do a fine job, I have always remained close-by.

Last Monday was Danny’s and my wedding anniversary. The evening before was full of fugitive huddles and fervent whispers between brothers. Their eyes were shining when I tucked them into bed, and Mateo, the considerate one, asked me how early they could get up.

Something was afoot, although I’d never imagine they would attempt a full breakfast in our honour. It turns out those two are full of ambition.

boys frying pancakes

In the morning, the first thing that struck us as unusual was the calm. Downstairs we heard voices murmuring and movement in the kitchen, but it was the sounds of harmonious teamwork. Quite the accomplishment for our 8- and 6-year olds.

We were given strict orders to remain in bed, and my cup of coffee arrived fairly quickly. Noah was wincing a little because he had spilled a little on his bare foot, but “Mom, I stayed calm anyway.” he reported. They had used our Keurig to brew the coffee, not the espresso maker, but the cup of joe was nicely fixed with a little cream and sugar, just how I take it.

“We’re making pancakes!” Mateo announced, jumping from one foot to the other. I raised my eyebrows and then shrugged. “Let me know if you need help.”

They took Clara back downstairs with them and gave her juice and toast (she wakes up ravenous) to keep her busy. I could hear Mateo chirping at her, while Noah, I am assuming, got to work making the pancake batter. I’ve taught him a basic recipe that he’s memorized and yields fluffy results every time. (I’ll post the recipe below).

3 kids making breakfast

They brought us two glasses of orange juice and toast (no plate) while we waited, and eventually, invited us downstairs (where I snapped the photos for this post with my phone). Mateo had set the table and whipped the cream by hand. We whip nearly all our cream with a simple whisk and a bowl; it’s often a job I have the boys do, so he’s had plenty of practice. (If you’re on Instagram you can see Mateo in action on this particular morning.)

How our kids made us brunch and how we lived to tell about it | Simple Bites

Noah fried a platter of pancakes and had even trekked to the garden to get a fistful of flowers for the table. It was all so warm and inviting, my heart swelled with the sweetness of their gestures. And, it must be stated that the morning continued to be squabble-free. Was that pre-planned? Who knows, but it was most appreciated.

As Monday was a holiday here in Canada, we took our time around the table, laughing and eating up every single pancake. Even the whipped cream disappeared. Both boys were practically levitating with pride, which was cute to see.

orange juice in jars

But there is a flip side to every coin, correct?

When I asked Noah about the straw in the 1 litre orange juice jar, he looked a little uncomfortable, but then confessed that he hadn’t known how to pour from the jar without spilling. SO HE SUCKED THE JUICE OUT WITH A STRAW AND SPAT IT INTO OUR GLASSES.

He then delivered it to our bedside, served up with a smile.

Oh, how we howled with laughter. Oh, how our Facebook friends snickered. Oh, how my dearly beloved on Instagram nearly spat our their morning coffees. Then they applauded his problem solving capabilities.

Friends, even though I unknowingly drank my son’s spittle, that morning was still pretty perfect. I’m encouraged to hand over even more responsibility in the kitchen to my children, although Danny has commented that they are due for a lesson in risk management, just in case something did go terribly wrong.

As for trouble shooting and improvisation? I think they have that one covered.

Noah's Easy Peasy Pancakes
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 4
To make the recipe easy to memorize, I've called for only 1 of everything. It works out pretty well.
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1 brimming cup of buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of raw cane sugar
  • 1 scant cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Beat the egg, buttermilk and sugar together.
  2. Dump in the flour and the baking soda.
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Cook on an oiled griddle until bubbles appear. Flip and cook for another minute.
  5. Serve hot.
Notes
Adding 1 tablespoon of melted butter makes the pancake even better, but I leave that out for Noah's super simple version.

Note: all photos are snapped with an iPhone. Apologies for the poor quality.

How early should we give our children kitchen responsibilities? Did you cook in the home as a child?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. Julia M says:

    This just totally made my morning :) Very sweet and thoughtful… and so very resourceful! Reminds me of my stepsister and myself around that age

  2. What a sweet story! Made me smile!

  3. My nearly 6 year old will get up on the weekend and pour milk for herself and her three year-old sister and make them toast :)
    As a fellow engineer, I enjoyed Danny’s Risk Management comment.
    Noah’s problem solving skills are Fantastic!! :)

  4. This is adorable Aimée – I’ll never look at juice quite the same way again! A little spittle can’t hurt us, right? !
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)’s last post: French Fridays with Dorie: (Smoked Salmon) Waffles

  5. OMGosh, this is THE most hilarious story! I have to give props to Noah for sheer ingenuity. Necessity is the mother of invention, is it not?

    • You hit the nail on the head, Gail. My engineer of a husband was so impressed with my 8yo’s practical problem solving skills, he almost missed the fact that WE DRANK SPIT.

      Sorry, the all-caps still come out every time.

  6. This is so adorable and sweet! I love this post.
    naomi’s last post: Brownie and Oatmeal Monster Cookies

  7. Oh, what a wonderful post! This really made me smile (and chuckle in places!). You guys have got some pretty incredible kids.
    Kathryn’s last post: flourless salted dark chocolate cookies {gluten free}

  8. McKenzie says:

    Well this just made my Friday. I think your kid is a genius for the straw technique, spittle aside. It would be really great if you could make a post on how to raise your kids to get to this point of independence in the kitchen!

  9. Well, as we know, I’m one of the friends that snickered. Of course, I told hubby the story but when I got to the straw in the jar, he looked at me and interrupted: “So they sucked and spit it out, hey?”. I looked at him and said “You’ve had an interesting life, haven’t you, that your mind would instantaly go there?” Or maybe it’s a boy thing :))))
    Lynne’s last post: New address: Talie Chocolat in Laval

  10. OMG!! the orange juice story is amazing!!!! I also love how he looks barely tall enough to reach the pancakes to flip.

  11. juli vrotney says:

    I couldn’t stop laughing…how hilarious and great problem solving on the boys part. You made my morning. pancakes sound wonderful….we had some today too.

  12. My kids love ‘working’ with us in the kitchen. They were about the age of yours when we gave them carte Blanche on Friday nights. The truth be told, when they were that age, (a) we were likely going out a bit later for a bite and (b) Sat morning was usually the time the kitchen got a more thorough cleaning. So this wasn’t as risky as it sounds. I remember my youngest needing to pull a stool over to reach the top mounted freezer to make her favorite…ice cream with peas (still frozen)! Later, some epic pasta sauces and pizzas were created in there. Now…they are in their 30s and I love to visit on Friday nights…still relaxed, still together most weeks, still in the kitchen, still creating, with their spouses, their kids, their friends, and anyone else who drops by.

    • That is the best testimonial, Brenda! Good on you for letting them loose and how utterly delightful that they now cook with their families. Sounds just charming.

      Now, peas and ice cream? That’s unusual!

  13. Margaret says:

    Hi All:

    Love this story! What great kiddos you have. I think kids should be involved in the kitchen as soon as they are able. We are always tripping over stools so that our kids can reach and help if they want. Yes, I cooked as a kid in my home and helped with the canning. I remember stirring, stirring, stirring the jam until I thought my hand would burst into flame or fall off! I remember all three of us kids lined up making pumpkin pie filling- one bowl per kid. The first meal I cooked was my favorite-pan fried chicken, cream gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I made this meal in college too when (as an animal science major) I received a “control” fryer for helping process the birds. I think that was the first meal I cooked for my future husband.

    Of course kids should be in the kitchen…how else will they learn to feed themselves?
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for commenting, Margaret! That is truly impressive. Fried chicken? Love it. I need to instruct my children on cooking more meats & seafoods – why not, right?

  14. This is precious and hillarious and gives me hope for my future….With kids 4 1/2 and 1 1/2, I’d totally “pay” for having such a nice breakfast made for me by drinking one of their spit…heck, I might even drink BOTH of their spit. ;)

  15. This is seriously one of the cutest things, ever. I love that you documented this so you’ll always have it and the kids will love looking back on it!
    Julie @ Table for Two’s last post: 30+ Memorial Day Recipe Ideas

  16. Awwww..this is the sweetest story I have heard it in a long time!! Loved it..
    As a mom of a 4 year old I loved the way orange juice was served…I found it absolutely cute :) love, hugs to your great kids!

  17. Kimberley Allan Mulla says:

    Love this! So adorable! The juice was pretty funny and one of those memories that will surely stick. I will say this, you shouldn’t apologize at the bottom of the post for using your iPhone. The photos are good and if they had been anything other that quick phone snapshots it wouldn’t have been real. The fact that this is real, and not staged or styled, is what makes it so heart- warming :)

  18. This is hilarious & your kids are charmers :)

  19. How sweet is that?!! Beautiful post ;-) Your kids are so so so cute.

  20. How sweet! I would make my parents coffee in bed as a kid. It would be instant coffee, and since I wasn’t allowed to boil water I would use warm water from the sink… and put in tons of milk and sugar. My parents were so brave taking the first couple of sips and then would “take it to the shower because it’s so good!”. You’re kids seem to be much better :)
    Five O’clock Shallots’s last post: Warm Weather Peach and Apple Gazpacho

  21. Oh MY Gosh! My hubby and I were hollowing with laughter. How precious and what a memory! I can’t imagine a life without our kids. We are now at grandchildren stage but we treasure every moment. All my children cook — a girl and two boys and we encouraged them at an early age. It is wonderful to see them being self-sufficient.
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way’s last post: Maiolica Lost Then Found { Maiolica Persa Poi Trovata}

  22. Wow – I’m impressed. Even fresh flowers from the garden. You’ve trained them well. Happy Anniversary.
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes’s last post: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Streusel Top

  23. oh my goodness, i LOVE this. hurrah for independent kids!
    amanda’s last post: Day Trips from NYC: Storm King

  24. my eyes are still watering from laughing so hard about the orange juice! SO ingenious!! your kids are awesome. like you i had my girls in the kitchen with me as soon as i was sure they would sit still on a counter & not touch if i said no. – as a result both have turned out to be superb & creative cooks. its funny i personally took it for granted my kids would be in the kitchen with me. i was with my mom and that goes back generations.

    can you imagine my shock when my eldest made a comment (around the end of high school) that at least half her friends would starve to death if they couldnt rely on fast food places. they had never been taught at home and since schools no longer have home ec, well you get the picture – made me sad.

    i imagine your young ones will continue to have ‘adventures’ especially when the little joins the budding chefs in the kitchen!

  25. Would these freeze well do you think?

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