With all the daily hustle, it’s easy to neglect the virtue of spontaneity. So free up time and make Playful Pancakes. A child will delight in choosing the shapes—his or her initials or a silly animal, for instance. Even teens find this fun! 

Playful Pancakes

serves 4 to 6


2 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large egg yolks

2 egg whites 

Mix the dry ingredients—flour, salt, baking soda and sugar—in a small bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil and egg yolks. Whisk the dry ingredients into this mixture and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold them into the pancake batter. 

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add a generous amount of butter (it makes edges crispy) and pour batter into two-to-three-inch rounds, flipping once; or, better yet, form initials or creative shapes. Serve with butter and real maple syrup.


Helpful Hint:  If pressed for time, use pancake mix. My favorite is from New Hope Mills, operated since 1823 in upstate New York. 

From Chapter  3: Spontaneity - Pots and Pans, and Pancakes