As much as we all look forward to tucking into pancakes, they tend to be scoffed in about 30 seconds! As it’s half term, we’ve put together some pancake themed activities to fill your day - which may even burn off the pancakes!

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Pancake flipping competition

Make a spare pancake (not to be eaten) and with a clean cold frying pan see who can flip their pancake the most times - without dropping it in a minute!  This can also be done with a small beanbag if pancakes aren't your thing. Did you know? In 2012, Australian Chef Brad Jolly flipped a pancake 140 times in a minute!

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Pancake race

The perfect game to play in your garden! If the weather isn't dry - mark out a course around the house, each person has a clean cold pan with a pancake in it, and the first one to the finish line wins! If you drop your pancake, back to the start. If you don’t have enough frying pans then time each person’s turn to get the winner. Alternatively, you can use paper plates instead of pans (a bit lighter for children to carry, but also trickier to keep your pancake on). To add a level of difficulty, insist each competitor must try and toss the pancake as they run.

Pancake balancing race – no not real pancakes! Cut out a paper pancake and see who can balance it on their head while racing from one end of the garden to the other, if it drops, back to the beginning.

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Pancake decorating 

Ok this won’t burn any calories, but loads of fun can be had making funny pancake faces with raisins for eyes, apple slices for a mouth, strawberry laces for hair, and grapes for a nose! Lay out a selection of sweet and healthy goodies for children to select from.

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Discover different traditions

Did you know? In Northern Ireland it is traditional that the oldest daughter tosses the first pancake, tradition says if it flips over and lands in the pan she will marry that year and if it drops she will remain single - a bit of fun but probably not the most reliable relationship advice!

Canadians celebrate Shrove Tuesday by baking objects of value into pancakes, coins, wedding rings and buttons. The coin finders are believed to become rich, the finder of the ring will be first married and button finders will go on to be tailors or a seamstress. If you'd like to do something similar, it might be safer to use chocolate coins, buttons and jelly sweet rings to roll into your finished pancakes for your family to find.

If you are a member of your local Church or community centre don’t forget to check their social media or website for any activities and resources they may have on offer. The RAMM and other local attractions also have lots of ideas on their websites.

Did you know in other countries Shrove Tuesday is known as 'Mardi Gras' which means 'fat Tuesday' in French! Places such as Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans celebrate with carnivals and parades. Why not have your own Mardi Gras, a great chance for the kids (and adults) to get the dressing up box out! There’s no right or wrong way - the brighter, more elaborate and outrageous the costume the better! Spend the afternoon/day before crafting crazy headdresses, masks and decorations for you, the house or garden - maybe get a few of those Christmas fairy lights back out! Then later dress in your fabulous costumes and parade around your house and garden, dancing to jazz, calypso, samba, rumba and funk style music to get that real Mardi Gras feel. Maybe have a best costume and best dancing competition!

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Treasure Hunt

Cut out some paper pancakes and hide them around the house (like an Easter egg hunt). For older children add clues to the back of them to take them to the next 'pancake' - you choose the winning prize!

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Scrumptious pancake recipes

Flipping fantastic! there’s nothing like pancakes to get creative in the kitchen - they are inexpensive, simple, filling, can be savoury or sweet and made to be suitable for most dietary requirements. Here are some basic recipes, not forgetting topping and filling ideas:

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Basic pancakes (makes 14-16 pancakes - deliaonline.com)

Ingredients:

- 110g plain flour

- Pinch of salt

- 2 large eggs

- 200ml semi-skimmed milk mixed with 75ml water

- 50g butter

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Method:

1- Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl

2 - Make a well in the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs with a hand whisk or electric whisk, making sure you incorporate all the flour. As the mixture starts to thicken gradually add the milk and water mixture, whilst still whisking

3 - Melt the butter in a pan, spoon two tablespoons of the butter into the batter and whisk pouring the rest of the butter in a bowl to use to lubricate frying pan

4 - Get the frying pan really hot then turn down to medium, do a test pancake with around two tablespoons of batter to check it’s the right amount for the size of your pan. As soon as the batter hits the pan tip it from side to side to ensure and even coating. After about 30 seconds use a palette knife to lift an edge and check its tinged brown

5 - Flip the pancake over, the second side will need less time, once done and slide the pancake onto a plate and repeat. To serve add your topping of choice and roll the pancake

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Gluten free and lactose free pancakes (allrecipes.co.uk)

Ingredients: Serves 2, so just double recipe ingredients for a family!

- 125g gluten free self-rising flour

- 2 tablespoons caster sugar

- 1 pinch ground cinnamon

- 3 large eggs

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 240ml lactose free milk or coconut milk

- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or dairy free spread

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Method:

1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add remaining dry ingredients.

2. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix together until combined.

3. Slowly pour the milk in whilst stirring until you have a good consistency. You do not want your pancakes to be too runny or too thick

4. Leave the mixture for 15 minutes, this will help the batter to even out and thicken up

5. Heat frying pan on medium heat and add half the coconut oil or dairy free spread

6. Taking the pan off the heat pour approximately a sixth of the batter into the pan and slowly move the pan in a circular motion to get an even cover and put back on heat

7. Flip pancakes once bubbles start to form in pancake

8. Cook for a further 30 to 45 seconds on the other side and slide onto plate. Serve with topping of your choice

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Vegan crepes (allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

- ½ cup of soy milk

- ½ cup water

- ¼ cup melted soy margarine

- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar (light brown sugar)

- 2 tablespoons maple syrup

- 1 cup plain flour

- ¼ teaspoon salt

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Method: 

1. In a large mixing bowl blend soy milk, water, soy margarine, sugar, syrup. Flour and salt. Cover and chill for two hours

2. Lightly grease frying pan with some soy margarine and heat until hot. Pour approx. 3 tablespoons batter into pan and swirl for even cover. Cook until golden, flip and cook on opposite side

4. Serve with a topping of your choice

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Sweet topping ideas

1. You can’t go wrong with the simple but delicious lemon and sugar combo

2. Lightly spread a hazelnut spread over the pancake, roll and add sliced banana on top

3. Scatter sliced strawberries over the pancake and add a dollop of clotted cream on the side

4. If you like to eat seasonally, whip up a rhubarb and apple compote seasoned with cinnamon & sugar, serve warm rolled in your pancake and topped with a dollop of cream or ice cream

5. For a really sweet tooth, you have to try s’mores filled pancakes! Pop some marshmallows on greaseproof paper in the oven and take out as soon as they are bubbly and golden. Crumble a layer of digestive biscuit on your pancake followed by chocolate chips and your warmed marshmallows then roll your pancake. Top with mini marshmallows ice cream and chocolate sauce

Savoury topping ideas

- Ham & cheese: Ooh that gets your imagination – pick a thick cut ham, hardest bit is choosing which cheese to go with, are you a cream cheese fan, or a strong cheddar , or do you prefer a nice blue or gruyere!

- Crispy duck: Of course, but maybe mix it up with some cooked peaches or a plum sauce

- Full English: It would be rude not to! Fried egg & bacon, sliced sausage in your pancake, baked beans and tomato on the side

- Spinach and feta: Cook some onion and garlic until soft, add some spinach and a sprinkle of nutmeg,  put to one side and then cook pancakes. Once flipped but while pancake is still in pan add the spinach mixture to one half and crumble over feta and fold pancake in half and serve

Sautéed seasonal vegetables: Add the seasoning of your choice and spoon onto your warm pancake and roll serve with a fresh tomato salsa or maybe a creamy mushroom sauce

Related

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery - RAMM
Museum
Royal Albert Memorial Museum Queen Street Exeter

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) is one of Exeter City Council’s flagship services. RAMM is also supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Stunning displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and a changing programme of exhibitions and events means there is likely to be something different to see on every visit. Free entry gives everyone the freedom to visit many times and to stay any length of time.

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