If you haven't yet discovered Findus and Pettson Series from Hawthorn Press, I even slightly envy you that great feeling of thrill and excitement when you open a new book and realise that this is something very special.
Findus is a very unusual cat, he wears stripey trousers and can talk. His companion farmer Pettson is a slightly nutty old man who treats the cat as his own child. They are both endearing characters.
Looking back at the list of books I read in 2012, I would say this was my discovery of the year in the literature for children category.
Sven Nordqvist's narrative is always ingenious, original, entertaining and has a quirky charm. The illustrations are absolutely brilliant, with great attention to detail. Each page is a magical journey into the world of cranky old Pettson, his cat Findus and his household of chickens and muckles (fantastic mischievous little creatures which reminded me of Tove Jansson's Moomins).
Eddie doesn't get tired of listening to the delightful Findus stories, and I must confess, I read them with great pleasure too. We love to sit snuggled together on the bed, poring over the pages and having a giggle at the madcap adventures of the odd duo.
The other day while shopping in Sainsbury's, I saw a big stash of pancake pans at half price. I put one in the basket and told Eddie we'd get some pancakes done Findus-style on Sunday. Lo and behold, at 7am in the morning Eddie started telling me it was time to get up and make pancakes with cream and jam. Like Findus. I tried to persuade him it was way too early, and let's have a little lie-in, but he kept reminding me of my promise.
With the kind permission of the publisher, I am sharing a Pancake pie recipe.
600ml/2.5 cups milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
500ml/2 cups flour
100ml/0.5 cups water
2 tbsp butter
200ml/0.8 cups double cream
1. Mix the 5 eggs, half the milk, sugar and salt.
2. Add the flour and mix until smooth with no lumps. Add the remaining milk and water. Leave to sit for a moment.
3. In a frying pan melt the butter and add this to the mix so that you don't have to use so much butter between pourings. Cook the pancakes and let them cool.
4. Whip the cream. Spread the cream and jam alternately on the pancakes. Decorate.
I haven't followed the recipe precisely. I used only 3 eggs and less of all the other ingredients, as I was not sure we'll eat the whole lot in one go (obviously Findus and Pettson have very hearty appetites), and I wouldn't want to reheat the pancakes that have cream on them. I can't tell you the exact quantities, as I don't usually measure any ingredients for pancakes, mixing until I get the desired consistency of the batter.
Here is my stash of pancakes before the cream and jam were added.
Here is my little man looking at our pancake construction with admiration.
I have found a perfect cream for the recipe: Weight Watchers West country thick cream (reduced fat), the consistency of the cream was just right, not too runny and light enough.
As for the jam, I used the wild strawberry jam that my Mum makes, it is more runny in comparison to the shop-bought varieties and thus ideal for pouring over ice cream or pancakes.
The idea is that you slice the pancake pie like you do with a cake, but we just rolled each pancake into a tube and ate. It was absolutely delicious.
And I also want to persuade you to read the story how Pettson made a pancake pie for Findus, it is utterly hilarious. I know you will fall in love with the cheeky cat Findus and grumpy old Pettson.