Okay, Dads – it’s all you. Whether you’re just a tourist in the kitchen or a whiz with a chef’s knife, the pressure is on every May to come up with breakfast in bed and presents from the kids (and make it look easy). We know you can do it! Here are a few crafts, a few recipes, and a few words of wisdom from the trenches:
The Food. No matter how precisely you time your cooking, there will be last minute delays – your four-year-old wants the flowers to be ‘just right’, your two-year-old drank the orange juice when you weren’t looking, the baby pulled off her diaper and made a run for it… It’s easier on your sanity to pick a breakfast that doesn’t need to be hot to be tasty. Scones or quiche could be made the night before, or you could whip up the easy pancake/waffle batter at the end of this post. There are no extra points for difficulty, by the way – a yogurt parfait or a bowl of fresh fruit with bagels or muffins still ‘count’ as making breakfast. Whatever you choose, feed the kids something while you cook. You’ll keep mischievous little hands busy, and you’ll reduce the possibility of hungry-kid-meltdowns later.
Get the kids involved. Even the youngest toddlers can color a card for Mommy, and the older ones can make a simple craft like pipe cleaner flowers or, a favorite at our house, a garden catalog bouquet (cut out pictures of flowers and glue them into a toilet paper tube “vase”).
Clean the kitchen! Take a few extra minutes to wash the dirty dishes from your breakfast efforts. Or at least hide all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and take care of them later.
Presentation. Give your wife a two-minute warning if you can. Then carry the liquids yourself, separately from the food. (I’m drawing from childhood experience here – I remember my mother gamely eating coffee-soaked scrambled eggs when I was in elementary school. ) Don’t forget napkins and eating utensils!
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients until mix is combined, but still a bit lumpy. For pancakes – pour into preheated pan or onto preheated griddle – turn pancakes when bubbles in the middle pop. For waffles – pour into preheated waffle iron – my small round waffle iron takes about 1/3 cup batter per waffle, and each waffle takes about five minutes.