Learning With Savoury Pikelets

by Deb on September 14, 2010

Savoury Pikelets

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: We’re all home schoolers

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how their children learn at home as a natural part of their day. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Education at home is extremely close to my heart, so much so that if I can put in a plug here I run a blogging carnival dedicated to it called ‘Teach/Learn.’ No matter where you are or what your kids do most of the time, they are learning at home – we are all teachers and all learners all the time.  Rather than something wordy and philosophical, I thought I’d show a really simple twist on one of our favourite activities – cooking.  Kids can learn all sorts of things without realising they’re learning, you don’t have to add anything to make it a special experience.

Savoury PikeletsTasting Spices

I think everyone learns pikelets early in their cooking career.  What we did rather than the sweet version, was taste all the herbs in the spice rack.  We decided which ones we liked the best and substituted them for sugar in the recipe.  (Incidentally this is good practice extending from the known to the unknown.)


  • 1 cup* self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup* milk – For a runnier mix, add more milk.
  • 1 egg
  • Chosen herbs, amount to taste.  Err on the side of caution!  Too much and they are inedible.

*Australian cup, which I think is slightly different to a US cup.  I don’t know if it will affect the recipe, common sense says it shouldn’t but who knows 🙂


  1. Sift flour into a bowl with herbs.  To tell the truth we don’t normally bother to sift.
  2. Whisk milk and egg together.  Large bowls with high sides are a good idea with little ones.
  3. Add milk/egg to flour and keep whisking until smooth.  Or you can do what we sometimes do, put the flour in a bowl, add the unwhisked egg and milk, and mix really, really well!
  4. Put spoonfuls into a frypan over medium heat, turn when bubbles start to form on the top.  Or you can use a squeezy bottle for kids to do them for themselves.
  5. When they are bubbling they are ready to flip.  My 4 year old is just starting to do the actual cooking, I flip them in the middle of cooking and she lifts them onto a plate when they are finished..
  6. Serve with butter, or we’ve used them instead of toast with savoury mince.  Ones flavoured with cumin can substitute for tacos or tortillas in mexican food.

FlippingSo what are they learning?

English – Following an instructional text.  Many kids recipes come with simple illustrations and this is a form of literacy too.

Maths – Measurement, fractions, counting.

Science – Observation through taste, experimentation by varying a known recipe, following an investigative format, changes in properties with mixing and cooking, discussion about where ingredients come from, especially herbs.

Technology and Design – following a design brief, testing and modification, cooking skills.

Health – nutrition, self-care, safety

Cognitive/Social/Emotional/Affective learning – co-operation, patience, persistence in following several steps, authentic learning that has a genuine use, indpendence and negotiation if they prefer different herbs and have to make a case for their favourite.

And these are just from the basic activity, it could be extended in all sorts of directions depending on where it fits with what you are already doing and what happens while you are doing it!  The beauty is you don’t have to let the kids know any of this is happening 😉  We are all learning all the time.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated September 14 with all the carnival links.)

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Seonaid September 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm

It’s so true – cooking is one of the best ways of sneaky education. I also like to encourage it because it is one of the great missing skills in our current culture. If you can cook you are a hero in many circles… or completely perplexing. I guess it depends on the circle. 🙂


Dionna @ Code Name: Mama September 15, 2010 at 12:13 am

What an excellent list of skills learned by the simple act of cooking. Love it! Thank you Deb.
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Michelle @ The Parent Vortex September 15, 2010 at 12:52 am

I learned how to do fractions while baking with my mom. Once I was in school I struggled mightily with adding and subtracting fractions that were written down on paper and my mom and I went back into the kitchen to re-learn them. Hands on learning makes things so much more relevant!


Mandy @ Living Peacefully with Children September 15, 2010 at 11:58 am

My children love cooking.


Lauren @ Hobo Mama September 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I love how children learn without its needing to be forced at all. And I love your carnival!

I have to tell you I had no idea what pikelets were. I was expecting some kind of fish. 🙂 But now that I know, I want to try them. They sound like so much fun to make with kids, particularly as Mikko loves pancakes. I love that you give the “right” directions (with the sifting and the extra bowl to whisk) and then admit you don’t always do that. I’m always ignoring the recipe’s instructions that way. 😉
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Erica @ ChildOrganics September 19, 2010 at 10:47 am

I’m going to try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing! We’re all a bunch of foodies here, so any time we can cook together it’s fun ( and messy!). I like how you broke down how the kids are learning doing such a simple activity.


Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori Now September 20, 2010 at 7:07 am

I also thought “pikelets” would be some sort of fish! I’m learning at home, too! Great activity – food preparation is always fun and so educational!
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Marita September 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Great idea. Annie is really getting into cooking after watching Junior Masterchef and I think she’d like this idea of a twist on pikelets 🙂
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Paula@Cool Birthday Gifts June 4, 2011 at 6:23 am

This is such a simple and great idea for the kids to learn a lot of things ! thanks, will put it in use pretty soon 😛
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