We had pancakes for dinner. We do that occasionally.

Not for the first time, I wondered how people with large families or hungry teenagers (or, god forbid, both) manage to cook dinner. Today it was just me and Adrian, but when I make pancakes for the whole family, frying them can take me close to an hour. And that’s with three pans working in parallel.

Perhaps it’s like with baby-wearing. You begin early, when the baby is small, and your strength grows with the baby. Maybe my patience for making pancakes will grow in tandem with the family’s appetites.

Swedish and Estonian pancakes, by the way, are large and thin, akin to French crêpes. Savoury varieties exist and occasionally make an appearance in our home, but usually pancakes are an excuse for us to indulge in jam. We normally have a sizeable assortment of home made jams in the fridge to choose from. It is quite possible to eat your fill of pancakes and not use any jam twice. The ones in the photo are a damson and cherry jam that Eric made, and plum jam made by our friend P.

The kids often prefer even more sugary pancake toppings: honey, chocolate sauce or just plain table sugar.

Another reason to love pancakes is that they can be eaten with fingers without creating a huge mess. I like that. There is a special kind of immediacy and closeness in eating with my fingers, feeling only food and no metal in my mouth. It is a softer, more personal way to eat. Not many meals are finger-friendly; most require utensils. I also always eat sushi with my fingers, as well as tortellini and other types of filled pasta (without sauce).

Hmm. I often remind Adrian to use his fork, not his fingers – for food that I eat with a fork, like pasta and vegetables. I have a lower tolerance for sticky, greasy fingers than he does. Of course there are some societal norms here that he needs to learn, but still, perhaps I should reconsider in some cases and let him eat with his hands more often.