Today on the tray: Pippi’s pancakes

September 26 is National Pancake Day.

Previously on National Pancake Day, I posted about Lisa Douglas’s “hotscakes” on Green Acres and the Swedish Chef’s “flappenjacken” on The Muppet Show. I’ve also done pancake posts about the classic IHOP commercials starring “Cliff,” and the short film Winter of the Witch, in which Hermione Gingold plays a blueberry-pancake-making witch.

book illustration of Pippi Longstocking making a pancake
Pippi Longstocking makes a pancake in one of the book’s original illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman.
So, with another National Pancake Day upon us, I asked myself: Who else can I write about who made pancakes? And then I remembered a chapter in Astrid Lindgren’s 1945 book Pippi Longstocking in which Pippi makes a pancake, doing it in her own wild fashion, throwing eggs in the air (with one landing on her head) and flinging the pancake across the kitchen.

I still remember Pippi’s rhyme: “Now we’re going to make a pancake. Now there’s going to be a pankee. Now we’re going to fry a pankye.” Maybe that made more sense in the original Swedish.

But this is a TV blog, and, as it turns out, there was a 1969 Pippi Longstocking TV series that I somehow missed. Here are some clips. I don’t know if the pancake made it into the series. If not, that was a serious omission.

The pancake scene did make it into the 1997 animated film, and there is even a song. As a rule, I don’t consider the 1990s a “classic” entertainment era, since I was in my 30s in the 1990s and I believe I’m still in my 30s now. But here is the pancake song:

“Recipe for Life,” Pippi Longstocking animated film (1997)

In the book, there is only one pancake. I remember that as a young reader, this left me feeling kind of hungry. But in the scene from the film, she makes tons of them. Even the horse and the monkey get their own. I approve of this change.

So let’s fling some pancakes into the air and have a happy National Pancake Day!

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