Snow Pancakes


Years ago, probably when I was a small girl, my mother found an old recipe for ‘Snow Pancakes ‘. We religiously used the recipe each year whenever we had a few days of snow,

Whilst Laura & William were also very young there seemed to be short bursts of snow each January, but it’s been neither here nor there for the last 15 yrs so we seemed to lose the tradition of making snow pancakes.

At Crake Trees we have had a proper snowfall last night  and woke up to a beautiful silence and sunshine that surrounds the countryside for a short time on that first morning of winter snow .

The sheep are happy, the horses want to be out straight away without rugs and the jack resells go mad rolling over and overrun the snow.

Apart from all exposed water pipes being frozen at the cattle sheds life suddenly seems good again

The grandsons Bill and Ted wanted to make pancakes for supper, the snow is crisp but fluffy  and just right for that important task of being the premier ingredient for the pancakes

What is there about snow? who thought of using snow in the pancake mix? I do not know, but they certainly taste wonderful and have a strange texture that the frozen air molecules create.

When following my recipe be careful where you gather your snow, not where the dogs have had a wee or any other suspect area.

I collected it from the top of our Oak seating blocks from the front garden, where no birds have been hopping about on either.

We had the snow pancakes with left over Rum Butter from Christmas and a squirt of lemon to sharpen them up a little.

Mix 9 oz of Plain flour (I used half plain and half Spelt flour) with 4 beaten eggs and about 2 oz of melted butter and a drop on vanilla essence

Slowly beat in ½ pt of milk (with a wooden spoon) and then the ½ pt (by volume) of fresh snow

Make the pancakes with a very little extra butter and oil used to grease the pan

Layer up and keep covered and warm

Remember the first pancake is the cooks perk, which can be eaten whilst the second is cooking

The Shepherds Hut…..A short history

Its creation from an idea to completion.


Thwaites engineers at Morland tackled the job of engineering the skeleton of The Shepherds Hut.

Jan  made drawings and calculations  to scale from my own and mikes artistic efforts with a few alterations to get it in proportion.

With a sprung base and articulated back wheels the frame looked enormous.

What a struggle to get it back to Crake Trees

After winter we managed to find room none of the lambing sheds so that the body work could progress whatever the weather.

But progress was slow as other more pressing jobs got in the way

It was not until we had a booking that Mike had to change up a gear and enlist Malcolm’s help to get completed by August

The galvanised sheeting cladding went on fine, but the curved roof caused a lot of brute force, and the internal insulation and boarding a frustrating amount of waste.

The next hut will be altered slightly to allow more economic use of the timber

When the lovely oak floor went down, it all began to look rather smart.

We had much discussion over the size of the windows and the placing of the door.

Then, adding a verandah and getting it balanced and looking ‘right’ was the next hurdle.

I sometimes thought we had too many opinions , as the construction was certainly creating a lot of interest in the village. People walking the footpath that goes down by the yard stopped to chat, inspect the unusual construction, and add their pennyworth of advise !

But, at last it was time for me to paint the boarding , scrub the windows and floor and try to get the Shepherds Hut pulled to just the right place, by the pond, with the best view and level of course!

The Shepherds Hut certainly looks the part, as you drive up the track it looks like its always been down by the pond, looking right down over the farm to the Eden Valley.

Mike then had to build the Oak bed and the special slate stand for the tiny wood stove.

I have had some simple blinds made, with old handmade crocheted rugs, a local made peg mat and some wonderful locally forged candle holders, all is warm and welcoming.

So… the first guests came to stay one balmy August evening and we were relieved to hear next morning, when I took down their breakfast basket,that the night had been a great success.

Westmorland Oatcakes     

Here is something to try from my “breakfast specials” selection.

The Westmorland Oatcakes are popular, mainly because they are not what folks eat at home everyday

We use Oatmeal from the Watermill at Great Salkeld

, and sometimes Spelt instead of Wheat Flour,

which means the oatcakes can be tolerated by folks with a wheat allergy

12 oz Medium and Fine Oatmeal

8 oz SR Flour or Spelt plus baking powder

1pt Milk and plain Yoghurt mixed

1 pt Water

½ tbsp Salt

½ tbsp Sugar

Mix with a wooden spoon and soak overnight

Re mix well and maybe add a drop more water

Cook the oatcakes as you would cook pancakes

Using a few drops of melted oil/butter mix to grease the pan

It’s quite a job that requires a lot of patience, and the skill of a good oatcake comes with much practise

I can never make them as well as Agnes, who used to work for me.

Polish people have a natural talent in the pancake department

When you have a good stack of oatcakes, freeze them interwoven with greaseproof.

They are served at Crake Trees Manor with 2 slices of smoked bacon and a tot of maple syrup…


At  dinner- time.

Serve with a grating of hard ewe’s cheese from the Appleby Creamery or Winter Tarn Keverigg and homemade apple & date chutney.