In this week's Junkyard Tales story, “Flower Petals”, the junkyard is bursting with spring flowers. All of the animals are excitedly decorating the piles of junk with strings of daffodils and tulips in preparation for the flower parade. This year, however, their decorations are discovered by the warden! They have precious little time to come up with a plan to clean up all the spring decorations without the warden knowing. What will they do?
Well, if they'd made this week's recipe, I'll tell you what they could do — eat their flowers for breakfast before the warden noticed!
No, I'm not suggesting the animals should have eaten their daffodils or tulips, but rather that a clever junkyard animal — or regular mom or dad — can make basic breakfast pancakes into beautiful spring flowers, worthy of a first day of spring breakfast.
While you'll find a good pancake recipe below, feel free to use your own (or even boxed mix), too. The only important thing is that the batter not be too thick or lumpy.
Once your batter is mixed, funnel it into a squeeze bottle—we used a washed out honey bottle—then use the bottle to “draw” flowers onto a hot griddle. A few helpful hints:
First, make sure your griddle is well oiled before you start so that the pancakes don't stick.
Second, it's helpful to make the lines of the flowers a bit thicker than you think you should, so that they don't break when you flip them.
Third, be creative! There are a million different kinds of flowers in nature, so whatever shape you make is probably a flower of some kind. Think “artistic flowers” rather than perfect ones.
Once you have a big stack of beautiful flower pancakes, slice up some delicious fruit to make brightly colored flower “petals” on everyone's plates.
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
a handful of strawberries (or other fruit of your choice) for the petals
maple syrup, for serving
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, butter, and egg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk again. Don't feel like you have to get rid of all of the lumps, but they will tend to clog your squeeze bottle, so whisk for, oh, maybe 30 seconds more than you would for ordinary pancakes.
Funnel the batter into a squeeze bottle, and use the bottle to draw a flower shape on a well-oiled, hot griddle. When the batter starts to bubble, carefully flip the flower with a spatula. Then, cook it for another minute or two on the other side before removing the pancake to a plate covered with a towel to keep it warm.
Continue on until you run out of batter. Then, slices a few strawberries to fit into the petals, and serve your pretty flower pancakes with lots of warm maple syrup.
If you liked this recipe, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.