Flippin’ Fantastic Flapjacks

Pancakes. I love ’em; Grace won’t eat ’em. I make pancakes; she eats Chex. I make flapjacks; she asks for oatmeal. I cook up some hotcakes, and she wants a protein bar.

So you will understand my reserved sense of excitement when I discovered Jim Belosic’s blog, Jim’s Pancakes. I’d seen cooks on the Food Channel use squeeze bottles to create some cartoon-like pancakes before, but Jim’s blog takes that to a whole new level. And earlier this month, the genius of the site came out in a book.

OMG Pancakes! is even better than the blog, pulling together the pancake artist’s best projects with introductory material that teaches you how to do it at home.

The projects Jim has come up with are fantastic. A bowl of small pancakes (the size of a nickel) become pancake cereal. With a little colored batter and some free time on the weekends, he has created bee hives, pancake hamburgers, and even a pancake salad. The pictures themselves are worth a look.

So armed with this thin volume, I set off to create my own special Saturday morning breakfast tradition. I bought the squeeze bottles, mixed and colored the batter, and tried to make a tree, the sun, and pancake cereal (the latter was a hit with Tater!). You will notice, however, that I don’t have any pictures of my own pancake creations. The reason is that it’s really not as easy as it looks, and my first try was a disaster, aesthetically speaking. (Best part about this medium is that your failures taste as good as your successes.)  It took some time to get the temperature just right. And the bottles don’t offer as much control as you might imagine. All my lines came out in looping streams of batter.

But here’s the good news: Grace ate all the pancakes we put on her plate! The fact that the tree looked like a green and brown snowman didn’t matter one bit. This in itself was worth the effort, and it’s enough to justify trying ideas from this book until I get it right.



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