Story, art, magic and creative activities for families to share and do.
According to various Native American myths, our earth wouldn't be here without the Turtle. When all that existed was water, it became clear that humans could not exist under the waves. So Muskrat scooped dirt from the ocean floor and formed it into a ball. It was Turtle, however, who volunteered to carry the ball on her back to the surface of the water. Over time, the ball grew and became the world we now know. Some Native Americans call the U.S.A. "Turtle Island" in honor of the great Turtle who carries the world to this day. Now as spring approaches we can celebrate life and Turtle, who supports it by making... Turtle Pancakes (no turtles were harmed in the creation of this meal!)
Number of servings: 6 (Or one really hungry pre-teen)
Total prep time: 15 minutes, cooking time: 20 minutes
Special features: vegetarian (contains dairy & egg products)
You will need:
- 2 large eggs
- 3 TBS canola oil
- 1-cup milk
- 1-1/2 cups pancake mix
- 10 oz. package of frozen creamed spinach
- A blender or food processor that is large enough to hold 10 cups of liquid.
The night before you plan to make the pancakes, place the creamed spinach in the refrigerator to thaw.
Place the defrosted spinach in the blender and add the milk. Blend together until smooth.
Add two tablespoons of the oil and two eggs to the mix and blend until smooth.
While the blender is going, slowly add the pancake batter, incorporating into the batter until all the ingredients are moistened. You may have to stop the blender to scrape down the sides of the bowl. DO NOT OVER MIX.
Put the batter aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Heat a large griddle or frying pan on medium low heat. When the pan is heated, add one tablespoon of oil to the pan.
When the oil is heated, carefully pour ¼ cup of the batter at a time into the pan to form the pancakes. Depending on the size of the pan, you may be able to cook 4-6 pancakes at a time. Watch your pancakes carefully, should they begin to burn, turn the heat down slightly. The pancakes are ready to flip when they are dry on the edges, and the bubbles that form on the top leave little tunnels in the pancake when they burst.
Flip each pancake carefully, and continue cooking for another couple of minutes until they become golden green-brown. Cooked pancakes may remain slightly gooey in the center.
Place cooked pancakes on a warmed dish. Continue until all the batter is gone, adding oil as necessary. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can actually make the pancakes in little turtle shapes by adding small amounts of batter to the edges of slightly cooked batter to form feet and a head. Serve with sour cream, maple syrup, applesauce or sliced strawberries.
Note for elders...My daughter insists she hates cooked spinach. But she often requests these green vegetable pancakes. If you have children who are reluctant to eat green leafy vegetables, this recipe may be just what you are looking for to get green stuff into them. My grandfather often replaced the spinach with zucchini at summer’s end. I prefer the spinach as it has a sweeter taste on my tongue. Enjoy!
By W. Lyon Martin
Turtle Photos by Sam Howzit Flickr Creative Commons
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