Today's Griddlehoppers featured leftover pink Valentine's Day sprinkles.

It’s snowing heavily again today. We are expecting about 16 inches total through tomorrow. The Board of Ed activated it’s Code Red calling system to let us know that the schools would be closed…they did this at 5:23 a.m., waking the whole household as all the phones rang loudly with the glad, glad news. This left me in a less than wonderful mood.

When I finally agreed to be dragged from bed, I decided to make a breakfast treat for the kids (and myself), so I whipped up a batch of Griddlehoppers, a treat that my father invented to cheer up grumpy little twirps back when I was a grumpy little twirp. They still work, even now when I’m a grumpy grown up twirp.

My father often found himself alone in the house with myself and a neighbor’s little girl, who was my best friend. J.J. would often join us in the mornings for a while when her parents left early for work, then my father would drop us off at the pre-school up the street. She hated going to school and would often pitch a fit for my poor father, which must have made his mornings a little stressful.

One morning he turned to her in frustration and offered her a bribe. “If I make you girls some Griddlehoppers, will you promise to go to school without a fight?” J.J. was instantly intrigued. What were these Griddlehoppers? We accepted his offer, if only to find out.

Thing is, he had blurted the word out with no plan to back it up. What was a Griddehopper, indeed? He ducked into the kitchen and surveyed the ingredients he had on hand. There was bisquick, milk, and eggs, so he had the makings for pancakes, but pancakes did not have the sparkle and niftiness that the word Griddlehoppers implied. He poked around further and found a jar of sprinkles. Ah-ha! A tablespoon of rainbow sprinkles added into pancake batter produced a pancake splotched with melted dots of color, and so the Griddlehopper was born. They delight my children just as they did J.J. and I, and I hope that someday they will make these silly and simple treats for their own children.

To make your own Griddlehoppers, just rustle up a batch of your favorite pancake batter and toss in a tablespoon or two of sprinkles. Rainbow sprinkles make for a dramatic color explosion, but chocolate and seasonal mixes work well, too. Just make sure you use “real” sprinkles–I have tried using health food store “healthy” sprinkles, and those were disappointing. Griddlehoppers can and should be topped as you would any other fabulous pancake, with real maple syrup, chocolate sauce, honey, and/or whipped cream.

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