I’ve always loved birds. When I was a child, my grandmother on my mother’s side—Evelyn, a bird lover herself—taught me about them. I learned a lot from her about the different …
I’ve always loved birds. When I was a child, my grandmother on my mother’s side—Evelyn, a bird lover herself—taught me about them. I learned a lot from her about the different kinds of birds and their habits—which ones got along, for example, and which ones didn’t.
My favorite bird ever has to be Freedom, a baby cardinal I saved and raised. As it happens, I found Freedom two days after the attacks on September 11, 2001, hence his name. His mother was nowhere to be found, and I figured she had to be dead. So I took the little guy in and fed him with an eyedropper. He grew strong and tame, and became part of the family.
Freedom was smart, too. He responded to my voice, and my voice alone. Plus, he knew the sound of my footsteps! When I’d approach his covered cage in the morning, he’d get really excited.
My mother, Carol, and my father, Jack, loved to bird-sit Freedom when I’d have to be away from home. He never failed to put a smile on my dad’s face.
“That bird would steal my earrings,” my mom will tell you to this day. “I’d feel him tugging at the bobby pins in the back of my head!”
Because I loved birds so much, I encouraged my parents to feed the wild ones outside their home. One fine day, we were in the backyard with two huge bags of birdseed… which we dropped all over the grass by accident. We scooped up as much birdseed as we could, and tossed it randomly in my mother’s small flower bed.
Well, lo and behold, a bunch of huge sunflowers grew back there. They eventually grew taller than my dad.
“We couldn’t have done that if we tried,” my mom said.
The sunflowers got so tall that we eventually had to screw hooks in the siding and tie the flowers up to the house with strips of nylon stockings.
Of course, the wild birds swooped in and fed off the sunflowers.
Those memories are the inspiration for this month’s project. The sunflower decoration makes a brownie “pop.” It will do the same for a cupcake, too. As always, feel free to be as creative as you like.
Freedom wouldn’t have it any other way.
Kim M. Simons is an award-winning artist, cake artist, and food artist. She and her team—the Bah Hum Bakers—were the champions of Food Network’s ”Holiday Wars” in 2019. Kim was recently seen competing on Food Network’s “Halloween Wars,” which can be streamed on Food Network’s app or on Discovery +. She is also available to teach classes. Visit Kim at www.cakesbykimsimons.com.
Make this sunflower brownie, step by step:
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