Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pancakes in a can good for camping, rushed mornings

Meet Good Press's first guest blogger, Mali Gank.

Mali Gank lives in West Virginia with her husband, two bonus children, and 9 pets that may or may not be trying to stage a coup at any given moment. She is currently finishing her degree in education, and in her spare time she reads, writes, and tries to create something from nothing whenever she can.

She shares with us her review of Organic Batter Blaster: Original Pancake & Waffle Batter. The store locator on the product Web site says it is sold at Walmarts around north-central West Virginia and western Maryland and Kroger in Morgantown.

While vacationing with family in Michigan this summer, I was skeptical when my sister in law pulled the pancake mix out of the grocery bag. I’m not a pancake purist by any means…I have been known to turn to Aunt Jemima or Hungry Jack for a quick dinner fix. However, even my time-saving mentality had ever imagined what I was looking at.

It looked like a can of squeeze cheese, the sort my youth group loves to put on Ritz crackers and then lick off. The script along the can read “Organic Batter Blaster: Original Pancake & Waffle Batter”. A picture of a stack of flapjacks with a pat of butter and smear of syrup graced the can, and I’m sure that Katrina got a laugh from my wrinkled brow and skeptical eyebrows. We decided to save the pancakes for another night, and I pushed them to the back of my mind.

The next day, the peculiar yellow can stared back at me every time I opened the fridge. I finally picked it up and checked out the ingredients. Filtered water. Organic wheat flour. Organic cane sugar. I read along to find that I could pronounce and already knew of all of the ingredients, which I always consider a bonus. Again, I tucked it back into the fridge and tried not to think about it. I was still a little skeptical as I went about my day, but at least the knowledge that nothing in it would kill me made me a little more willing to try the product.

When Katrina came home and decided to make our “breakfast for dinner”, I had decided to grin and bear it. I watched as she used the nozzle to aim batter into the pan, and was mildly impressed with the simplicity of the process. She managed to make all of the pancakes in the time it took for the sausage to brown in the next pan, so it was a very fast meal all around.

I carefully spread a bit of butter spread on the first pancake…or is that a cancake?... and drizzled some syrup across it. With a bit of trepidation I cut off a bite of soft flapjack and brought it to my mouth.

Color me astonished when the mouthful revealed a slightly sweet, fluffy pancake that tasted like any number of pancakes I’ve had while out and about at breakfast time. I cut off a piece of the edge to sample it sans fixings, and was surprised again to taste the same sweet, moist pancake.

I watched as Katrina sampled hers, expressing my astonishment that it was not only palatable, but actually rather tasty! I began considering the possibilities- pancakes on school mornings without having to wake up at 4:30 a.m., simple Saturday breakfast for the children to learn to cook without leaving my kitchen looking like a shelled bunker, excellent food to cook at the camper when we’re “roughing it”, and a last-minute meal when my husband is making something he knows I’m not going to eat and I have to fend for myself. All good things!

When I finished my stack and returned my plate to the kitchen I looked at the can sitting alone and empty on the counter, and smiled. Sometimes, there’s a lot to be said for trying something new.

This product has no CFCs, is USDA Certified Organic, and while the taste isn’t “homemade” by any stretch (I ate my last one without syrup and it was both moist and sweet- possibly too sweet for some), it is a great alternative if you’re not cooking for an army, or need something in a hurry. I wouldn’t mind having some in the fridge just for a quick alternative when I get the “There’s no milk left!” or “Who ate the last of the Cheerios?”.

Somewhere, an empty yellow can is mocking me with a hissy, aerosol voice whispering “Toldja so”.

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