Panclog #Special Edition: Pancake Procedure
The Panclog Pals would love to greet you with a long firm handshake and a gentle pat on the back. This is a special editorial edition of the Panclog. We will be discussing the different ways we top our pancakes. Please keep an open mind and do not send hate mail to Brent. He is a sensitive individual. We have a lot of fun things planned for the next couple of months. Buckle up. this will be a heck of a ride.
We will be back next Thursday, October 13th with a new biweekly segment. PUT IT ON THE CALENDER, SIRI!
Here we go, diving into the surprisingly controversial topic of pancake toppings.
SYRUP IS FOR CHAMPIONS!
The Setting: The classic IHOP at 119th and Strang Line in Olathe.
The Meal: $1 short stack with all proceeds going to No Kid Hungry
The Feud: Syrup V. Jelly
IHOP is possibly the perfect host for any challenge featuring pancakes. This is due to the fantastic nature of the pure consistency that IHOP encapsulates. If you want a good basic pancakes. Look no further than the house that is international and has pancakes.
Syrup is the blood of all breakfast treats. Be it French toast, waffles, Dutch babies, or the almighty flapjack. Syrup keeps the engine that is the classic breakfast industry running. Not just any syrup, but pure maple syrup. I prefer a nice medium amber that brings a much more complex flavor to the table. I try to avoid the overly sweet nature that is high-fructose corn syrup based. Here is a quick hint: If you don’t like the corn based syrups but don’t have the maple goodness? Try honey. Honey is a great substitute and will give you a big smile. Ask a bear. It will agree.
Shall we take a walk to the wild side and discuss jelly as a topping for pancakes? No
I just heard that there is such a thing as maple syrup that has been barrel-aged. Yeah that is a thing! Let us all celebrate Christmas a little early. Treat yo self.
Back to jelly. Jelly is fine on toast, good on a sandwich, and so much better on a biscuit. But jelly on a pancake is just a waste of a good pancake. We used Smuckers individual-serve jelly on the table. This was just a bad start. It was too thin and when spread looked bland. I will say that due to the insufficient amount of jelly used, the cake itself was given much more room to shine in its own right. I strive to give a plain pancake a shot every time I try a new place. The basic cake needs to be good before you ever try to take it up a notch with additional flavors.
Now let’s point out that pancakes are fickle little treats. If you over-cook them at all they can get a little crispy. I am not complaining, only stating that crispiness is a possibility with pancakes and nearly a certainty with waffles. Syrup is not only used as a flavor maker but as a softener in these cases. Syrup can also serve as safety equipment. Think about Cap’n Crunch. Very crunchy. Some say that the Cap’n attacks the roof of their mouth with great anger. But with some milk this cereal softens enough to not only be safe, but delicious. Syrup does the same thing!!! SAFETY!
Let’s talk about this like adults. If Syrup V. Jelly was a movie, it would not end with a dumb coalition of syrup, jelly, peanut butter, and cinnastack goo getting together to fight crime. The film would end with Syrup standing on a mountain howling to the night sky in victorious fashion. Someone please make this movie.
I do believe that jelly can be involved in breakfast. But please only use it in a guest starring role. Syrup is the star. Be nice to her.
Here is Brent’s side of the story!
Panclog Special Edition – Jelly is Not Just for Sandwiches
About 37 years ago I was introduced to a different way of consuming pancakes in Ms. Martin’s kindergarten class. At the time I didn’t realize it would be such a life changing event. Ms. Martin, a sublime individual, graced her class with a treat of pancakes. My fellow classmates and I dutifully queued up as she prepared the pancakes, one cake for each student. As my turn neared, I heard her offer butter or jelly as a topping. Perplexed by the suggestion, who would put jelly on a pancake, I just selected butter. My little 5-year-old mind just couldn’t process jelly for anything but PB&J.
This story could have ended there. The early morning sun flashing through the classroom windows warming the faces of delighted children. All of whom consumed their cakes with beatific smiles.
“I have some leftover batter. Would any of you like a half pancake?” Have sweeter words ever been spoken. Ramming the cake in my mouth I ran as fast as I could to the front of the line to partake of another cake.
“Before you take your additional half, you need to get the other topping. If you had butter before, you get jelly now. If you had jelly before, you get butter now.” I didn’t recognize the wisdom hidden in Ms. Martin’s words then, but I am surely grateful now.
Ms. Martin, you changed my life. Your insight is as important as the Great Awakening.
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Reaching for the syrup when a fine stack of flapjacks is set before you, is perfectly understandable. It is what most people’s fathers did, and their fathers, and their fathers before them. Individuals grab the syrup out of mindless habit, and mere tradition. Never do we question is this the right thing to do. Is it the most optimal solution to add the necessary sweet, tasty, goodness to pancakes? Why question the reality that we sheepishly follow? “That’s right sir, add syrup to my pancakes! Maple only please.”
To paraphrase a great scholar, “The unexamined pancake dressing, is a meal not worth having.” Breakfast, especially pancakes, is a meal worth having. Thus it is imperative that we begin an investigation.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room: Canada. Maple syrup originates in Canada and it is a significant part of Canada’s plan to control the minds of their neighbors to the south. Have you ever wondered why the Canadian stereotype is an absurd level of politeness and apologies? It is because the entire nation is wracked with a subconscious, seething guilt. There can be no other explanation because no people group can be that nice.
As we are sleeping in a syrupy, sugar induced coma the people of Canada will rain down upon us, their US neighbor, and take over. 75% of the Canadian population has already massed along the US border. It is only a matter of time.
Jelly, on the other hand, is not a tool used by a conquering nation. It is simply a natural treat whose only purpose is to bolster the consumer. To help him or her to look at life through a positive, jelly filled lens.
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You also don’t hear about Santa’s belly shaking like a bowl full of syrup. That line would have to be morphed into something like, “Santa’s laugh oozed out of him like a bottle full of syrup.” It may just be me, but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. “Hey kids, it’s time to go to bed so that Santa can ooze through the cracks and deliver his sticky gifts.”
“Hey daddy, tell me about Syrupy Santa Claus.” “Well he is just like red cream soda spilled on the floor, that hasn’t been cleaned up, and isn’t quite dry yet. I can’t wait till morning so that we can step in him and have our socks stick to the floor.”
“Honey, will you tell the dog to stop licking up Santa. This is what happened last year and we got put on the naughty list.”
Friends, stay off the naughty list and enjoy jelly on your pancakes.
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Syrup also has a deleterious effect on the structural integrity of a pancake. Comparing the two fluids, Syrup and Jelly, you will find that syrup has a more uniform, but lower total viscosity. This is important because syrup will leach its way into the pores of the pancake and break down the infrastructure holding the cake together. Eventually you will return the pancake back to its liquid, precooked state. You could have saved time, money, effort, and energy by skipping the cooking process and drinking the batter. The next time you head on over to your favorite pancake place just ask the server, “I would like a tall stack of pancake batter, poured into a glass, and served with a straw. I will take some melted butter and warm syrup on the side.”
Jelly on the other hand does not cause a pancake to lose its internal fortitude. While it’s true that some parts of the jelly will gently fill the innumerable pores of a pancake, it will not wreak havoc on the subtle structure holding the cake together. In fact, as you cut into the flapjacks you are certain to notice that they remain sturdy and pleasing to the palate. You will also notice that the more solid portions of the jelly will spread evenly across the top of your cake mingling with the butter in a delicate dance that not only tastes remarkable but is a symphony for the eyes.
Pancakes are an amazing treat made of all that is good in this world, but only if they are allowed to retain their unique qualities. Syrup stamps out that uniqueness. So let’s let pancakes be pancakes, and dress them in jelly.
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Jelly is also much more flavorful meaning that you can do more with jelly using less material. This good for your pocketbook, and better for the environment. Plus, jelly is a much more versatile ingredient, instead of the one trick pony that is maple syrup. Sure you are seeing syrup pushed into more and more products, but I would point you back to our soon to be Canadian overlords for the reason why.
If you call yourself a patriot who loves their country, there can be only one choice, Jelly.
Note from Jared: Buy Vermont maple syrup if you are scared because of this man’s fear-mongering.
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