Leggo my pancake!

Progress is a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to breakfast foods. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Eggo frozen waffles. They certainly don’t compare to a freshly prepared waffle, hot from the griddle, but they’re a good, versatile staple to have in the freezer. If you’re in a rush you can pop a couple in the toaster and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat in the car. If you have the time they taste mighty fine with a little butter and maple syrup. And if you’re my wife, you use a couple to make a sandwich out of a fried egg. My daughter has never been big on breakfast but I could usually get her eat the better part of one on her way to school.

The Eggo folks have tried marketing a variety of different variations on a theme, making them with whole grains and buttermilk or adding fruit or chocolate chips, but the original flavor is just fine by me.

A while back Eggo came out with a line of frozen pancakes that you popped into your toaster. It was good in theory but horrible in practice. They always came out of the toaster with the same consistency of the cardboard backing from a frozen pizza. I love a good pancake, but if you’re making them at home, especially just for yourself, the amount of work and mess you wound up never equaled the results, no matter how yummy.

Now we have a new option, and it’s a tasty one. The friendly folks at Kellogg’s have come out with a frozen microwave pancake that is to die for. Or maybe to kill for. Either way,, they’re oh-so good.

Growing up in Chicago my family was on the back end of the curve when it came to microwave ovens. My mother and father came from big families and had lots of brothers and sisters to exchange urban legends with. Back then urban legends had another name—the truth. And the truth about microwave ovens was that they leaked more radiation than a bucket full of plutonium.

My Uncle Paul and Aunt Marge were the first ones in our family to get a microwave oven. My Uncle Paul was a mountain of a man who wasn’t afraid of anything, but I do seem to recall that they kept the oven in the basement, and you weren’t allowed to be in the same room with it while it was on.

We didn’t get one in our immediate family until the early 1980s. It was pretty amazing. You could cook a scrambled egg in a cup in only three minutes. It tasted like crap, but it only took three minutes to cook. It only took three or four minutes to bake a potato. I don’t recall ever being in that big of a hurry to make a potato, but I guess if you were, this was a great thing. Besides, you didn’t have to fire up the conventional oven if you just wanted to make a single potato.

I was never that big a fan of the microwave oven until the day I discovered microwaveable French fries. Now this was something to get excited about! I forget the product name, but they came in a red box about the size of today’s juice boxes and after a few minutes in the oven you have yourself a box full of sweaty, soggy French fries. The gods of science were smiling down upon us.

I don’t know if microwavable French fries still exist, but pancakes do—so get ‘em while they’re hot!

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