the pancakes and syrup can be found on aisle 14, i know this now. I had to pace back and forth like everyone in a grocery store looking for one particular item and and not mindlessly herding groceries into a cart. Groceries are too expensive, just an observation. People in supermarkets are weird, I don’t care where you go. I shop three supermarkets, running the scale of swank to sleazy. First there is PCC our local co-op supplying fresh northwest stuff and things, very expensive and wholesome and all. Then good Ol’ Safeway right down the block, a sort of middle way, if you will. Sure there are organic stuff there, switch the little stickers and you won’t have to overpay, but you are served up with your typical American fare, dressed up in store decor and pyramids of turkey basters and cool whip. And, perhaps closest to my heart, is Grocery Outlet, or as we in the Central District affectionately call’er; Gross Out. Gross Out does contain the most vile rubbish ever to be genetically modified, dyed, leached and bleached and still be called food. BUT…as Gross Out is only stocked with overflow and close-to-date products from other stores, invariably a decent selection of Organic food makes it’s way to Gross Out. Organic food which is by and large ignored by the casual Grocery Outlet shopper. It’s worth the drive.
On aisle 14, where you can find among other things pancakes and syrup, I stood and looked at a selection of about 12 syrups bottles, most brown and feminine in shape a few squat like a jug. So many syrups. We have certain requirements for our foods. We want them to be “oven fresh” or “traditional” and in the case of syrup, we want it to be “old fashioned” I know this because all of the bottles say “Old fashioned”…
Once Upon an Old Fashioned Tyme some guy put sap on his pancakes and that was that preserve the goldarn recipe and wait a second all this shit is just high fructose corn syrup!
Old fashioned high fructose corn syrup freakishly leached from genetically modified corn the Old Fashioned Way and mixed with such tasty ingredients Natural Flavor.
mmm Old Fashioned Natural Flavor…
But Bridget said to get the good stuff the China White Cadillac Whatever of syrup, and we all know that starts at $10. But that’s what it is.
And you know what?
It doesn’t even say “Old Fashioned” on the bottle.
I notice a guy standing next to me and he is wearing a flannel shirt and ball cap and doesn’t have great teeth and looks like he’s been set out in the sunnyshine or got attacked by 20 years of Camel’s.
He says, “You gettin Pancake mix?”
“Yea.” I says
“You ever make waffles? I used to make pancakes till one day I made waffles and that’s it! Waffles are better. Even throw some ham in there.” He said
Jesus, I had never thought about the ham part and how, yes, that would be quite tasty maybe pineapple too. We have a waffle maker, we don’t use it.
But he uses his. His cart was filled with bottles water.
“But, all this stuff, mostly, is High fructose Corn Syrup. Shit will kill you.”
“Yes, it will. Or make your kids chubby and hyper.” I said.
He laughed and said yup.
I told him about my wife wanting the good stuff, the op shelf syrup with a justified sense of dignity and bravado.
“As bad as it is, I always go for the blueberry garbage. ” and he did, he grabbed a neon purple bottle of goo that was a little over 2 bucks.
That’s when she walked up.
She has these intensely open eyes, like no room to further open. And her teeth are really long and sloping and really quite mossy and black around the gums.
“All that stuff is high Friggin Corn Syrup, that shit weel keel you!” she says and shakes like she is in the electric chair, and makes a noise all loose and flapping lips. When she was done, and it was pretty quick, she says,
“Ya know the best syrup? You make it! I make mine alla time. Brown sugar, water, something and something else. Something else for it. I make mine alla time.”
I believed her, I told her I did and that it sounded good.
But it really didn’t sound all that good.