Can I say that sometimes I am fascinated with the breadth of creative prepared foods available to us today? One that caught my eye was the Jimmy Dean Griddle Sticks. I liked the concept and wanted to make a homemade version. This lesson is not only about making a homemade version but about careers in food engineering and food marketing. It is a lesson to get students thinking about prepared foods and the career potentials behind a brand like Jimmy Dean.
Time Fame: 1 block
- 9.1 Analyze career paths within food science, food technology, dietetics, and nutrition industries.
- 9.5.1 Analyze various factors that affect food preferences in the marketing of food.
- 9.6.2 Implement food preparation, production, and testing systems.
- Buy one package of Jimmy Dean’s griddle sticks and show the class. Explain that the goal is to make a similar sausage pancake stick from scratch. Look at the package and ask the class to discuss what “pops” at them from the packaging.
- How is this food marketed? Has anyone seen any Jimmy Dean commercials? What is the message they are sending as a brand? Discuss careers in marketing.
- Go over the nutrition label.
- Finally, talk about how food science/food engineering is a career choice and someone at Jimmy Dean whole job is testing recipes and coming up with new packaged foods like this one. (See the link below for the story of the engineer who came up with this concept).
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 10 skewers
- 1 box Brown ‘n Serve pre-cooked sausages, microwaved according to package instructions
- Maple syrup
- Using the quick bread method combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a “well” in the center.
- Wisk the milk, vanilla, melted butter and egg together in a separate bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients stirring until combined. The batter should look lumpy. Don’t over mix.
- Turn cast iron skillet onto medium-high
- Skewer the sausages
- Dip the sausage skewers into the batter. Use a rubber scraper to aide in applying the batter evenly to all sides.
- Put the batter covered sausage skewer onto the hot griddle and gently turn the sausage every so often so the sides brown evenly. Remove when the batter is cooked.
- Place finished skewers on a plate in a warm oven to keep them warm while you make the rest.
- Serve with maple syrup for dipping.
- Heat the Jimmy Dean griddle sticks, cut them into sample size pieces for the class. Have students do a taste comparison between what they made and the Jimmy Dean version.
- What are the differences?
- What are the similarities?
- Which one do you like better?
- Which ones look better?
- How might a Jimmy Dean factory make these so consistently?