Sunday, August 22, 2010

Waffle love

We’ve started a new tradition: Sunday waffles.


It began last Sunday (it might appear to be kind of early to declare it a tradition, but you gotta trust me on this one—it's a tradition fair and square, hallelujah and amen) when we swung by our friends’ house on the way from church to drop off their weekly egg order. The family—both parents and two of the nicest teenagers I know—was outside at the picnic table eating their Sunday lunch of waffles.

They hollered for us to join them, the father beckoning us over with huge sweeps of his arm, calling to us in his thick German accent, but we declined. We were eager to get home to our work-free afternoon, and besides, I’m cautious about unloading six hungry appetites into unsuspecting laps as it could do a person in. It does me in and I’m not unsuspecting.

Almost immediately, the entire family vacated the table and surrounded the van. They hung in the windows and opened the doors, the better to chat with all of us. When I next turned around, the Two Nicest Teenagers In The World were handing out napkins and wedges of Nutella-smeared waffle to my kids. When we finally drove away, the whole car smelled of melting chocolate and buttery waffles.

I spied an opportunity to teach a lesson on manners and promptly seized on it. “Kids," I yelled, over their backseat ruckus, "Kids! Did you notice what they did back there?”

“Yeah! They gave us waffles,” they shouted back gleefully.

“It was so kind,” Miss Beccaboo added in a sugary-sweet voice. (These days, she’s big on the word “kind.”)

“Exactly,” I said, warming to my speech. “They not only offered us food, they came over to the car to give us food and talk to us. That’s what you do to make people feel welcome, you go out of your way. Now remember that.”

“Why don’t you make us waffles for lunch?” Yo-Yo asked as soon as I paused to draw breath.

The car rocked with shouts of Yes! Let’s! and Please, Mama, Pleeeease!

I hesitated. Sunday noon isn’t the best time to make a meal that takes any amount of time, and it’s usually when I rid the fridge of the week's leftovers, but as our church lets out earlier in summer, the kids (and parents) weren’t quite at The Point of Melt Down, and the leftovers would still be there on Monday... But then there’s the issue of serving my kids a meal consisting of just starch and sugar, completely devoid of greens. I don't usually do that. But hey, we had a freezer full of fruit (when are we going to use it up anyway?) and I could make the waffles whole grain—

“Alright,” I said, and the car rocked harder.


The meal was a roaring success (though I learned that a double batch of waffles is not enough) and everyone left the table supremely happy. We all agreed Sunday waffles would be our new family tradition.

This Sunday I mixed up the dry ingredients (a triple batch) before church. Once home, I bustled around the kitchen cooking waffles, whipping cream, thawing strawberries, and making a blueberry syrup. Sweetsie was so excited about the upcoming feast that she could barely contain herself. She was everywhere at once, being more helpful than was necessary, and when I tripped over her one time too many and banished her from the kitchen, she just giggled.


The kids take the adornment of their waffles very seriously. They can eat all the fruit they want, but they are only permitted one scoop of whipped cream (I’m exempt from that rule). Yo-Yo and Sweetsie eat theirs straight up, but Nickel makes heart-shaped waffle sandwiches stuffed with cream and strawberries and Miss Beccaboo uses hers as icing.


When lunch was over, there was only one waffle left. Sweetsie so stuffed herself that she collapsed on the floor in a heap, groaning.

Next Sunday I just might break out the jar of Nutella that they don’t know I have. They’ll go wild.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Waffles
Adapted from the little recipe booklet that came with one of our waffle makers

The absence of sugar is not a typo.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup white flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk

Mix together the dry ingredients. Whisk in the wet ingredients.

Preheat your waffle maker and cook according to the waffle maker’s instructions. (I oil the waffle maker lightly and only once in a while, and I probably wouldn’t even need to do that as it never seems to have any trouble sticking.)

For waffle variety: this is another great waffle recipe. It can be almost completely assembled the night before and is 100-percent whole grain and sensationally delicious.

This same time, years previous: Earthy ponderations, part two and Cold Curried Corn Soup

11 comments:

  1. What an awesome tradition. I love the heart shaped waffles. Adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love food traditions. There are two at our house- homemade pizzas on Friday nights and pancakes or waffles for Sunday dinner (evening meal). I especially like the Sunday evening one. Jamey's in charge of that one:-).

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so fun!! What a lovely new tradition.

    Barb

    ReplyDelete
  4. This was a tradition for us, too. It lasted about a month :) Maybe I should try it again. If you want a healthy alternative to whipped cream, make vanilla (cornstarch) pudding. It's our favorite with strawberries on waffles.

    I want to try those cornmeal waffles. I made some last week and they were gross...they had bacon fat instead of butter in them. Yuck. Never again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a BIG fan of breakfast dinners. Waffles rule! That said... we ate your Russian Crepes stuffed with strawberries and bananas last night for dinner...yummmmm

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a cool story to go with the new tradition.
    Another topping you could try is peanut butter with syrup (that's our fave on pancakes - I don't have a waffle maker).

    When my husband and I lived in the deep South, we met a church pastor family that had waffles every Sunday dinner too. Their philosophy was that it was easy for guests. They made the waffles right at the table and also had creamed chicken as a topping. I do like waffles, but a whole meal of sweet stuff sort of makes me feel like I need a hamburger.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's a tradition in our family too, but we extend it to all breakfast foods: pancakes & sausage one week, biscuits and gravy, crepes, whatever.

    How many times do you multiply that recipe for your family?

    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  8. We often do whole wheat waffles for a main dish. They must eat chicken gravy on at least one waffle.
    Than as many as they want with whatever fruit, yogurt, pudding, syrup, or chopped nuts they choose.

    Aunt V.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We *love* waffles around here...but never tried them with Nutella...oh dear me...THAT would be nummy!! I once upon a time had that "sweetheart waffle baker", but it died long ago...I suppose we make waffles more than you. BUT that sounds like it is soon to change. :)

    I enjoy reading how you put into words your life...it is lovely. You really should publish that book. :)

    Have a wonderful day!
    Blessings,
    Camille

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great idea. We don't make waffles but my boys love them so I think I should start. And Sunday sounds like the perfect day to it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Michelle, I triple the recipe and we have only two or three waffles left over. In a couple years I'll have to quadruple it, I'm a'feared.

    ReplyDelete