Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Waffle Memories

The frozen waffle, more specifically the Eggo Waffle, played a starring role in my childhood culinary experiences. Waffles were one of the first foods I could prepare myself. I could pop one into the toaster oven, put it on a plate and pour Log Cabin syrup on it. Voila, a meal. I thought they were delightful.

My older brother E. relished them too and there was nothing I liked more than to prepare a plate of them for him when he arrived home with the late-night munchies. I ate them most often as an after school snack and sometimes for breakfast. Stepmother #1 always made sure to keep several boxes of them in the freezer.

I don't think that I tried any other waffle until the age of 17 when, on a trip to Hawaii I encountered a Belgian waffle in some small restaurant in Maui. It was an unforgettable revelation. It was so unlike the Eggo. It was high and light, rather than flat and crunchy. And it exuded a vanilla aroma that made it all the more tempting. I ate it along with a glass of guava juice. That one waffle spoiled me for most others and I remember afterwards being disappointed when I tried to order waffles elsewhere and they simple couldn't measure up. Once home, it was back to Eggos. But not for long.

Stepmother #1 and her cache of Eggos were gone by the time I turned 18 and as it turned out, L., on the road to becoming Stepmother #2, had her very own electric waffle iron. She had been raised on homemade waffles and made them on a regular basis. At the time, this seemed very exotic. I thank her heartily for introducing me to the joys of the homemade waffle and I haven't bitten into an Eggo since.

The recipe she uses was handed down from a friend of her mother's, F. I used it for many years, occasionally trying a new one, but usually going back to the tried and true. When I lived with L., she made them all of the time for my little sister, C. who is also a huge fan of them.

I couldn't wait until it was my turn to make them for Izzy, whose introduction to the waffle was far different from my own. Before I knew it, he was in charge of watching the egg whites whip up in the Kitchen Aid mixer. For him, making them seemed almost as much fun as eating them.

In the past year though, I discovered a waffle recipe in the New York Times that is not only easier to make than my standard one but may even rival it. The problem was, it had far too much butter and oil. I modified it and now make this recipe quite frequently.

Try both and decide for yourself.

Recipe #1

F.'s Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons. sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt

2 eggs separated
1 3/4 cup milk
3-4 Tablespoons. melted butter

1. Mix together dry ingredients.
2. Whip egg whites until stiff
3. Combine milk, yolks and butter
4. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients.
5. Fold in egg whites.
6. Pour batter by 1/4-1/3 cup in to waffle iron.

Recipe #2

Buttermilk and Brown Sugar Waffles

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons. brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs
1 3/4 cup butter milk
3 tablespoons. regular milk
4 tablespoons. melted butter

1. Whisk eggs until foamy and then add other wet ingredients.
2. Mix dry ingredients together.
3. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
4. Pour batter (about 1/4-1/3 cup) into hot waffle iron. Do not overcook.

Note: You can add blueberries to either one of these recipes.
Serve with REAL maple syrup, not Log Cabin!

Snack tip: Not only are they good for breakfast but they also make a great snack. I take the leftovers and put them in a waxed paper bag to carry around. I can't say that I prefer soggy cold waffles but kids seem to thoroughly enjoy them.

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