Saturday mornings as a child were all about
pancakes .. Bugs Bunny .. and Fat Albert
The pancakes could be big or small .. fruit filled or not .. depending on the parent manning the griddle. Each Saturday the goal was the same .. to wake up early .. stay in my pajamas .. avoid my brother .. and watch every cartoon until they crescendoed around noon with
School House Rock
I'd steal away to my Dad's favorite chair .. carefully finding a place on the side table for the maple syrup .. amongst books .. magazines .. and his favorite pipe tobacco. My milk poured into the fanciest glass I could find .. toasting to no one in particular .. sometimes raising a pinkie for a bit of forced elegance
Looking back, through the lens of an adult .. thus humbly began of my great love affair with all things breakfast
It always tasted like love
When I was young .. if asked .. I probably would have thought love tasted like the flavor of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies .. warming in my Grandmother's oven.
Or that love tasted like dessert salads eaten at potlucks in the basement of our little country church
Or maybe love tasted like fresh tomatoes from the garden .. plump with juice running chin down
Or fresh raspberries from the vine .. and the game I played each time I was sent with my bucket to harvest. How many could I pick before the vines pricked my finger?
Or maybe love tasted like freshly picked sweetcorn .. especially on the one weekend out of the year when everyone in our family gathered to pick .. shuck .. cook .. and freeze it.
And so it went. No matter the season of life .. not matter if we lived on a farm .. or after we'd moved so my parents could finish their college degrees .. they were always there it seemed .. every weekend morning.
I don't know that my Father was ever asked to keep them in full rotation .. or if he just knew how much I loved them. But they were always there, like clockwork, like magic ..
The funny thing about the pancakes .. not long ago I asked him for his recipe.
My handy notebook at the ready .. this was going to be good. No matter the unhealthy ingredients .. surely there would be a substitute? Or an exception to be made every now and again?
Turns out love tasted like
Life can be an interesting swirl of sacrifice .. and service .. of commitment .. and time. Of choices and self-doubt .. and mid-week grocery runs. All in an attempt to offer up my best .. and stock our pantry with all things good .. and good for us
I couldn't help but think of this last week .. as I made .. not the infamous Aunt Jemima pancakes .. but my first serious attempt at a waffle. They weren't from a little red box .. but from a love-stocked pantry .. and while they weren't quite the same .. they were none-the-less delicious.
Sadly .. Bugs Bunny wasn't playing in the background, nor was my brother around to pick-on. But .. that's the great thing about memories .. I suppose. They can often taste better in your mind than in your mouth.
I don't know that we'll have pancakes (or waffles) every Saturday .. or that The Chef will want to drink almond milk from fancy glasses .. or that we'll take up making dessert salads any time soon.
But I do know that I can carry on my family's tradition of a well-stocked pantry. One filled with time .. and commitment .. and a pure hot-off-the-waffle iron
This waffle recipe comes from a cookbook I've been turning to an awful lot as of late.
They're a family recipe .. from her Mother who lives in Australia. The author writes about eating them when they visit .. with big, juicy blackberries from the garden .. slivers of mango .. the thickest biodynamic yogurt she's ever eaten .. and a drizzling of real maple syrup.
Made with spelt flour .. which can be easier to digest .. the waffles also take on a unique tenderness from the almond meal. Their fragrance is distinct .. a result of the orange and vanilla. You'll also notice a slightly crisp edge from the touch of brown rice syrup
ps: Did you know that Aunt Jemima was the very first ready-mix? Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood of the Pearl Milling Company developed it in 1889(!). The history of Aunt Jemima is a fun read
A quick note about waffle cooking times: Amy notes that whole-grain waffles need to be cooked a minute or two longer than the instructions on the waffle iron suggest. I found that to be the case as well
~ Adapted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin
Spelt and Almond Waffles
- 1 ¼ cup spelt flour
- ¾ cup almond meal
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs separated
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Rind of one orange ** choose organic is at all possible
- ½ cup of orange juice
- ¾ cup nut milk or milk
- 3 Tbsp brown rice syrup
- Melted butter coconut or olive oil (for brushing the waffle iron)
- Berries yogurt, honey and/or maple syrup to serve
- Special equipment needed: Belgian waffle iron
- Heat waffle iron.
- To a medium-sized mixing bowl .. add the spelt flour, almond meal, and baking powder. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a small bowl .. whisk the egg yolks, olive oil, orange rind, orange juice, and nut milk.
- Stir the wet into the dry mix
- Drizzle the rice syrup over the batter and stir again.
- Whisk egg whites into stiff peaks (If you have a stand or hand-mixer .. it sure makes this process easier)
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter
- When waffle iron is <g class="gr_ gr_155 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="155" data-gr-id="155">hot</g> brush with melted butter or oil (I used clarified butter) and ladle in about 1/2 cup of batter (this won't fill the whole mold). I like them to be on the smaller side with an uneven edge.
- Close lid and cook for about 4 minutes, the waffle iron will beep when ready, but I cook them for 1 or 2 minutes longer as this batter is moister <g class="gr_ gr_122 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="122" data-gr-id="122">then</g> most waffles.
- Repeat with remaining batter.