How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Applish Waffles

Deborah Madison is back -- among our heaviest and most-used cook tomes is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, about which we have written frequently. Even such carnivores as Bill Clinton enjoy a good waffle; so Madison's inclusion of waffle recipes is indeed a service to "everyone."
Gary Trudeau alienated his friend Bill Clinton when he chose the waffle as the president's icon in Doonesbury. 
It is especially a service to me, the chief waffler of this house. (Insert snide commentaries here.) We had a waffle iron back in grad-school days, but it was the small-square variety, whose non-stick surface made a kind of cement of our batter. After many mornings spent scraping our waffles out of the iron with chopsticks, we concluded that this would be a restaurant-only meal for us, though we did spend some of our early parenting years in an unseemly relationship with Eggo.

Eventually, we took a chance on a Belgian-style waffle iron at a church rummage sale, and found that it worked well for us, at least long enough for us to get hooked on the concept again. We eventually purchased a new Waring Pro, which has worked out very well for us. The recipe that came with the iron was a strange, two-part riddle like something out of the Common Core, so I turned to Madison, whose batter is quite simple:

3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (we use pure vanilla at Casa Hayes-Boh)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

I sifted the dry ingredients together into a bowl. (Up until recently I would have whisked them, but our baking-expert friend Betty recently convinced us of the value of a sifter. We purchase gadgetry for our kitchen only after months or years of deliberation!)

For the wet ingredients, I took a somewhat different approach. If buttermilk is an option for a batter, I rarely buy that ingredient, but nor do I like to use ordinary, flat milk. To get the right texture, I will sometimes add a bit of lemon or lime juice to milk, giving it a few minutes to curdle slightly. More often, I mix plain yogurt with plain milk. In fact, this is why we usually keep plain yogurt on hand (in addition to its use as a healthy alternative to sour cream as a taco topping). But I had neglected to pick any up lately, so I took a walk on the wild side: I put a cup of apple-flavored Greek yogurt in a measuring cup, and added plain milk to bring it to 1-1/2 cups.

I then used Pam (no relation) to prepare the iron, and made two waffles. The second smart thing I did was to wait until our darling teen was awake to offer her a waffle, rather than trying to wake her on a Saturday for the purpose. Win-win-win!

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