Spoiler alert: The surprise is simply an improvement in a traditional waffle recipe.
When figuring out how to divide equipment between our main kitchen and the galley of our smaller weekend place, Pam wisely suggested that the waffle iron belonged in the weekend kitchen, since that is when we tend to make waffles.
Just a few years ago we finally got a waffle iron that allows us to make good waffles consistently. Once the electricity had been upgraded, we made the move, and indeed we have waffles a bit more often now.
We keep the weekend larder stocked with all of the Hayes-Boh essentials for baking and basic cookery, but not in large quantities. And so it was this morning that I started preparing the batter before I realized that there was not enough flour for a batch. If nothing else, we are resourceful, so I decided to take a risk on two substitutions: baking powder for baking soda and corn meal for part of the white flour.
The basic recipe from Deborah Madison was thus modified more or less as follows:
2 eggs, beaten (she calls for three, which I think makes waffles that are too eggy)
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups milk (Madison calls for milk or buttermilk; I put about 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, vanilla yogurt, or sour cream in the measuring cup and then fill up the rest of the way. This morning it was sour cream.)
1 Tsp oil
*optional: 1/4 cup mashed blueberries (see below)
1-1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup fine-ground corn meal
2 t baking powder (instead of 1 t powder and 1/2 t baking soda)
1/4 t salt
dash of nutmeg
2 Tsp organic sugar (Madison does not call for this, but I could not see any reason not to include it.)
*optional: 1 cup whole blueberries, rinsed and drained
I mixed the dry and wet ingredients thoroughly in separate bowls and then combined them without overmixing. I let the batter sit and rise slightly while I heated the waffle iron. I then used cooking spray for each round and transferred each waffle to a plate in the warm (250F) oven.
The result was by far the best waffles I have made -- they slide easily off the iron and were a bit extra fluffy and delicious!
Even More Better
UPDATE February 19, 2017
This morning we had blueberries on hand, which I was going to add in the usual way -- about a cup to the batter just after it was combined. But Pam -- who already gets credit for remembering this post about corn meal -- suggested that I mash some of the blueberries, as she had recently done for Jordan Marsh muffins. So in addition to the cup of whole blueberries, I used a fork to mash about 1/4 cup, and put it in the liquid mix before combining. I just whisked the skins and pulp together into the egg-milk mixture.