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Perfect Waffles

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Holidays call for brunches. My father's birthday was on Labor Day, and he always looked forward to having waffles as his special treat. Why not invite some friends and have an "unbirthday" party for everyone? Keep your eyes open, although he may be late, you never know when Alice or the White Rabbit might appear to share a cup of tea.

A perfect waffle is a crispy, melt-in-your-mouth pastry. Unfortunately, the world is full of waffles which are soggy and rather tough, because cooks try to use a pancake batter, rather than the correct one. I do not blame these people a bit. Long ago, some manufacturer got the notion to sell more pancake mix by falsely claiming it could do double-duty. Then, the biscuit mix and frozen food folks got into the act and, in the name of convenience, relegated real waffles to memory.

That is a shame, because there is no more delightful platform for the fresh fruits and berries of summer than a real waffle fresh from the iron. Yes, of course they are lovely with Syrup as well, but please use genuine maple syrup, sorghum, or honey. These goodies are much too nice to be subjected to some "maple-flavored" chemical concoction.

Electric waffle irons, which are thermostatically controlled, have been widely available and the tools of choice since the 1920s. It is virtually impossible to find a non-electric waffle iron outside an antique shop. Any manufactured within the last 30 years have a non-stick coating. A light spray of vegetable oil is the only preparation required. If you are fortunate enough to have a pizzele iron, this batter will make those as well.


2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups m ilk mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs
1 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

Note: These quantities may be doubled for a large batch


Mix the self-rising flour, baking soda, and nutmeg: together in a wide-mouth pitcher, then set aside until needed. In a large measuring cup, thoroughly whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ones, and using an electric mixer or egg beater, beat until smooth. Whilst stirring, add the melted butter in a slow stream, and mix thoroughly.

Thoroughly coat the grids of your waffle iron with vegetable oil spray, and preheat according to the manufacturers directions. Open the iron, and pour a scant amount of batter onto the grid. Remember that the batter will expand and run over the edges, if you use too much. Immediately close the iron, and bake until completely browned. Discard the first waffle, because it will be a bit greasy. You should be able to bake all the rest of the batter without re-spraying the Iron.

Although these are best right from the iron, you may freeze them and re-crisp in a 400 degree oven.

Copyright 2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
hosted by the Gantseh Megillah

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