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
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
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.