Saturday, December 06, 2008

Perfect Waffles

Amadeus doesn't order waffles in restaurants any more. Or, I should say, he tries not to, but every once in a while, he slips, and accidentally tries them one more time. Restaurant waffles are invariably disappointing. Why it's so difficult to get this breakfast staple right is a mystery, but I suspect that it actually has something to do with our family's idiosyncratic taste in waffles. While the rest of America thinks of Buckwheat as an Eddie Murphy character, we actually like it in our pancakes and waffles. We like our waffles thin, not Belgian style. We don't look for unusual ingredients in our waffles, no squash and goat cheese, no mandarin orange peel and candied ginger. We just like them generously heaped with butter and real maple syrup.

And, so, I present to you a recipe for Perfect Waffles. Follow these steps exactly as written, and you will not be disappointed.

TCBCB Perfect Waffles

2 c. organic buckwheat pancake/waffle mix
(or 1 c. mix and 1 c. white flour and 1 t. baking powder and 1/4 t. salt)
2 eggs
4 T melted butter
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
(or 1 1/2 cups of yogurt/sour cream and 1/2 cup milk)
some vanilla
2 t honey

1. Run in a 5K race. Ideally, the race should take place in December. It should be late enough in the morning that your pre-race breakfast has long since worn off by the time you fight the post-race crowds back to your car.

2. Remove 2 cups of organic buckwheat pancake/waffle mix from the package. Put it in a bowl. Hide the package, so no one thinks you use a mix. Depending on the strength of the buckwheat flavor you desire, you could dilute the mix with some white flour and supplemental baking powder and salt.

3. Separate two eggs. This is a meditative process. It might be the closest I ever come to praying. "Please don't break," becomes my mantra as I pass the yolk between the two halves of the shell and allow the pure egg white to fall into the bowl below. If your whites get contaminated by even the slightest hint of broken yolk, you must wash the bowl and start over.

4. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and allow to cool.

5. Whisk together the egg yolks and the 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk.

5.5. Realize that you don't have buttermilk. You're too hungry to shop now. Create some out of as much sour cream as you have left over from last time you had chili, yogurt, and 1/2 cup milk. You'll need about two cups of this mutant buttermilk, because it's thicker than real buttermilk.

6. Add the melted butter to the eggs and buttermilk. Add some vanilla. I don't know how much. Add a couple of teaspoons of honey.

7. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks. I use a hand-crank egg beater for this job. Jimmy uses a wire whisk and his strong forearms. I once did it in a dorm room using only a fork and the strength of my will. If you're modern (or married), I suppose you might use an electric mixer. I'm a single girl. I use what I have. Note that however you do it, this step is not optional. Cookbooks always say that it is. If you're making perfect waffles, however, it is so essential, you'd do it with a fork.

8. Combine the egg yolk mixture and the flour (waffle mix) in as few strokes as possible. Add more milk if it's too thick.

9. Fold in the beaten egg whites. This is like tucking in a small child. Gentleness is the key. You don't want to startle the bubbles out of your egg whites.

10. Cook the waffles in the family waffle iron. There is some dispute in our family about who gets the waffle iron after Jimmy dies. It's best of course, to just assume that Jimmy will live forever.* You will know when the waffles are done not because of some timer or indicator light on your waffle iron, but because you can ease it open without destroying the waffle. Test it first by gently trying to lift the lid. If it doesn't pull away from your waffle, close it again and walk away. It's too soon. Try not to think about how hungry you are for two more minutes.

11. Serve immediately with butter and warmed-up real maple syrup. Or eat it yourself. You earned it.

PS Make sure someone is on bacon duty while you do all of this. You're going to want some nice crispy bacon to go with these waffles. Enjoy!

*And when forever is over, I'm older than Amadeus and Jake doesn't want it, so I should get it.


Anonymous said...

Mmmmm.....waffles. I prefer side pork to bacon though. Too bad I am one of only 11 people left in the world who even knows what side pork is. Which means I almost never get to eat it because you have to be in the right place at the right time for the side pork fairy to even consider letting you have any.

Amadeus said...

Actually, waffle iron ownership transfers to the individual who has helped Jimmy make waffles the most number of times. In other

Alex said...

Perles! They have side pork at Everett's. I haven't tried it, yet. I just saw it.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess we know where my vote will be cast (on the off chance it is solicited, that is) the next time club convenes.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Amadeus said...


Glad you like the blog! Hope we keep you entertained, feel free to drop us a note if you have a restaurant that you think we should review.

Alex said...

OK, but Everett's is a grocery store, so if we have side pork, it's going to have to be at home.