It doesn’t look as if we are venturing far from home this weekend. Winter weather has finally set in, and it just seems wise to lay low. I hope you have a special stash of deelish food treats and a good long queue of movies to stream. Be careful shoveling the front walk, and check on your neighbors; the time might be ripe for a good deed or two. We will be baking, making popcorn, reading, and napping this weekend. I hope you are just as productive!
One of our favorite family memories is of the summer vacation we took in Washington, D.C. We were living in Florida then, and we were very familiar with hot weather. Still, nothing prepares a tourist for walking around D.C. in the summer. We started every morning with a big, vacation-y breakfast buffet at our hotel. I think hotels cater to eight-year-old boys. Ours delighted in making his own big, fluffy waffles every morning, which he would coat with melting pats of oozy butter and then drown in long pours of sweet syrup. It was the beginning of his culinary education. The rest of us, with our abstemious breakfasts of twigs and sticks, watched with amazement as he prepared and consumed daily raft-sized waffles. He, alone, had the energy to conquer the pedestrian challenges of summertime D.C.. No monument had too many steps; no Mall, no museum, was too far, or too large for him.
Whenever we make waffles we remember that summer. This will be a good waffle weekend. There is nothing like recounting a summer in Foggy Bottom to warm up a cold January morning. Waffles take a smidge more work than pancakes, but if you make extras, they will freeze nicely, and when gelid February rolls on in, you will have a stash that you can warm easily in the oven (10 minutes at 350°F) , or in the toaster.
We do not have a waffle station with a never-ending supply of waffle batter, or a fancy Belgian waffle iron that spins, like the Marriott hotels do, but we aren’t trying to make an impression on an eight-year-old, either. We have a humble, perfectly serviceable wedding present waffle iron. And a killer recipe. And a few slices of freshly cooked bacon, and hot, buttery real-life maple syrup*. We are not off to conquer the East Building of the National Gallery this weekend, but we will be energized, and just in time to scrub that grout in the shower.
This is our recipe, from the New York Times, so their pay wall may come clanging down: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017409-waffles. In that case, we also happily use the Kodiak pancake mix, and cannot praise the Bisquick recipe enough:
2 cups Bisquick mix
1 1/3 cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Heat waffle iron; grease with vegetable oil or shortening.
2. Stir ingredients until blended. Pour onto center of hot waffle iron. Close lid of waffle iron.
3. Allow to bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffle. Repeat
Add butter and maple syrup to your heart’s content. Top with some health fruit. You are stoking your snow-shoveling-doing-good furnace, after all.
I’m going to bake a double batch chocolate chip cookies on Sunday. We have a new neighbor across the street, and I figure that fresh, homemade cookies might be appreciated on a gloomy, cold weekend. This is our go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies: https://food52.com/recipes/78188-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies
I usually only bake a dozen cookies at a time. I scoop the left-over dough into balls with an ice cream scoop, and freeze them. Then it is easy to pop another dozen onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375°F. Hot and cold running cookies: a little self-reliance and insurance when the weather is dicey, or the baker is lazy.
*We like Grade B maple syrup best – it is darker and more flavorful, and less sweet. But if you have an eight-year-old, you can probably stick with Log Cabin syrup or Aunt Jemima. https://www.delish.com/food-news/g25577695/best-maple-syrup-brands/
“I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time” so I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”
― Steven Wright
“I came down as soon as I thought there was a prospect of breakfast.”
― Charlotte Brontë