It’s been almost a year since I’ve moved out on my own. I look at my little place and smile. This small home has become something of mine. Does that make sense? I look around and it is a true reflection of me. From the black and white photos of Paris to the band posters hung in the hallway, my home represents every facet of me.
I remember those first couple of months living in my new home. I hated the lack of natural light and the non-existent dining room. I preferred to hide in my room because my living room felt so cold and sparse. With a little love and care, I’ve created a space that I treasure. And I did it all on my own.
To honor my anniversary, I did two things.
1. Bought a customized piece of art that is utterly gorgeous. Thanks to Megan Weeden for her wonderful work! I can’t wait to snap a photo of it.
2. Made myself some homemade waffles with my new waffle iron.
I’m not ashamed to admit that for the first 16 years of my life, I didn’t know how fantastic homemade waffles could be. I practically thrived on Leggo-my-eggo waffles and Mrs.Butterworth syrup. (Both still hold a special place in my heart.) But homemade waffles are epic. Yes, that’s the right word. Epic. While I enjoy a good pancake every now and then, I could eat a waffle everyday. Waffle toppings are endless. Bananas with walnuts, hot chocolate sauce, fresh fruit, whipped cream. A friend of mine actually had a waffle bar for brunch and I swear, my eyes popped out of my head.
For the most part, I’m content with simple buttermilk waffles topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. I’m partial to ripe raspberries and strawberries, so juicy they ooze the minute you touch them. Blueberries are wonderful too, as their indigo juice fills every crevice of the waffle.
There are endless waffle recipes out there; it’s hard to narrow your choices down. But, when in doubt, go to the blogger you wish you could share a drink (or a cupcake) with. Yes, I’m talking about Deb. She discovered this Mark Bittman recipe in 2007 and I’m glad she blogged about it because it was the easiest recipe in the world.
It only took me 5 minutes to get this batter going and they were outstanding. I like mine a little crispy around the edges so I turned my oven on high and left them on a little longer than normal. If you don’t have buttermilk, you could use regular milk, but buttermilk’s tang adds needed flavor. Whipping the egg whites separately creates a light, almost fluffy batter, resulting in soft, waffles with crispy edges. Just the way I like them.
I ate these waffles and counted my blessings. A solid job. A warm home. Good family and friends. You all. I’m a lucky girl and it’s important to remember that when so many are suffering.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Canola or other neutral oil for brushing on waffle pan (Deb note: Pam works great!)
Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt and the egg yolks. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
Brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with the whisk or electric mixer (spotlessly clean ones work best) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter.
Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.
* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.