And in the morning, I’m making waffles

Breakfast for dinner was one of my favorite family traditions when I was growing up. In our house, it always meant waffles. One of my earliest food memories is of my Mother hovering behind me while I perched precariously on her signature step-stool (like many Japanese-American women, my mother and I are of less-than-average height), not comprehending for the upteenth time that melted butter straight out of the microwave was hot.

Dedicated to Mommy for not getting visibly upset when six-year-old me put egg shells in the waffle batter because I thought they were “egg whites.”

A typical breakfast for me in my formative years was either miso soup – yes, what you get in Japanese restaurants before your meal arrives – or cheese toast. While cheese toast remains my favorite snack to this day, imagine my shock after moving into the UCLA dorms and discovering humans eating all the awesome breakfast breads (pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc.) in the morning….

So I became a functional bruncher. A runny egg on everything, bacon in the morning, bagel sandwich with-extra-bacon-please bruncher. Thank you, UCLA dorms – especially De Neve – for saving my soul during so many Saturday morning recoveries. You brought me back to ground-level more often than Tylenol and whimpering into my pillow at dawn ever did.

By the way, is anyone still at UCLA? Holler at your girl if you’ve got extra swipes.

Building blocks of bliss in my parents’ kitchen.

For the record, these waffles should be made in a standard square waffle iron, not a round Belgian one. Thin and crispy. Soft and buttery. Vegan, in the case of the second version below. Whatever your preference, sally forth and cure hangovers, impress significant others, and don’t forget to warm up the maple syrup for extra deliciousness.

(from the 1970s version of the Pillsbury Cookbook on my parents’ kitchen counter in all its batter-stained, yellow-paged glory that now costs $100-something on EBay)

Breakfast for Dinner Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs – separated – yolks in a large bowl, whites in a small bowl
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine or butter

Pre-heat waffle iron to desired setting.

Whisk egg yolks and milk together in large bowl until the yolks are broken up and mixed together. Then add all dry ingredients and whisk some more until smooth. Slowly pour in the melted margarine/butter and stir to combine.

Whisk/beat egg whites until soft peaks form. If they’re not foamy-looking? They’re not done. If there’s still some liquid at the bottom of the bowl? Still not done. It’s all in the wrist.

Don’t haphazardly scroll past this in search of the next step in the recipe yet! I’m emphasizing this because I care about the look of happiness on your face as a light, buttery, waffle temporarily alleviates whatever ails you. The egg whites step I mentioned above is the key to a magical waffle. I’m serious. This is profound stuff.

Fold the soft egg white peaks into the batter. For those new to the game, deposit the whipped up whites on top of the batter, then flip a spoon or spatula to gradually envelop the whipped egg whites into the batter. The batter should and will increase significantly in size. Stir regularly a few times to finish combining.

Pour into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions. (Most-likely but not-necessarily until the light turns off.)

And never fear vegans! I promise I didn’t forget about you.

Vegan Waffle Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (almond, soy, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Put all of these things into a bowl. Mix it up. Pour into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions

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