The first record of my Sunday waffle-making practice is from a very snowy day in 2015, but it’s a ritual that got started many years before then.
In the beginning, Catherine made the tactical error of making pancakes one Sunday morning. They were very good, and so we clearly expected her to make them every Sunday after that.
She was, rightfully, having none of that, the accumulated tasks of the patriarchy already consuming more than her waking hours. So she cleverly engineered the gift of a waffle-maker for me for Christmas, from her mother, and thus achieved a clean transition from “Catherine’s Sunday Pancakes” to “Pete’s Sunday Waffles.”
And once you make waffles a half-dozen times for a child who revels in routine, it’s basically a lifetime weekly commitment. (To the point where when on vacation in Amersfoort in 2018 we ended up with stroopwafel for breakfast, after which Olivia famously threw up in my shoe; stroopwafel are many things, but they ain’t waffles).
Waffle-maker number one eventually broke; Catherine hurried her mother into the gift of a replacement, lest the expectation of patriarchal pancakes return.
Over the years I’ve stuck to the basic waffle recipe in the manual: 2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, salt, 2 cups milk, ¼ cup melted butter, 2 eggs. After Catherine died, and I stopped keeping eggs in the house, I switched to Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer, which results in even better waffles; I should have switched years ago.
For the last month, though, there’s been trouble in waffle city: the waffles started to stick to the waffle-maker. At first I thought I was leaving out an important part of the recipe, but I triple-checked and I wasn’t, yet week after week I was having to scrape ur-waffles from the maker.
I finally realized that time had worn the non-stick coating off the pans, perhaps aided by the unfortunate “Pete mistakenly buys baking soda instead of powder” incident.
There was nothing to be done, given the centrality of the waffle-making operation to the smooth running of the household, but to replace the waffle-maker. Which is what we did yesterday, finding the same model—the Cuisinart WAF350C—in stock at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Tonight I arrived home at 6:30 p.m. after work having neglected to plan for supper; spotting the waffle-maker in the counter, I reasoned that if I switched out the cinnamon and replaced it with some savoury spices, I could make supper waffles.
The waffles turned out perfectly—perhaps my best ever—and were complemented by a cheese sauce that I whipped up while they were cooking.
We’re set for Sunday waffles with this maker for another decade at least. And perhaps—no commitments—the occasional midweek ones too.