Monday, January 25, 2016

Meme-Less Monday, A Day of Mental Rest and Wiley Waffles

I am going to make a sincere effort to steer clear of politics today. I may have to stay off of Facebook to do this, but it'll be worth it. My head is still threatening to explode, and election rhetoric is not helping. Goodbye Fox and CNN. So long, New York Times. Au revoir, Orlando Sentinel. And farewell, Facebook. I am declaring this Meme-Less Monday. The news is literally making me sick. Excuse me while I go check out my cookbook recommendations.

It is 37 degrees in Kissimmee this morning, shockingly low for this poor old body. The temperature in Florida is currently ranging from 57 in Key West to 30 in Tallahassee. I have no plans to leave the house today, and right now I can't imagine leaving this bed, unless it is for the purpose of heading to Key West.  Or maybe as far as the kitchen to brew some coffee while trying a really easy waffle recipe I found online. I will conquer The Waffle, and I will do it without separating eggs or blooming yeast. But first - coffee ├╝ber alles.

Ahhhhh .... now that I am appreciably caffeinated, I'm going to test the waffle recipe. In the meantime, I've posted some mighty fine and sunny pet pics with which you can wile away the time (yes, the spelling is correct) whilst I wittle a waffle or two.

"Hellooooooo to all my snowbound friends!  This is Chelsea Rose Rothfeld reporting from the No-Snow Zone, also known as Florida."

"My Puppy brother and I are sharing a toasty sunspot. I hope you get your toasty sunspots back real soon!"

"My Kitty brother is playing the part of a Solitary Sun Gazer. Stuck-up Feline Snob Lord of the Sith!"

Now, before I provide the recipe and pictures for you, I would like to share the wisdom of Bobby Flay, Brunchmeister and Grilling Guy Extraordinaire - "I like to leave the edges of the waffle irregular because that way you can tell they are homemade." These are very homemade. And I am pleased to add that they are delicious, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, all the qualities that make a waffle a waffle.

Best of all, these are easy. No freaky ingredients like buttermilk or yeast (I happen to keep yeast in the fridge in case I wake up with a mad desire to bake bread, but buttermilk is too perishable for the luxury of maintaining a regular supply. It's not like anyone drinks that stuff, except Martha Stewart and possibly Andrew Zimmern. Buttermilk is like Asian fish sauce, thoroughly noxious until after you combine it with other ingredients. And yeast means time - waiting time, for the batter to rise up, and for you to pray to the Great Bakery Gods that your yeast is alive, that the water temperature is correct lest you kill the little darlings, that the yeast ate the sugar you gave them for breakfast and are in the mood to fart. Time better spent obsessing over Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, or knitting a sock, or playing with your grandchildren.) No whipping separated egg whiles. No melting butter and waiting for it to cool off. This recipe is delightfully straightforward and user-friendly.

I found it on Allrecipes after initiating a search for "easiest and best waffles." Seriously, isn't Google divine? This is called "Waffles I" and judging by the comments was posted sometime in 2005 by OneShyOfABunch. Alrighty, then. I'm sure she would look askance at my screen nick. Brkexpat, what the hell is that supposed to mean?

2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Before I start the instructions, let me encourage you to click on the above link so you can check out the comments for your personal use and eddification.  I learn a lot from the comments, including tips on how to make a good recipe even better, and how truly box-of-rocks stupid some people can be. It's the contrast that keeps me amused. For Waffles I, the vast majority thought it was The Bomb. A very few thought it was worse than ground up cat shit. I went with the yay-sayers instead of the nay-sayers and was well-rewarded for my faith in nameless, faceless strangers who also like to cook.

I took some of their suggestions to heart, increasing the sugar (I used turbinado instead of white) to 2 tablespoons and the vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Most importantly I followed the recommendation of one waffler to beat the eggs for up to 5 minutes to get them really fluffy. About halfway through, I added the sugar and salt, which made for really good incorporation and really fluffy eggs.

Hard to see in the photo, but this batter had some weight to it, unlike last night's runny mess.

The last thing I did which is not part of the original recipe is to let the batter sit for a good 10 minutes before committing it to griddle. This gives the ingredients a chance to make friends and learn to play well with others. Seriously, this is a little trick I use when making muffins, and the result is always a higher-rising, more tender specimen. Trust me. Just remember to stir it once or twice when you are ready to pour.

Oy vay ist mir, where are those directions? Enough of this batter chatter!

Beat the eggs until fluffy, adding the sugar and salt about halfway through the fluffing.  Add the flour, milk, oil, baking powder and vanilla and beat just until smooth. Set aside at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

So while the batter is resting, preheat your waffle iron according to your manufacturer's instructions. Spray both sides of the hot griddle with butter-flavored Pam. Stir once or twice, then pour some of the batter onto the griddle, spread the batter evenly, close to the edges, if you are that sort of waffler, or go the Bobby Flay freehand route, like me. Close the griddle and bake until the waffle is golden brown and beautiful.

Remove from the waffle iron and eat. You can thank me later. Oh yeah, it's OneShyOfABunch's recipe, but I did the research! You're welcome.

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