I do not waffle on one important issue: I firmly believe that waffles are so delicious that I can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
My favorites are Belgian waffles, and I just made it easier to enjoy them any time I desire to do so. I bought a Belgian-waffle maker last week.
I have enjoyed Belgian waffles each day for the past five days. I'm sure I'll soon tire of eating them every day, but I'm not rushing it. Holy blueberry syrup, I tell you, I'm lovin' these Belgian waffles.
I've been a waffle fan in general for a long time. When I was a youngster, my mother occasionally fed us waffles for Sunday evening dinner. We called it Sunday night breakfast. It was special, and I loved it. Heck, how could I not love Mom's wonderful waffles, plus luscious strips of bacon, all drizzled with Log Cabin maple syrup and washed down with cold milk?
Today, I think my mother's waffle maker is inside a box in her garage. Mom's 96 and living at an assisted-care facility, and Anne and I are living in her house for now, because we wanted someone from the immediate family to be nearby. Anyway, Mom's waffle iron is somewhere out in the garage, while our waffle iron is in our home back in California. So, recently, I decided I had gone without waffles long enough. When I saw a Hamilton Beach Belgian-waffle maker on sale last week at the base exchange, I made the command decision: Let there be waffles. I jumped on it.
My next stop after the exchange was the base commissary, where I picked up a box of Hungry Jack complete Belgian-waffle mix. Just add water, it said on the front of the box, a little to the left of a picture of a thick Belgian waffle with powdered sugar and strawberries on top. Oh, mama! I jumped on it.
You food snobs can put your little noses back in place right now. I know what you're thinking: Hungry Jack? A mix from a box? Just add water?
Well, bless my butter, it yields some right-good waffles. I cleaned and prepped our new waffle iron, and while the iron was preheating, I mixed together some of the mix with some water, and in five minutes, the kitchen smelled like a Belgian waffle café. And in another five minutes, I was chowing down on Belgian waffles topped with maple syrup and fresh blueberries. Delicious! I realize, of course, that just about everything that's edible tastes pretty delicious to me, but these waffles were genuinely scrumptious to my combat-trained taste buds. They are scrumptious, I should say. As I noted before, I've eaten them each day for the past five days.
I shall miss contributing to the profit margins of the Kellogg Co. The food maker's Eggo waffles – they command 70 percent of the frozen-waffle market, by the way – were a pretty yummy substitute for the past couple of years, especially when smothered with fresh blueberries and Smucker's sugar-free blueberry syrup.
However, I think it is important to have real waffles in one's life. And I'm not alone in thinking that. Just ask Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope from the television show "Parks and Recreation." Remarked the insightful Ms. Knope: "We need to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, work is third."
Alright, OK, she did not specify real waffles, but you get my point. Waffles are vital to a quality life. I've already pointed out that they're delicious and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But they also can be eaten as a hand-held treat or as a quick meal on the go if you eliminate the fruit and that sticky syrup and any other toppings. You do not have to eliminate all fruit. You can take a banana with you, holding the banana in one hand and the waffle-to-go in the other. Now we're talking about convenience, balanced goodness and nutritional mobility. Or sort of something like that.
Speaking of other toppings, waffles can taste scrumptious with the addition of a dollop of whipped cream or a mound of whipped cream or a spoonful of fruit yogurt or a glob of chocolate mousse. Or how about some crispy fried chicken and maple syrup on your waffles? Heck, yeah!
If you're in Los Angeles, stop and try it at one of the famous Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles, founded in 1975 by Harlem native Herb Hudson. Based in Long Beach, Roscoe's has six locations in the greater LA area, with a new one set to open in Anaheim. I love waffles, and I love fried chicken. The two together make for a blissful marriage made in waffle wonderland. Don't tell my doctor; just pass me the chicken and waffles, and I'll take some of that Roscoe's mac and cheese, also!
The 1930's Harlem concept of chicken and waffles has been brought to Atlanta, too, compliments of soulful songstress Gladys Knight and her son, Shanga Hankerson. Then there's Chicago's in Chicago, also known as Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles, with locations in Chicago, Oak Park and Evanston. With the popularity of chicken and waffles, you might find such a place wherever you live. Check it out, chicken-waffle lovers.
Back to Belgian waffles, served more traditional ways, get yourself a waffle iron and some Belgian waffle mix and get to wafflin'. Got your mom's recipe? Throw it together and create your own waffles from scratch. (Stand by my dear wheatless and gluten-free friends; I'm creating a new and improved wheatless Belgian-waffle recipe for you.)
There you go. Grub out and carry on the waffle tradition, which began in the 13th century. Belgian waffles, however, did not arrive until a little before World War II, when a couple from Belgium's capital city of Brussels added some yeast to the ages-old waffle recipe. Viola! Belgian waffles were born, although they did not become the popular eats they are today, until creator Maurice Vermersch and his missus introduced them to the world at Expo 58 in Brussels and later at the 1964 World's Fair in New York.
Wait. I almost forgot. I should plug the Belgian Waffle Works in our California hometown of Lake Arrowhead. It's been serving up all kinds of Belgian waffles for more than 30 years. You'll find it lakeside in Lake Arrowhead Village, where you can get your grub on inside, or you can chow down out on the terrace and watch the boats and ducks while you eat your waffles. Check them out online at www.belgianwaffle.com
Bon appetit, wafflers.