Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Tale of No Waffles

OK, so. This should be a lesson to you all.

Last night I got a hankering for some waffles, and turned to the always-trustworthy Molly and her recipe for Marion Cunningham's yeasted waffles. I sprinkled the yeast, scooped the flour, mixed the batter, and covered the bowl with plastic wrap. Easy peasy, macaroni-and-cheesy.

Except when I went to go get the waffle iron (I planned to set it out on the counter so that tomorrow I would not have to move around a bunch of pots and pans looking for it), I couldn't find it. It was GONE.

I searched every cabinet, every closet, and the basement. I still can't believe that it's not here. We recently moved and I felt sure that I had not given it away...or had I? Perhaps I gave it to my mom? Maybe it somehow fell off the back of the truck? Where art thou, waffle iron?

The missing-in-action waffle iron was a relic of the mid-nineties, given as a gift to my mother and used first by her and then by me once I moved out and appropriated it. It was a Betty Crocker automatic Belgian-waffle maker and it did a pretty good job. Notice that I speak in the past tense, because that waffle iron is nowhere to be found and I've already bidden it a mental adieu.

But! I had a huge bowl of waffle batter resting on the counter? Whatever was I to do?

Well, this morning, instead of letting the batter go to waste, I fired up the stove with a griddle pan (received as a wedding gift and never used until now, because we finally! have a gas stove, stirred in the eggs and baking soda as directed, and drizzled the batter into rounds that weirdly ran along the pan and turned instead to balloon-shapes. They did not rise or puff like normal pancakes, but they sizzled pleasantly and turned a beautiful golden brown. They were also an easy dream to flip. I took my first skeptical bite and...CREPE!!

Yes, that is what I ended up making. Although they are thicker than a traditional crepe, a little more savory (from the yeast) and not quite as lacy-delicate, they had that undeniably eggy, custardy, crepe-y taste. T. loved them and said that if I ever want to make crepes I should just use this recipe.

Not one to leave well enough alone, I realized that the volume of batter needed to make waffles far exceeds the volume of batter to make crepes. So I cooked a few more and then...poured spoonfuls of the batter into a non-stick muffin tin.

The muffin tin is now in the oven. I am following a rough version of the baking instructions for popovers, since this thin batter reminds me of pop-over batter (so I started them at 400 and after 15 minutes turned down to 350. I suppose I should have started them in a cold oven? But too late now). I am watching them like a hawk...they've started to puff up and the tops are browning, but I still see the unmistakable quiver of custard around the edges.

I'm not really sure what's going to happen with these...I sort of have the vague inclination that they'll be something like puffy biscuits? Or less popped popovers? Or those little tasty cake things you can buy from the street vendors in Chinatown (although I guess I should have used coconut milk if I was going for that)?

Who knows. Stay tuned! It's a culinary adventure!!

PS: The pot roast turned out great. I ended up putting it in the fridge and then cooking it stovetop for an hour the day of, and the juices and fat sort of reduced down and made a tasty sauce. With the same wine I had used in the sauce, it was fabulous over boiled potatoes.

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