I’ve been looking forward to this one. Not that I am alone in my love for waffles, but they do hold a special place in my heart. They used to be my go to Lenten Friday night dinner. Those were the nights we good Catholics couldn’t eat meat, so while my brother and sister feasted on fish sticks, I opted for the non-traditional breakfast-for-dinner route and would have waffles. On reflection, my Mom must have liked that because there was nothing easier than throwing a couple of Aunt Jemima frozen waffles in the toaster and serving it up to a happy kid.
We have been watching Stranger Things all week on Netflix (highly recommend this show), and one of the characters has a particular fondness for Eggos. I knew that bode well for Waffle Day too because when we get into a really good show and they tend to feature a certain food, Lola starts to get a craving for it. When we watched The Sopranos, our pasta intake increased dramatically, not to mention our Gabagool consumption. So I knew that if I were to make waffles, Lola would be all in. And, because it’s a holiday, I figured I would serve them for dinner as a small way to celebrate the day (breakfast for dinner is always a celebration).
I made two kinds of waffles tonight. The first was from a recipe that popped up on my Facebook feed a few weeks ago (one of those videos that just start playing). It was a brunch recipe from Bobby Flay for Banana Bread Waffles with Bananas Foster Sauce. Sounds pretty complicated but the recipe looked pretty easy. We also, as serendipity would have it, had five bananas that were at the peak of ripeness, which made it perfect for the recipe. I made the banana bread yesterday using a recipe from Lola’s sister Becky which I think was passed down from their mother. It’s a slam dunk of a banana bread and I have made it before, so nothing too hard.
The Bananas Foster came together pretty quickly with butter, brown sugar, a little rum, some cream and bananas. For the waffle portion, the recipe has you cut slices of banana bread and cook them right in the waffle iron. This is going to be the way we serve banana bread from now on because the outside gets nice and toasted while the inside stays fresh and warm. I plated them up and then topped them generously with Foster sauce. I wasn’t sure what Lola was going to think – if she was craving regular waffles, this could go terribly wrong. But after I served them, I heard her take her first bites and she almost immediately started slapping the table in glee – that’s a good sign. She called them the bomb – another good sign.
I imagined that these would be what Bobby Flay would serve us if we ever get invited to his apartment for brunch. That would be weird. Would he cook? Wouldn’t he want the day off? Would I tell him that I once made the Banana Waffles too? Could I ask him about the other Food Network people, or would that not be polite? Would Lola pick up on his thick accent and start talking like him in that subtle mimicking way she does so unconsciously? What would we bring as a house gift? What if we didn’t like the food? Maybe we’re not ready for brunch with Bobby just yet.
Because you can’t celebrate National Waffle Day without regular waffles, I made a batch of them too. Nothing fancy – I just used a box of Waffle Mix in which water, eggs and oil needed to be added. These came out delicious as well. No offense to frozen waffles, but waffles fresh from a waffle maker always seem so much better. The outside gets crisp while the inside is still soft and doughy. The bad part is the clean up – it always seems like the waffle iron gets covered in dried batter in hard to reach places. I actually broke the waffle iron on the banana bread (pushed down too hard on the lid and the handle popped off), so this batch was particularly messy. Oh well, all part of any good celebration.
Next Up: National Whiskey Sour Day