Holes

March 28, 2012

It arrived in the mail yesterday, straight from amazon.com – the shiny new waffle iron, with gleaming white top and bottom, and streamlined navy blue handle that matched the snappy signature of the Proctor-Silex “morning baker” written in the circle center. Opening like a metal monster mouth, it was all-business, promising to produce crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-creamy-on-the-inside, just-right, 4-sectioned waffles sure to satisfy all, either the supper-starved or the sunrise-seekers. Besides that, there inside the instruction pamphlet, were also recipes, including one for chocolate waffles. I’d never thought of chocolate waffles, but it does open up a whole new world….even as it closes out an old one,….since the receiving of this postal package signaled an end – the end of an entire era.

When the girls were growing up, we had a tradition of going to Grandma’s house on Wednesdays for supper, which often featured her popular waffles – made with her old waffle iron that I guess dated back to the 50’s or 60’s. She would rotate menus, from the waffles one week, to spaghetti the next, and corned beef hash on the third, thus completing her normal repertoire, which was fine with us. We loved the first two, and the corned beef was OK, too, especially for me, since it meant not having to cook one day a week; I really wasn’t fussy at all and didn’t care what she cooked! To reciprocate, I had them over at our house on Monday nights – when she and Grandad walked across the street to where we lived. Uncle Steve joined our little group when he retired from the military and moved back to town, and in later years, after Grandad died, Aunt Sara and Aunt Bernice would come, then when Aunt Sara was gone, Aunt Bernice would pick up Rachel, still giving us three guests each week.

After Grandma died, when I was cleaning out her house, and got to place where she kept the waffle iron, I didn’t hesitate, but took it right over to our house and put it in my cupboard. Someone had to carry on the waffle tradition, and the general consensus of the rest of the family was that I was elected. I knew I would be and I wasn’t sorry. Waffles weren’t brain surgery. And so I began making some waffles. But the girls were already grown by then, and the normal crew wasn’t across the street, and it really wasn’t the same. And now both the girls, along with Em’s family, are on a diet that doesn’t include waffles, so even when they’ve visited, the waffle iron has stayed in the closet. So all of these things, combined with the fact that Grandma’s old iron had begun to frighten me with its sizzling sounds, steam, slightly stinky electrical smell, and hot cord, were all factors in the purchase of this new piece of B&B equipment. I told Em about it on the phone this morning and she said, “Did you get one with the little holes? That’s my favorite.” But I had to tell her I’d gotten a Belgian one. (And this was strictly a business decision: once when I’d promised Aunt Bernice waffles at dinner – which delighted her – and then produced the flat, limp’ish ones that Grandma’s iron made (which is the way I like them) – her face fell. She quickly changed it, but I knew she’d thought, “I was expecting Belgian waffles with strawberries like they serve at Bob Evans,” and I knew that others might have the same expectation – maybe not a Bob Evans one like Aunt Bernice’s – but you get the point). I’d felt I’d had no choice but to get the big holes. And they’ll be OK; they really will.

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