Growing up in St. Louis my grandmother lived seven houses down the block from me and my family. She had a completely open-door policy which meant that she never locked her door and everyone (including cousins, friends and neighbors) popped by at all times of the day without ever calling or giving her a heads up we were on our way. This seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me at the time.
While I have always appreciated having this “home away from home”, I never thought about how unique it was and how incredible my grandmother was for not only embracing but encouraging it. Her house was permanently impeccable, she was always happy to see us, and she always had something delicious for us to eat.
One of my fondest memories are of her waffles. It was never declared that we would go to her house every weekend for waffles or even expected, but somehow I guess it just worked out that way. I don’t know if we were always showing up so she just started making waffles all the time or if she had a routine where she made waffles every weekend so we started showing up.
Either way, I loved these low key mornings together. And I loved these waffles. The funny thing is, outside of that experience I never really thought about waffles. I don’t remember ever making them at home or even thinking about ordering them out at a restaurant.
Now that we are in Vancouver, however, we have had two incredible waffle experiences that not only put these delightful baked goods back on my radar but also reminded me of these lovely memories with my grandmother.
Recently we visited Patisserie Lebeau to try their sweet and savory Belgian waffles. Petrina has been singing their praises for a while now, so I was excited to finally try them.
Upon entering I was a bit skeptical. I had imagined waffles made fresh upon ordering but these were already made and displayed. I anticipated being disappointed but we absolutely were not!
They were delicious and the flavors and texture were on point. We ordered three sweet (classic, chocolate chip, and dark chocolate and coconut) and two savory (feta with spinach and sausage with cheese) to share. They were all delicious. My favorites were the classic and chocolate chip.
Our second waffle experience was a week later at Aberdeen Mall, a predominately Asian mall in Richmond BC, about 20 minutes from Vancouver.
We decided to have a food extravaganza in the amazing food court which I talked about here. One of the highlights of what we tried was the Bubble Waffle. Yet another new (to me) waffle concept! I loved them! They are so different than the Belgian waffles. Essentially instead of the classic inverted squares traditionally associated with waffles, there are “bubbles” that create perfect pillowy bite sizes of delicousness.
They came in a variety of flavors including classic, chocolate, strawberry, cheesecake, sesame and green tea. We left the flavor choice up to David who, to none of our surprise, chose Oreo. Again, the flavor was on point but what was really interesting was the delightful texture that resulted from the “bubbles”.
Waffles are amazing.
They are dense but light, can be savory or sweet, are good hot or cold, can be easily frozen, travel well, and are so flavorful without being overly sweet! I am hooked.
These experiences have really got me thinking about how underappreciated the waffle is. They belong everywhere! Road trips, parties, brunches, in your purse! Plus, they are clearly a memory maker.
I encourage everyone to take some time soon and sit down with loved ones to enjoy the beauty of waffles.
In honor of this post, here is my grandmother’s waffle recipe. They also freeze really well, just pop them in the toaster when you are ready to eat them. A warning though, no one can make them like she can.
Baba’s “Oh Boy” Waffles
2 1/2 Cups Sifted Flour
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tblsp Sugar
2 1/4 Cups Milk
3/4 Cup Peanut Oil
In one mixing bowl, mix together the sifted four, baking powder, salt and sugar.
In a separate mixing bowl beat the two eggs. Then add the milk and peanut oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients just before baking. Beat until smooth. Add batter to waffle iron and cook about 4 minutes.