Waffle Closeup
Culture, Food, Inspiration

Rediscovering Waffles and Why We Should All Be Eating Them

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.

Patisserie Le Beau Outside Vancouver

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!

Patisserie Le Beau Authentic Belgian Waffles

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.

Bubble Waffle Aberdeen Centre Richmond

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.

Bubble Waffle Oreo

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 eggs
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.

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  • Reply KateJuly 25, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for the beautiful memories–after that post, I’m sure you are Baba’s favorite!

    And, yeah–waffles. Those bubble waffles got me thinking about the shape of waffles–the geometric surface of recessed areas and ridges is the thing; it creates an entirely different texture than pancakes or muffins, for example, or any other concoction of baked dough.

    • Reply AnnaJuly 25, 2018 at 8:02 am

      That’s exactly it! Amazing how a texture switch-up changes the whole experience. Have you tried the bubble waffles?

  • Reply MonicaJuly 25, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Love this post! I had never been big on waffles so it was a bit random when I put a waffle iron on our wedding registry. Josh immediately assumed the role of the waffle maker when we got it. We use the Kodiak Cakes mix (100% whole grains) and we’re obsessed!! I love adding all the fixins….fresh berries, chocolate chips, pepitas, whipped cream, and maple syrup are my faves. I can’t wait to try your grandmother’s recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply AnnaJuly 25, 2018 at 8:05 am

      I have read great things about the Kodiak Cakes and finally sampled them in Vail at the Go-Pro games – delicious! A great reminder that making something special that’s not part of your usual routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Love all the topping suggestions, another great way to make the experience all the more memorable.

  • Reply Natalie PelafosJuly 25, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Waffles are amazing, indeed!
    What a fun post and great memories. Funny I haven’t had Baba’s recipe all this time – I just always thought waffles were to have at her house. Although in my early twenties, one of my roommates an ancient waffle maker and we were always making waffles together for ourselves and friends, impromptu breakfasts, brusnches and lunches. Dinner too! No recipes, just throwing together whatever was available and seemed fitting. I agree, we all need more waffles in our lives, and the “together time” that seems to come along with them.

    • Reply AnnaJuly 25, 2018 at 8:48 am

      Yes! Waffles = Together Time. And they are delicious.

  • Reply KateJuly 25, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    No I have never tried bubble waffles–had never even heard of them until your post. Baba used to put two strips of bacon on top of the batter before lowering the top–do you remember? She also sprinkles on chopped pecans before cooking. I’m just saying …

    • Reply AnnaJuly 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Do I remember?! Yes. It’s unforgettable.

  • Reply Alli GraceJuly 26, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Dang it Anna, now I want a waffle maker! My friend Rachel, brings Waffle House waffles to camping trips. Genious! Quick warmup on a hot skillet and Voila! Thanks for your sweet post Anna😍

    • Reply AnnaJuly 26, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Haha, that is genius! Everything tastes even better camping, I love this idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply KateJuly 26, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    This is from Baba: 1. You must be sure to use unbleached white flour; 2. Be sure to use whole milk; 3. The old iron waffle irons are best (Baba doesn’t like teflon!).

    Oh–and she is so flattered that you have such lovely memories of those mornings at 8420.

    p.s. At popular new place in Webster Groves, Clover and Bee (in the old Webster Groves bookstore space–sniff, sniff)–they serve waffles that have recessed circles, rather than squares–not bubbles, though.

    • Reply AnnaJuly 26, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks for the great tips!Goodness, the waffle is ever evolving, so many shape possibilities. Most importantly, did you try them!?

  • Reply KateJuly 27, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Duh. Good Question. I will consult the matriarch; stay tuned.

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