Some one on Mary Janes Farm chatroom (which I frequent) brought up the subject of waffles and waffle irons. I LOVE waffles but never had any luck making them 30 or 40 years ago when I was a young woman. I remember getting a waffle iron for a wedding present, trying it, making a big mess of the whole thing and selling it at my first garage sale, I think. But a couple of years ago a friend had a garage sale and had 2 old waffle irons from my Mother's era (1950's) that she was trying to sell. I said "No thanks...been there done that" but I was selling on Ebay at the time and she suggested I sell them on Ebay and she would give them to me for free if I would take them off her hands. What could I say, I took them and stuffed them in the basement and promptly forgot about them. With the thread about waffles and waffle irons on Mary Jane's website chatroom, my memory was awakened and I remembered those old waffle irons in the basement. Sure enough, they were still down there so I brought them upstairs and assessed them. The round one looked promising so before I started cleaning it up I decided to plug it in and see if it even worked. One thing I noticed was the cord neatly corraled by a toilet paper roll. What a great idea! I plugged her in and VOILA....no sparks or smoke and it was a cloth cord....I've never used one of those but I had inspected it and it seemed in good shape. There was even a light on top that actually lit up! There were 3 settings; light. medium, and dark. I cleaned her up REALLY good, made my waffle batter in a pitcher as I figured that would be convenient for pouring. I sprayed the griddle with organic canola oil and turned the slot to dark. I like things crispy. I was excited! I whisked my batter in the pitcher but it said not to "over mix" so once it looked mixed and I thought my griddle was heated up I poured on the batter. So far, so good. I closed it up and set the timer for 5 minutes which the "batter" recipe said to cook it for. Well....it depends on how hot your griddle was when you poured in the batter because after 5 minutes I opened it and it wasn't ready. I closed it quickly hoping it would be okay. Meanwhile, I quickly googled waffles and found a recipe that said NOT to open until steam stopped coming out. I waited and then opened it (it took 10 minutes so obviously my griddle wasn't hot enough when I put the batter in.) It was done...bedraggled looking but I got it out. The next one was too dark....evidently the griddle was hot enough now and I had waited for the steam to end and sure enough it came out just perfectly...no sticking! I turned the lever to medium and the next one came out PERFECT!!!! I figured I had finally mastered it! I had one more to make eyeing my remaining batter. BTW I resprayed the griddle each time before adding more batter. This was the last waffle so I tipped up the pitcher to empty it all and POUFF!!!! There was batter and underneath it a bunch of flour that had not gotten incorporated! AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! What a mess! And it was a hot griddle so I just closed the lid and hoped for the best.
I did not eat that last waffle but the others were great and I froze a few. I left the kitchen after unplugging the MONSTER and like Scarlet O'Hara I decided I would deal with it another day or at least much later. But.....I learned a lot...mostly 3 key points I would like to pass on to future generations of waffle makers......1) don't open until the steam stops coming out, 2) give your griddle plenty of time to heat up before that first one and 3) DO NOT whisk your batter in a pitcher...use a bowl and transfer to a pitcher after it is mixed that way if there is any remaining flour that has not gotten incorporated you will probably see it before you dump it on your griddle. I talked to my youngest son later last night who gave me yet another tip (he's worked as a short order cook in the past)....he said instead of spraying which can be a bit messy for surrounding items in your kitchen....he used to have a little bowl of melted butter with a (previously unused) paint brush that he would baste the griddle with before each batch of waffles. The reason I stated "previously unused" paintbrush is because funny thing...he is a painter now. So.....now you have it...my entire Sunday Morning Waffle Extravaganza! Tune in next week....will she attempt more waffles? Will the griddles be discovered on Ebay or Freecycle? Will she go on to be Queen of Waffledom? Only The Shadow knows!