Boy, I love breakfast! It is beyond my abilities to wake up in time for breakfast proper, but I do love breakfast. Thanks to diners and the “Breakfast at Night” menus my college used to offer every couple of weeks, my sleeping habits have not really affected my breakfast intake over the past several years.
Bacon. Grits. Haystack Potatoes. Corned beef hash. Bottomless cups of coffee. Eggs in all forms. Toast (French or otherwise). Pancakes. Fried tomatoes. Muffins (English). Sausage. Keilbasa. Cold cereal. Oatmeal. Donuts. Hash browns. Juice. Smoked salmon. Kippers. Fruit. Tea. Scones. Cheese and hot-sauce and gravy and syrup and ketchup and brown sugar and whatever the hell else goes on breakfast. All of it.
There is at least one breakfast food I steer clear of as a general rule, and that is the iconic WAFFLE.
Now why should I do a thing like that? WAFFLES seem like pretty standard fare! Everyone likes a WAFFLE. A hot, delicious, golden-brown, fluffy WAFFLE, slathered with butter and glistening with maple syrup. WAFFLES. Why not?
The thing is, reader, no diner could possibly make WAFFLES the way my father does—but I just can’t bring myself to really believe that.
My father is great, but he has this streak of Thrift that runs through him like a steel cable. The WAFFLES I grew up with were not the WAFFLES that you grew up with, unless you are a brother of mine, in which case “hi.” No, the WAFFLE was a thing distinct unto itself, and yet ever-changing—from week to week, the WAFFLE would develop new and colorful attributes, depending on just what exactly was going to waste.
There was a deep and vasty quantity of unused WAFFLE batter and uneaten WAFFLES each week, so the batter (and torn up WAFFLES) would be frozen for the next week’s batch, in addition to any ingredients that were deigned suitable for WAFFLES. The WAFFLE ingredient admissions process was very inclusive. Every bite of a WAFFLE was a bite of history:
Lemon and seeds! At some point, we had fish. Someone cut a lemon in half and left it in the fridge I guess.
Frosting! I have a big family, so many a stale birthday cake has found its way into the WAFFLES.
Raisins! Probably from Carrot Cake.
Carrots! When the carrot cake starts to fade out of the mix, fresh carrots are added.
Banana! Who wants bananas after they get all black and soft? WAFFLES do.
Apples! Another case of too old to eat!
Yogurt! Who left this out on the counter? Hello? Whose is this? It’s going in the WAFFLES now!
Cherry Coke! See “Yogurt,” above. Also see “Smoke,” below.
Smoke! Oh no! You need more “Bisquick!”
Bisquick! Sometimes the stuff:batter ratio is too far out of whack, so balance must be barely restored to prevent WAFFLE fires.
Onions! This is the only instance of WAFFLE batter disposal that comes to mind which was not connected with moving to a new house.
WAFFLES! Why didn’t everyone eat more WAFFLES??
WAFFLES hit me in my Achilles’ heel in that I eat any food that is served to me. I have taste buds! I have a brain! But neither of these have an effect on the consumption of food I already have on hand, except in dire circumstances; covered in bugs or parsnips, like. So I got food poisoning the last time I went to this sushi buffet? So I hate Jolly Ranchers? So I have a stomach virus? So I am always lactose intolerant, despite the Power of Love (as applied to ice cream)?
Anyway, WAFFLES are a cherished memory, and an excellent lesson in the application of Thrift.