Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back to the Table

As I was enjoying waffles bathed in real maple syrup this morning, I thought back to a Teflon coated waffle iron we had received in the 1970’s as a wedding gift. I loved the waffles my mom and Grandma Mary used to make. Any waffles I had from my childhood slid right off the surface of the non-Teflon griddles. Instead, my waffles cooked right into this non-stick surface. If you haven’t chipped away at waffles cooked into a griddle, you have no idea how awful a waffle can be. I tried different recipes and different oiling techniques for the non-stick⎯ha, surface. I discussed my waffle madness problems with my mom and my grandma, and still I was chipping away at my awful-waffle iron. It was so horrific to clean this thing, I finally threw it away. So, I made pancakes instead.

Years passed, my grandma passed, and I now have her waffle iron. This waffle iron is a 1929 Hotpoint/General Electric chrome griddle, which sits on a chrome tray with butterscotch Bakelite handles and the original electric cord⎯it’s a beauty. Yes, I said 1929! I know this because my grandma always said it was as old as my uncle. I’ve used the griddle for years now. I never have had to oil it, as it is well seasoned and makes perfect waffles every time.

Whenever I use this griddle, I think of my grandma, I think of little me sitting at the blue Formica and chrome kitchen table eagerly awaiting a waffle on my plate, I think of my uncle as a baby from pictures my grandpa had taken and how glad I am to still have my uncle in my life, and I think of all the wonderful waffles my family has enjoyed over the years. It is such a simple thing⎯a waffle, but it has brought many a family member to the table over the years. That is something we seem to have less of. Perhaps it is time to get family back to the table. Perhaps it is time to serve up a well-seasoned waffle, pancake or whatever and start a new tradition; one that someone, like me, can remember even after my well-seasoned grandma has passed.
Photo courtesy of Brendan C