Some of the best things in life are handed down to us by our mums, aren’t they?
Most of our kitchen comes from my parents and/or Justin’s. Our table and chairs came from Justin’s parents’ place in Arizona, and our butter dish was passed down from Justin’s grandmother. Pretty much all of our pots, pans, dishes and utensils were gifts from my mum and dad.
My parents even gave us their fancy espresso machine when they got a new one several years ago. Before that, we just didn’t drink coffee at home and now we have the best Americanos every morning.
We do have a few kitchen items that need replacing/refreshing as well, which is why I’ve been coveting Wayfair’s dinnerware section as of late. We’re pretty hard on our dishes in particular, and their stuff looks so gorgeous, not to mention being a perfect complement to the family heirlooms we love … but I digress.
What I actually want to say is that beyond all the material stuff (which we are so very lucky to have), what I really cherish are the memories of time in the kitchen with my mum. Memories of family gatherings, of traditions (both old and new), and of recipes.
Oh, the recipes.
Is there anything better than a family recipe handed down through generations? Even the sketchy ones that involve a jar of mayo, a can of mushroom soup and/or a bunch of questionably-flavoured Jell-O are priceless heirlooms. Sometimes it’s because they’re actually (and often inexplicably) delicious, and sometimes it’s because of the memories they evoke.
The way the smell of your dad’s famous stuffing permeated the house on special occasions.
The conspiratorial grin on your Grammie’s face as she tasted her super-secret-recipe fudge (or the fruitcake that nobody liked but everyone ate because we all loved her so much).
The way your mother’s shoulders tensed, ever-so-slightly, as she measured the flour.
My mum always made the best waffles. I’m not sure where the recipe came from, other than the battered recipe card in the wooden box on our kitchen counter (Mum, please help me out here if you remember).
These waffles are not only delicious, but they come infused with lovely childhood memories. Mum still makes them when we visit because she knows they’re my favourite — though she now does a gluten-free version since her celiac diagnosis. I make the gluten-full version, because gluten is my favourite. I’ve shared both versions of the recipe below.
We all love these waffles and I hope you will too! Maybe one day you’ll hand the recipe down to your kids on a weathered card (or a weathered Pinterest pin, for these modern times?) and it’ll become an heirloom in your family too.
The best waffle recipe ever (courtesy of my mum)
Ingredients (regular version from my childhood):
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (we’ve always just used milk with a splash of white vinegar, but you can get fancy and use real buttermilk if you want)
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp lemon extract (this is the most important ingredient! Do not, I repeat, do NOT, leave it out)
6 tbsp melted butter (those of you with eagle eyes will note from the photos that the original recipe calls for margarine. This is because it was the 70s or 80s and that was normal back then. It’s now 2017 and we are far too enlightened to continue eating margarine, so I’ve updated the recipe here to use butter because it’s the right thing to do.)
Ingredients (gluten-free version):
Note: this is a hybrid of the recipe above and the one for pancakes or waffles in the Gluten Free Anytime cookbook.
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, separated
3 tbsp oil or melted butter (again, the recipe calls for margarine but let’s be real here)
1/2 cup buttermilk (or more if you want a thinner batter)
1 tsp lemon extract
Method (both versions):
Start by prepping everything: melt the butter, mix the milk and vinegar if you’re making your own buttermilk, and separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks well, and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Preheat your waffle iron, too. (Note: if you want these waffles to be truly amazing, use a traditional waffle iron with small squares, not a Belgian one with big squares. Nothing against Belgian waffles, but that just isn’t what these are.)
Mix dry ingredients. Stir in buttermilk, beaten egg yolks, and lemon extract (seriously, don’t skip the lemon extract, it’s what makes these waffles amazing) and mix well.
Add egg whites and melted butter. Make sure to fold the egg whites in gently so as not to knock too much air out. The batter should still appear slightly curdled when you’re done.
Cook on a hot waffle iron until golden brown and irresistible.
Slather with butter from your grandmother-in-law’s silver butter dish, drizzle with syrup, and serve warm on your favourite everyday plates. Enjoy with family or friends, gathered around the table you got from your in-laws — and don’t forget the Americanos.
DISCLOSURE: I wrote this post as part of Wayfair.ca’s #MyMothersKitchen campaign. I did not receive compensation for writing it, and it’s all true, especially the waffles. Waffles = truth.