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Reliving a childhood favorite

My earliest memory involves waffles.

I remember waking up that morning, the sun peeking through the curtains. At 2 years old, I waddled into the room where my mom was and said I was hungry.

She asked me what I wanted and I said, ‘Eggos.'”

Once mom made them and presented them to me, cut up and drizzled with syrup, I suddenly wasn’t hungry.

We went back and forth, and that’s all I can recall. I was in my ‘terrible twos’ phase, I suppose.

Most other memories from those young years have faded, but the smell of the waffles that morning still lingers.

Well, there was that one time I was staying with my grandparents and, being around 3 or 4 years old, I grabbed the piping hot pan straight from the oven that I was specifically told not to touch.

Some of my early memories show defiance or brattiness.

Believe it or not, I work well with others and do follow directions. Now.

It took a while, but I got into baking and cooking once I “graduated” to my 30s. A recipe is just following directions.

Every weekend there’s some concoction brewing in the kitchen: pavlova, carrot cake, beef stew, chili, homemade bread for paninis … you get the picture.

One way I show appreciation is through food. I’ve made “Election Night” cookies (loaded with several kinds of chocolate chips, our newsroom’s favorite food), hummingbird cake and egg rolls for newsrooms I’ve worked in over the years.

Of course, there are the dozens of cookies for wedding tables and meals left on friends’ doorsteps when they were sick with COVID-19.

Food, I’ve found, brings people together.

It’s a common ground for people to have light conversations or it helps unlock a comforting memory.

Or in my case, a distant memory when I was a brat.

As I’ve settled into the office over the last five months, I’m finding recipes from the last 40, 50 years. That was the inspiration that led to my decision to write a food column. I encourage (OK – I’m pleading) our readers to share some of your recipes.

Submit your favorite, no-fail recipes, along with why it’s the best. Is it tied to a memory? Is it a fast, tasty meal or snack?

We may not be breaking bread at the same dinner table, but we can still let food bring us together.

Belgian waffles

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, separated

1 ¾ cups milk (can use dairy-free)

Splash of vanilla

½ cup vegetable oil

Preheat and grease your waffle iron.

In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.

Add sugar.

In two smaller bowls, separate egg yolks from egg whites. Use a mixer to beat the egg whites until they’re stiff.

Using the bowl with egg yolks, add milk, oil and vanilla, then mix. Add in the dry ingredients while stirring.

With a spatula, fold in the egg whites.

Use a large spoon and scoop batter onto the headed waffle iron.

Cook the waffles based on the waffle iron’s instructions.

Serve with choice of toppings (cinnamon honey butter is a great option).

Share your favorite recipe and memory with Features Editor Ashley Fox at afox@tribtoday.com.

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