Sunday, June 1, 2014

Waffling; or, Is it a food? Or a state of mind?

I kind of, sort of, follow a food blog called Food Riot on the facebook. They are a sister blog to another one I follow called Book Riot. Yesterday's post about what I am reading was because of a comment on a Book Riot post in which they referenced their "50 Book Challenge" (sorry, I tried to find a to link it, and couldn't, or well, didn't feel like trying that hard... maybe later). Anyway, it isn't books I want to talk about today, it's food. Specifically, waffles. Ish.

Food Riot ran a post about this new thing called "waffling." This is a thing. A thing where you make desserts (and I assume you could do savories as well) in your waffle iron. First, I have to say, I was not a fan of waffles for a long, long time. I prefer protein for breakfast rather than carbs, and if I had to make a carby breakfast, I'd rather make pancakes because there is, well, less fuss. All that equipment! I am not a kitchen gadget person. I love to cook, and until recently (when I found myself cooking for 6 people who do not like anything remotely foodie) I considered myself a little bit of gourmet. I changed my mind about waffles, and waffle makers when I found these whole grain waffles. They really are the best. Seriously. THE BEST. I eat them with cottage cheese and fruit and maybe a little jam, if I am spoiling myself. So, once I discovered the perfect waffle, I was much more open to the idea. And, I sort of *get* the waffle iron in a new way.

So, now that I have admitted that I have a distrust of kitchen gadgets, and that I have only recently gotten past my general distrust of the waffle-maker as a tool I can admit that "waffling" fascinates me. The selling points seem to be that using the waffle maker is 1) faster and 2) creates nooks and crannies for toppings to hide in. That sounds pretty good to me. But. The major selling point seems to be the novelty. I once read an article about ways to make toast with your kitchen appliances that just seemed nutty. And in some ways, waffling feels similar. More like a need to be new and different than any desire to create delicious food.

There is touch of that ongoing history about the ways that each generation has needed to create a distance between themselves and the one that came before it in this idea of re-claiming kitchen gadgets. It is as if in the desire to be creative and inventive we have also become a bit, well, lazy. Waffling seems like an attempt to fulfill the desire we have of making something new, but without all that work. Hey, I know, let's take something that is already good, but boring, because, hey that's how YOUR mom makes food. Look at me! I am putting perfectly good recipes into a waffle maker! This isn't your grandma's cookies! Or, her waffles! It is this desire to be different that has served well America for centuries. It is what drove people to settle here, to invent, to push boundaries, to develop a history of ingenuity. But, I worry that there might be a better way to do this than to take a brownie mix, store-bought cookie-dough, or other pre-packaged food into a kitchen gadget. It seems, just a little bit, more like a cheap thrill, than a good idea.

What do you think? Ingenious idea? Or cutting corners?


  1. I'd be inclined to use my waffle maker more often, but I hate hate hate cleaning it...

    1. I know! All those crevices. Although, I just got a new one and it isn't too hard too clean. It's some fancy kind of material that is all non-stick and is probably terrible for the environment.