I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Smiling From Heaven

It has been almost 30 years since my grandparents decided to leave Rochester and retire to Florida. At that time my grandmother decided to give each of us some of the things that she had of our great great grandmothers. One of the items was an antique waffle iron whose grids were obviously quite seasoned from many years of use. My grandmother said that Mama Rose (our great, great grandmother) made the entire family waffles every weekend. My grandmother who has been blessed with many more years on this earth than her own mother thought that she would like to see if the waffle iron still worked and make all of us waffles over the weekend.
My father was the one who had ended up with the waffle iron, so he brought it to her for her to try. My poor grandmother was a nervous wreck about making the waffles she kept telling us that in case they don’t turn out its bacon and eggs instead. This past Saturday the waffle iron got plugged in for the first time in over fifty years and that little waffle iron began to sizzle with heat just as it had done decades ago for Mama Rose. The batter was made and ready to be poured onto the grid. My grandmother closed the lid and we waited for the waffle iron to do its magic when she opened it the waffle was shaped perfectly but it was a little burnt (the first waffle or pancake is always the worst one). The second pour of batter was the charm and so was the third and so on and so on. My grandmother just watched us with anticipation as we all caressed those tender steamy waffles with butter and syrup. We all just sat there and moaned in ecstasy, they were so good my grandmother just smiled watching her family eat, just as her mother had done so many years before her. You could just feel Mama Rose smiling at all of us from heaven and for that moment in time all was right with our world.

Mama Rose’s Waffle Batter

2 cups of flour
4 tsp. of baking powder
1 tbsp. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of salt
3 eggs
5 tbsp. of melted shortening or butter
1 1/2 cups of milk

Mix first 4 ingredients together, beat eggs then add milk and shortening. Add flour mixture and mix until batter is smooth, heat waffle iron, pour batter and bake until done.


Tom Aarons said...

That's such a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

Julie said...

You are quite welcome, Tom and thank you.

muddywaters said...

Great blog entry! In his book The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien writes that, ". . . in a story, which is a kind of dreaming, the dead sometimes smile and sit up and return to the world."

I like to think that the same can be said for an old family recipe or waffle maker. The dead live again when we prepare waffles in an old waffle maker that was once our great great grandmother's.

Thanks for sharing.

Julie said...

Muddywaters that is such a beautiful quote thank you so much for sharing that with me.

Judy said...

How awesome it still works and what a beautiful story.

Julie said...

Thank you, Judy

kamico said...

I just found your blog--I'm originally from Rochester and now live in SF. I try to come back at least once a year to enjoy my grandmas' cooking.

Julie said...

Kamico, I am so glad that you found Noshtalgia. I love San Francisco cannot wait to go again someday.

Rochelle R. said...

Another great post about your Grandmother. I really like all your posts about your many family members, but the ones about your Grandmother are my favorites.

Julie said...

Thank you so much Rochelle, I am so glad that you enjoy them.

Jo said...

Such a touching story and I've never seen a waffle iron like this before!

Julie said...

Thank you, Jo

Maggie said...

Wonderful story and a beautiful waffle iron! I'll try the recipe soon.