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Al Owne in the kitchen (12/30/2012)
By Al Owne
As usual, my kitchen disasters are followed by something that turns out well. Many columns ago I told you I had some apprehension about using the sewing machine. Well, there’s an item in the kitchen, tucked away in the back of a bottom pull-out drawer that made me worry more than a little also…the antique waffle iron!

Oh, it’s electric; you don’t have to use a wood stove or anything. But it’s one of those appliances that brings up an image of it sitting in the middle of the round oak table plugged in to the single multi-faced outlet/light fixture hanging from the kitchen ceiling. It belonged to my late wife’s grandmother. I would think she brought it from the old country, but it’s too heavy. I’m sure it was really the “Thing” in its day; it has two-sided interchangeable plates. The one side has the regular waffle pattern; the other a flat surface for making toasted sandwiches. There’s a complicated mechanism locking them in place which I can never remember how to work. That’s as far as I was ever permitted to get while the owners operated it; which was fine with me. Most of the female members of the family have burn scars on their hands and arms from the “Waffle Iron.”

Christmas Eve morning I decided to have waffles for breakfast. I hoisted it out of the drawer onto the pizza pan we used under it and set it on my clean stove.

After about 10 minutes of switching the plates to the waffle mode, I was ready for my first ever batch of waffles. I had mixed up some batter already. I’m not going to kid you; I didn’t break eggs in the big pink bowl etc., I used Aunt Jemima pancake mix, which can be easily adjusted to make waffles. When the light lit up on top of the iron, I carefully opened it and poured in the batter. I didn’t know how much to use and I didn’t want it running over on my clean stove so I was pretty stingy. I closed the lid and waited for the steaming to quit as Aunt Jemima said. She helps out a lot in my kitchen. “Ok,” I thought, “is that steam or is this thing burning up?” It didn’t smell smokey, so I thought it was doing all right. When there was no more steam coming out, I lifted the lid and what to my surprise did I see? Perfect looking waffles. Now this is where all those women and girls picked up the scars removing the done waffles.

I used a fork and a large plate. I kept lifting the edge of the waffle and sliding the plate under it. It worked, but I’m glad there was no one there with a camera. I was a little short on the batter, but they were pretty darn good. “Look, Mom, no scars!”

Well folks, two holidays down and one to go. New Year’s is a little different type of situation. Oh, sure, we had several memorable New Year’s Eves, but it doesn’t have the emotional memories of Thanksgiving or Christmas. It will still be lonely and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do that night. I know what I’m not going to do.

Have a good New Years and I hope that 2013 brings you peace of mind. Alnada2704@gmail.com, or in care of Winona Post, P.O. Box 27, Winona, Minn., 55987.  


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