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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, thereís an item in the kitchen, tucked away in the back of a bottom pull-out drawer that made me worry more than a little alsoÖthe antique waffle iron!

Oh, itís electric; you donít have to use a wood stove or anything. But itís 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 wifeís grandmother. I would think she brought it from the old country, but itís too heavy. Iím sure it was really the ďThingĒ 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. Thereís a complicated mechanism locking them in place which I can never remember how to work. Thatís 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 ďWaffle Iron.Ē

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. Iím not going to kid you; I didnít 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 didnít know how much to use and I didnít 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. ďOk,Ē I thought, ďis that steam or is this thing burning up?Ē It didnít 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 Iím glad there was no one there with a camera. I was a little short on the batter, but they were pretty darn good. ďLook, Mom, no scars!Ē

Well folks, two holidays down and one to go. New Yearís is a little different type of situation. Oh, sure, we had several memorable New Yearís Eves, but it doesnít have the emotional memories of Thanksgiving or Christmas. It will still be lonely and I honestly donít know what Iím going to do that night. I know what Iím 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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