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  Saturday September 20th, 2014    

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Al Owne in the kitchen (02/03/2013)
By Al Owne
My latest kitchen disaster was due to a mixture of overconfidence and failure to read directions. Well, and maybe some kitchen cluelessness, also.

After my last partial success with waffles, I decided to try again. I used my favorite add water and oil mix and whipped up a batch with my Rachael Ray whisk. (Someday I’ll tell you the lost whisk story.) I had the monster waffle iron out and ready with its little red light glowing, waiting for the batter which was resting at the time. After I thought the batter had enough break time, I poured some in the machine. I thought, “How much should I put in? Last time it wasn’t enough to fill up all the little squares.” So I poured more in; quite a bit more actually. Too much I realized as the batter oozed out onto the side of the waffle iron. Knowing how hard pancake batter is to clean up; I decided to use a pro-active approach to cleaning. I tried scraping it off the sides while it bubbled at 260 degrees. Now I know where all those burn scars on the women’s hands and arms came from. No, that didn’t work! My second plan was to let it harden while the waffles baked. (Do waffles bake, cook, or fry?) That was easy.

I decided the heck with it, let the waffles finish, eat them, and then worry about cleaning the antique iron. The waffles came out OK except they stuck to the top plate of the iron instead of the bottom. Since I know extremely little about waffle making, I didn’t know if that was bad or not. It didn’t seem to matter. After a pleasant leisurely breakfast, I began the dreaded cleanup.

I discovered something about waffle batter: it does not adhere to surfaces, like pancake batter. I think it’s the 1/3 cup of oil in it. Pancake batter, minus the oil, could be used to patch pavement. This came off the side of the iron and other surfaces pretty easily. So other than getting it off the dial on the front, the iron was not hard to clean up.

When I mentioned my problem to a person who knows something about doing this chore, the question was asked about what the directions on the box said. Oh, yeah, directions; I have a problem with directions. See, in a male gene type like mine, directions are used only as a last resort. If all else fails, I look at the directions. I understand that this is a habit that can bring on unintended disasters, especially when dealing with flammable liquids, but in the kitchen I thought maybe there would be some leeway; I guess not. So I looked at the box and it said, “Pour the desired amount of batter on the grill.” As my granddaughter would say, “Duh!” I scanned through some of my late wife’s 237 (estimate) cookbooks and the best advice I could come up with was pour in the middle and when the batter gets about an inch from the edge of the iron, close the lid. Everybody said, “Don’t open the lid while baking.” I do know that. “When you’re a lookin; it ain’t a cookin.” Maybe there’s a little item programed into the female DNA that says, “Pour a half-cup of batter in a waffle iron.” That must be it.

Happy Ground Hog Day!

Alnada2704@gmail.com, or care of Winona Post, P.O. Box 27, Winona, MN. 55987 

 

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