Sundays are Mama’s pancake-making day. She makes lots and lots, not because there are three of us, but because she likes to snack on them throughout the day. Just about every week is a different kind—cornmeal, multigrain, coconut, ricotta, banana… and sometimes she makes a yummy syrup or fruit spread (which I tend to like more than the pancakes). Imagine our surprise when we came downstairs this morning to find papa had taken over the kitchen.
He had out bowls and spoons, eggs and flour, the mixer and the waffle iron. He asked Mama whether we had any pastry flour (of course we do!), and whether it was okay that he didn’t use it. Mama said it would be just fine and explained that pastry flour is made from summer wheat that is lighter and better for cakes. Winter wheat is hardier and used to make bread. “All-purpose” flour is a combination of the two. (Who knew?)
I was very eager to see what Papa was up to, so Mama left me with him. He showed me how to separate eggs by using the egg shells. We have eggs from my friends’ chickens, so the egg shells are very pretty and the yolks are golden orange, like the sunrise (which I see most days). Then Papa showed me how to beat the egg whites until “stiff.” They still looked light and fluffy to me, but he assured me they were just right. He added the yolks and melted butter to the flour and other dry ingredients, then carefully folded in the egg whites to make the batter nice and light. This, he explained, should make the waffles very airy.
Then the most amazing thing happened. He poured some batter into the waffle iron (which was hot!), closed the top, and after a little while, there were two perfectly formed waffles. These he gave to Mama and me, served with some organic strawberry-rhubarb freezer jam that we made last summer. (I even helped pick the strawberries.) I sure liked them, but Mama must have really liked them, too, because she also ate them for a late lunch. Bravo, Papa!