Tomato Jam

Guy Clarke wrote a song that we love to sing every summer: “Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes, nothing in the world like home grown tomatoes. There’s only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and home grown tomatoes!” So true! The best things about this season are baseball, homemade ice cream and home grown tomatoes. Big fat juicy ones! Tiny little jewel-like ones. We love them. This Saturday morning, I picked about a pound of the cherry tomatoes, variety of Chocolate Sprinkles. I made the jam to have with whole wheat cheese waffles topped with ricotta.

There were older folks in our home town who thought that they should be considered a fruit and ate them with cream and sugar. Apparently they like them that way back east, also. When we lived in Maine, we got a fruit juice and cracker snack every morning. I chose tomato juice, which I had always had with salt in it. One sip of my juice that morning, and I was shocked to find that sugar had been added!

My mom planted them almost every summer when we were younger, and I would eat them til my mouth was raw. I remember one summer the harvest was so abundant that mom sent my sister and I around the neighborhood with a basket of tomatoes to sell. Dad continued to plant them (Teri may have planted them on his behalf) and he usually had a few to pick on the plants behind the garage before I left town. We had a joke. I would leave one on the fence post for him to find. He would always pretend to be amazed at how it got there! After we cleaned out the house and I drove away for the last time, I found a tomato to leave on the fence post.

Mom made tomato preserves a few times when I was little. This recipe is similar to what I remember.

TOMATO JAM

28 – 32 0z can tomatoes (note: I used fresh Chocolate Sprinkles cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil (note: I used about 2 Tablespoons dried)
chopped onion — again, I used about 2 tablespoons dried.
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar……Guess what? I didn’t have any so I used lemon juice, about a tablespoon.
salt and pepper.

Put it all in a pot and bring to a boil. season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium, and mash the tomatoes with a potato masher. Cook until thick, about 20 minutes.

I think this would be good with red pepper flakes instead of basil (just a dash!) or with mint. The jam I think that I remember mom making …..I think it had cinnamon and cloves ….if I were doing that, I might add some chunks oflemon with the juice. I will definitely make it again.

Country Captain (chicken)

This fall, we welcomed Kedar Singh into our family when he married our daughter, Faith. Kedar and his brother (who also lives here) are from southern India, home of one of my favorite cuisines! I’m sure that the “Indian” food I’ve enjoyed is merely an Americanized imitation of his mother’s cooking. I hope to learn more about preparation and serving of Indian dishes, but until then, I will use the best curry powder I can find!

A few weeks ago, we invited Faith and Kedar and Vamsi over to our house for dinner. We served a dish of Country Captain, a curry flavored stew of tomatoes and chicken, served with rice. Apparently the stew got its name from the British sea captains and military officers who lived in colonial India. During the meal, I mentioned this and learned how poorly modern Indians think of the British and the whole colonial experience! (something like the early American colonists.) But they liked the stew.

(Note: I first saw this recipe in the Family Circle Cookbook, Volume 1.)

Country Captain

(Makes 8 servings – more or less)

4 # chicken: I usually use all white meat, but you could use a couple of whole chickens
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 T curry powder
1 can (1 pound) chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup raisins
hot cooked rice

Dredge chicken with flour. (Actually, I usually skip this.) Season with salt and pepper. Brown pieces (don’t crowd the meat!) in oil in Dutch oven. Remove chicken, keep warm. Add onion, pepper, garlic, and curry powder. Salute until soft. Add tomatoes and chicken, cover and simmer 1 hour. Serve with rice.

Lumchumps

This cookie recipe has a long history. I believe the original  German recipe would be called  pfefferneuse. Of course, Americans changed the name to peppernuts. I first tasted them at Mrs. Carlson’s house. Some of you have met her and might remember her: she is the homeliest, most beautiful old lady I’ve ever met. Always has a huge smile, and never has a bad word to say about anybody. Probably about 90 years old now and for all I know, still bakes these cookies. Where did I get this recipe? I am really not sure. But I do remember one of the girls in my 7th grade home ec class baked them and contributed a recipe to our class cookbook. I liked them, but the cookie never really caught on in the Rhodes family – we were spritz people. And gingersnaps.

But years later, something brought this back to my memory and I tried them out on my own kids. It might have been during the infamous 30-days-of-cookies Christmas. Well, they disappeared pretty quickly, maybe because they are tiny little cookies that you can eat by the handful. They are made by rolling the dough into a long strand, and then cutting off small pieces. When David was just tiny, he observed the process and apparently decided to make a batch of his own with his play dough. There he was in his little red overalls, rolling out the dough into long logs  on the floor and cutting little pieces. I was in the kitchen with him and asked, “David, what are you making?” He didn’t pause or look up but replied, “Makin’ lumchumps.” Lumchumps? I still don’t know where he might have gotten that name  from “pepper nuts.” But lumchumps they became and still are.

I really miss you kids at Christmastime: no one to bake cookies for!!

LUMCHUMPS/Peppernuts/pffeferneussen

  • 2 cups sugar (you can use part brown if you’d like)
  • 2 cups honey
  • 2 cups corn syrup (you can use molasses, if you’d like)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 2-4 drops anise oil (they are really better with anise oil, but it’s hard to find. I usually sub in 1 teaspoon of anise extract. I’ve heard of people crushing anise seeds – about 3/4 teaspoons.)
  • 10 cups of flour. Yes, 10.

Mix the sugar, honey, syrup in a sauce pan. (a big one.) Add the butter. Heat and stir until the butter has melted. Sift and add the dry ingredients (I have to admit: the only time that I sift flour is when I make a cake) alternately with the sour cream. Roll up your sleeves and stir with a sturdy wooden spoon. Cover and chill overnight. Roll into long sticks – about 1/2″ in diameter – and cut pieces off. You can then roll these pieces into small balls, but seriously? They are going to round out as they bake anyway. I just put them on the cookie sheet, ungreased, about an inch apart. Bake at 300 degrees for …….oh, I don’ t know…..just don’t let them get too brown. Let me know how long that takes and I will amend the recipe. Makes a lot. A lot…….

 

WACKY CAKE

Growing up in the ’50’s and ’60s’s as I did, I was required — required, mind you! — to take “homemaking class.” According to the Kansas School Board at that time, “homemaking” consisted mainly of cooking, washing, and sewing.   My children may be surprised to know that I would really rather have taken woodshop classes — those guys were making furniture! They were learning how to make cars start! And talk about cleaning — cleaning an engine sounded pretty interesting.  Alas, we girls were  simply encouraged to limit our talents to the “feminine arts,” we were discouraged from learning any of the aforementioned “masculine skills.” The division of labor sounds like a good idea on paper, but in my case, it simply justified weakness and perhaps even laziness — “Why learn to change a tire? I’ll just get some guy to do it.” Hopefully, we women have learned by now that we don’t have to sacrifice femininity to be well-equipped to take responsibility for ourselves.  Beyond that, I hope that my daughters will feel free to use all their talents in whatever way brings them satisfaction and delight.

Make no mistake, I consider homemaking a high calling.  I just don’t want “homemaker” to be a synonym for weakness, or dependency.  Helpfulness is better than helplessness. And homemaking requires a lot more than cooking and cleaning.

Anyway, one of the first things we learned to cook in homemaking class was Wacky Cake.  You may know it by some other name: Crazy Cake, Easy-Mix Cake. It is mixed and baked in the same pan, and, as a relic from the frugal war years, made without eggs or milk. This also makes it great for vegans! It is really quite chocolatey, and great with a glass of milk.  We never frosted it; we just sprinkle powdered sugar on the top. I am including two sets of ingredients: one for a 9″ square cake pan, and one for a 9″x13″ cake pan.  Mixing instructions are the same.

Wacky Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour                           3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar                                  2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa                              1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt                         1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda                          2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 cup water                                 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup oil                                  2/3 cups oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla                      2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar                     2 teaspoons vinegar

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the dry ingredients in the pan and mix them with a fork.  Make three little “wells” in the dry ingredient mixture.  In one well, put the oil. In another, put the vinegar, and in the last, put the vanilla.  Pour the water over the whole thing and stir carefully with the fork.  Try to get all the lumps out. The batter will probably seem thin. Put it in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 25 minute, or till the top springs back when you touch it lightly.

Rice Pancakes, or using up the leftovers.

This will be brief! When raising and feeding a family of ten, we stretched the protein with sauce and rice — a lot! Well, if you study food combinations, you learn that rice combines with several things to make a high-quality protein.  Latin America lives on rice and beans, and so can we! This meant, however, that we often would have leftover rice. And we used up our leftovers!! Often, we would use the leftover rice the next morning in these pancakes, here at my son Amos’s request.

Rice Pancakes

  • 1 cup milk (I usually economized by using reconstituted dry milk in our cooking.)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour (I like to use half whole wheat flour, but if I am using brown rice, I let that be the whole grain)

Mix the milk, rice and salt in a large bowl.  Beat the egg yolks and add them, then stir in the butter and flour.  Beat the egg whites until stiff, and gently fold them in.  Drop by large spoonfuls onto a moderately hot greased griddle.  Turn with a spatula when the cakes are  full of bubbles.  Of course, I often would have to double this, and sometimes would cook extra rice just so that we could eat these the next day.  From an old copy of Fanny Farmer’s Cookbbook.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are not health food; they are best when made with lots of butter and sugar! You can try to redeem them  with whole wheat flour, but ……Also, they are not nearly as good the next day.  Fresh and hot  is the way they should be eaten! Of course, that means you have to get up early.  Here are two time-saving recipes.  One is the standard recipe, speeded-up. I got it from a Tupperware lady, and the trick is using a large tupperware bowl with lid so that you can raise the dough in a sink of hot water.  It really is fast! The other one is an overnight dough that rises in the refrigerator. You still have to get up a little early, but you don’t have to read the recipe in your sleep! This recipe always came in handy at Christmastime.  And one memorable night when Silas and his friend, Shawn, stayed up all night making cinnamon rolls.  Which reminds me of the time the boys decided to make funnel cakes………

Quick-Rise Cinnamon rolls

In a large Tupperware bowl (or other bowl with a lid), measure:  10 cups of flour

On another bowl, mix:

  • 3 pkgs (or 3 tablespoons) dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 5 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 eggs

Make a well in the flour, and pour on the liquid.  Don’t Stir. Seal with the lid, and put it in a sink of HOT water.  (you don’t want the water to come up past the top, obviously, but it will probably float.) Let it “rise” for 30 minutes. Remove, and add 1/3 cup oil.  Stir, seal, and put back in the sink of HOT water. Let rise for another 20-30 minutes.  This dough is very soft, so flour the counter generously.  Divide the dough in thirds, and roll each third into a rectangle. Generously spread with real butter (sometimes I put pats of butter all over the dough) and sprinkle liberally with sugar (you can mix brown and white) and cinnamon.  Remember, this isn’t health food. Roll it up and cut into slices.  Use a serrated knife, or it’s easy to use dental floss (unflavored): just slip the floss under the roll, bring the ends up around it, crisscross and cut through the dough. Put the dough into a greased long cake pan.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar glaze.  Sometimes, I would melt a stick of butter in the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle that with brown sugar. In that case, I would lighten up a little on the sugar and butter in the roll.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Mix:

  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Add

  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (yes)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • about 7 cups of flour

Add flour to make a soft dough, but don’t overdo it.  Knead about 8 minutes.  Let rise about 1 hour.  Divide the dough into halves, and roll into a rectangle. Spread liberally with butter, and sprinkle generously with sugar and cinnamon.  Roll up and slice, using a serrated knife.  Place in a greased cake pan. Let rise overnight in the refrigerator. Take them out of the fridge about 2 hours before you want to eat them.  After they have risen about an hour and a quarter, you can bake them at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar frosting.

Bierrocks

Thanks to Kathy Taylor for this recipe. She contributed it to a church cookbook about 25 years ago, just in time for me to start wondering what to feed 5 children and a husband on a budget! These are great little fist-sized hot sandwiches. At their best, they should remind you a little of White Castle hamburgers.  Actually, up here in Omaha, they have something similar that is called a runza, but it’s not quite the same, or as good.  Some people eat them with cheese sauce, but we like them with ketchup (like White Castles!). They can be made with either chopped cabbage or sauerkraut, but I almost always use kraut.  They aren’t bad cold, and if you make enough, you can wrap and freeze them and have a handy lunch ready.

okay, here’s the truth: I can’t find my recipe, so I’m flying by the seat of my pants as far as the amounts go.  I’m pretty sure this is right; I double checked the bread recipe so it’s reliable.  Silas and Patty, thanks for asking: I sometimes don’t find time to update this unless I get a request.

Lots of chopped onion and black pepper make these tasty.

Bierrocks

  • 2 pounds of hamburger
  • 1 very large onion, chopped
  • 2 cans sauerkraut, drained (or 1 large can)
  • salt and lots of black pepper

Cook the onion until soft. Add the hamburger. Drain the excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Add the drained kraut. Hold it. Make the dough.

Dough:

  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

Add:

  • 1 cup mashed potato
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening or oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups milk

Stir all this together and add

  • about 8 cups flour; I use about 3 cups of whole wheat flour.

Stir until the dough holds together.  Knead for about 8 minutes. Let rise — about an hour.

Divide the dough in half.  Roll one half into a rectangle and then cut into squares.  Put a large spoonful of filling onto each square and bring up the 4 corners to meet each other and pinch the sides together.  You want to enclose all the filling. Repeat with the other half.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 35o until brown — about 20-25 minutes.

Kusherie: You really don’t need to eat dead animals…….

One of my boys (my young men?) has asked for this recipe several times.  I’m glad you like it, Aaron, it was always one of my favorites, also.  I really don’t have any philosophical reason to avoid meat — I just don’t like it.  I think vegetarian meals, including protein from legumes and grains, is a lot more healthful.  A good resource on this are the books, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe, and its companion, Recipes for a Small Planet, by Ellen Buchwald.  I really like this approach.  And, of course, More With Less is an excellent source of common-sense recipes for those who want to eat responsibly, for their own health as well as for the good of others.

So we ate a lot of beans when I was growing up.  My mom always served navy beans, slow cooked with ham hocks, onion and bay leaf. Just like the chili, we added a dash of vinegar, and lots of ground black pepper, and hot cornbread.  Mom was mildly amused when, after she had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, Dad proudly said that he had “discovered a great way to cook beans: you just soak them overnight, and then cook them at a really low temperature for about 3 hours! ” To Mom, it was sort of like reinventing the wheel.  I continued the tradition while raising a family of eight children.  I remember being a little embarrassed when one of the boys’ friends walked in the house, sniffed and said, “Hmmm your mom’s cooking beans again.”  I don’t think he wanted to stay for supper that night. Lentils are a more convenient legume to serve, as they do not require soaking.  Brown lentils look a little “homely”, so if you can get red lentils at the City Market, they look a little better.  Kusherie is a recipe straight out of More With Less, and is subtitled Egyptian Rice and Lentils.  If you have trouble with raw onions, ask hubby to slice them.

Kusherie

Heat in a skillet:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Add:

  • 1 1/4 cup dry lentils

Brown lentils over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add:

  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

Cook uncovered 10 minutes over medium heat.

Stir in:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 cup boiling water

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 24 minutes without stirring.

In another saucepan, heat together:

  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups tomato juice or tomato sauce
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Simmer for 20 minutes

For the Onions, in a skillet heat:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Cook these gently til soft and slightly brown.

To serve, put the rice and lentil mixture on a platter.  Pour the tomato sauce over and top with onions.  Serve with a nice spinach salad.

Chili con Carne

One of my favorite meals as a child growing up in southern Kansas was chili, crackers and apple pie for dessert.  In our small towns, churches and clubs were always having chili dinners for fund-raisers.  Huge pots of chili, baskets of crackers, and small bottles of vinegar on the table.  Yes, we added a dash of vinegar to our chili.  Usually, there would be carrot and celery sticks on the side. Always served on those heavy white china dishes — no paper or styrofoam! One particular fundraiser stands out in my mind.  It was in the early 1960’s and I was an unlikely member of Young Republicans—I was in 7th grade, so it must have been 64.  (Note: I am now a registered Independent — sorry, hon!) Robert Dole was just a young man running for Congress and had come to Winfield to meet the folks at our chili dinner.  I was cleaning up the tables as the crowd was getting ready for the after-dinner speechifying, and just as the man from Russel was being introduced ——  I dropped a big stack of dishes! Everyone in the hall knew who had caused the commotion, and these were people who knew my parents.  (sigh)   I later grew up and found out that people growing up in western Kansas, mostly of the Mennonite tradition, ate cinnamon rolls with their chili.  I thought that was a great idea.

Ironically, even though chili was one of my favorite things, my mom’s chili just wasn’t my favorite.  I love you, Mom, but you were a great seamstress! Here is the recipe I usually use now.

Chili

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds cubed beef chuck roast (you could use 1 # of beef and 1 # of pork)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1large Anaheim chili, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 18 oz of beer —1 1/2 cans?
  • 5 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder — get a good brand
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed oregano
  • 1 large — 16 oz? — can diced tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 large bay leaves: THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL! imho
  • 2 or 3 cans of dark red kidney beans, or pinto beans, or black beans, or all three (drain them)
  • about 1/4 cup of masa harina, if you like it thick

Note: Aaron, you had asked for a slow cooker recipe.  Brown the meat first, then put everything in the pot and set it for 6-7 hours.
In a large pot, brown the meat in the olive oil.  Do this in batches so that the meat will brown and not stew.  (Frankly, I think you could leave out the meat and just make vegetarian chili with beans and skip this whole browning thing.  And then you could just put everything in the crock pot and have fewer dishes to wash. But if you want to eat a dead animal — whatever.) Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a plate or something, while you saute the onions and peppers.  (Saute: Cook them at a low to medium heat, so that they tenderize but don’t necessarily brown.) Add the garlic and cook some more — add more olive oil if you need to. Add the tomatoes, spices, and the meat, and the beer.  Cover and cook it for about 2 hours at a simmer, til the meat is really tender.  If you like, you can add a handful of masa harina to thicken it up.

Serve this with — you guessed it — carrots and celery sticks, sour cream and cheese for a garnish.  Try the vinegar, it really gives it a nice tang.  (I quit doing this when I moved north to Lawrence; seems everyone there thought it was strange.) Cornbread, corn chips, tortillas or just plain saltines are good accompaniments. Apple pie makes the best dessert.

Breakfast: Pancakes and Waffles

I think I mentioned in another post that breakfast is my favorite meal, although it was not very fancy on school days.  On Saturdays, the kids got to eat in their pajamas, and we always served pancakes.  When they were younger, we sat at the table and ate together, but as they grew older, they somehow got into the habit of eating in front of the TV while watching Bugs Bunny and  Animaniacs.  (I don’t remember anyone giving permission for that!)  We  had waffles for a change every so often. When Dad worked the evening shift, the kids and I would sometimes have waffles for supper. Waffle irons can often be found in thrift stores, a sad testament to the lost practice of eating breakfast together. The one that I use is the same Sunbeam baker that my mom used.  It must be 50 years old now — still cooks great, although the handle has fallen off and you have to be really careful when you open it!

So here I am posting a recipe for pancake mix, and two waffle recipes. I made the pancake mix in big batches; it really made the job quick, and traveled well when we went camping.  I always use half whole wheat flour.

Pancake Mix

(makes  4 lbs: get a large Rubbermaid container)

  • 12 cups flour ( I use half  whole wheat)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 3/4 cup (yes) baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups dry milk powder

Mix all this together well and keep in an airtight container.

To use:

Mix in a bowl:

  • 2 eggs (see note)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 cup mix

Stir only until combined (there will still be a few lumps). Fry on a hot griddle. (Test your griddle’s temp by tossing a few drops of water on it.  When they dance, you’re hot. ) Pancakes are ready to turn when the bubbles on the surface pop and when the edges look dry. This will serve 3-4.

I learned a trick from an older woman re: buttering the pancakes.  It seems cold butter was always too hard to spread on pancakes, so I started keeping mine on the counter at room temp.  We didn’t have to worry about it going rancid, since we used it up so fast.  In fact, we used it up too fast.  This lady told me that she always put a pat of butter on top after she flipped them.  That way, the butter was perfectly softened and easy to spread when it was served.  It was sensible: we used less butter and the kids didn’t tear up their pancakes. Win-win.

Note:  The recipe I have calls for only 1 egg.  But my husband taught me that adding one extra egg always makes them less likely to stick.  Of course, if you are watching your cholesterol, you might not want to try that, but I always add an extra egg.

“Oh Boy” Waffles — straight from the 1941 edition of the red plaid covered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  Thanks.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (again, I use half whole wheat)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (again, again, I use reconstituted dry milk)
  • 3/4 cup oil (I use less, like about 1/2 cup)

First, lightly grease the waffle iron and heat it up.  I like to use a baking spray.  Stir the dry ingredients together.  In a small bowl, stir together the milk, oil and egg yolks.  (Do this by hand) With a mixer, beat the eggwhites in yet another small bowl until they are stiff.  Actually, to save dishes, I combine the dry ingredients with the wet, and then I rinse out the small bowl and use it for the whites.  You have to put the whites somewhere, but that can be just a small dish.  You’re going to have to wash 3 dishes one way or the other.  Fold the whites into the batter.  REMEMBER TO STIR PANCAKE AND WAFFLE BATTER BY HAND AND NEVER OVERMIX.  Your waffle iron should be hot now, so spoon on the batter.  It rises and spreads, so you don’t have to completely cover the grid.  Close the lid.  Watch for the steam  — when it stops or lets up, the waffle is done.  Enjoy!

Of course, the nice thing about waffles and pancakes is their versatility.  You can add fruit such as chopped apples, mashed bananas or blueberries.  Dried blueberries and cranberries are great, and when I was little, my favorite add-in was raisins.  Nuts are good, and chocolate chips.  The 1941 BHG cookbook recommends adding 1/2  cup of crushed cornflakes! You can serve any kind of fruit on top of either pancakes or waffles, and I remember some memorable summer-time suppers of waffles, strawberries and whipped cream.  Nowadays, I like waffles and pancakes with peanut butter, banana and honey.