We were supposed to be in Jasper this weekend, Ali and I and the kids – I was set to be a presenter at the Pajama Party at the Jasper Park Lodge, but a severe snowfall warning and poor winter driving conditions prevented us from hitting the highway Friday afternoon. As I deliberated, stressed out and monitoring the AMA road reports, W sat on my lap and I pondered a spot on his face that I thought was a scratch or bug bite. He had a few along his hairline, too. When we decided to abort the mission he took off his clothes, as he tends to do, revealing about a dozen little red freckles around his midriff. Ali looked at him and said “W has chicken pox!” (You may recall that Ben had shingles a few weeks ago – the same virus, reappearing in a new manifestation of itself, but still transferrable as the Pox.)
We stayed home. The boys had a sleepover. To ease the pain of not getting to go to the cool hotel in the mountains with the swimming pool, I made waffles. (This also eased the pain of being roused at 7 on a Saturday morning. Somewhat.)
I forgot to mix up my usual (I say as if this is a weekly occurence) yeast-raised waffle batter the night before, and so this morning pulled a book off the shelf in search of a waffle recipe that required little energy, and no beating and folding in of egg whites. The only one that fit the bill sounded delicious, too – Honey Bran Waffles, which I made with maple syrup. They were nutty, toasty without being heavy or gummy (as some grainy things tend to be), and nicely sweet (although I turned down the syrup a bit), allowing the boys to eat triangle wedges as is in front of their cartoons, with the maple baked right in. No stickiness. Hallelujah.
(I may have buttered mine. And dribbled over a little extra maple sweetness.)
Maple Bran Waffles
adapted from The Joy of Cooking
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4-1/2 cup wheat bran or oat bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended.
Preheat your waffle iron and spray it with nonstick spray or brush it with oil. Cook the batter according to the manufacturers directions (I cook about a ladleful in a thick Belgian waffle maker) until golden brown. Keep them warm in a 200F oven while you cook the rest. Makes 6-8 large waffles.
The silver lining to missing out on Jasper (besides having the chance to get up early and make waffles): I got to attend Local 201 – Connecting People in the Local Food Movement. There was an amazing, inspiring lineup of speakers talking about everything from urban agriculture to food policy, urban chickens and beekeeping. It was a smorgasbord.
And of course there was lunch.
LOCAL 201 Lunch Menu
Buffalo Horn Ranch Bison Stew
Sylvan Star Gouda Mac and Cheese
Saskatoon Berry Slaw
Green Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Biscuits with Vital Green Farms Butter
Forage Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Besides the amazing spread, the event gave me plenty to chew on. While monitoring Pox Boy.