This isn't one of those 'wishing you beauty, joy and light at this moste Holy of Christmas Tymes' sort of posts.
I'm not sure what category this post would go in. Maybe 'wishing you authenticity and perseverance in this and all gilded times'. And Gluten Free Banana waffles.
Today, I'm wrestling with The Holiday Myth. You know the one: the footy pajama'd, cinnamon toasted, prickly pine scented frosted window sill view of Ye Olde Holiday Season. The idea that some people's way of doing a holiday has to be everyone's way of doing a holiday - or else it's Just Not Christmas.
And I must admit, I'm not immune. It's 60 degrees outside, our stockings are still shoved up high on the closet shelf, stuffed inside a box mentally labeled 'Christmas Crap and Tools'. The sun is shining, I've heard my family from over a phone line and I plan on walking the beach later. This is what I wanted, isn't it? Wasn't I prepared for this when I moved 3,000 miles last June from Massachusetts, land of 200 year old rambling stone walls and twisting back roads? Didn't I trade in my mittens for a slick Santa Monica loft? I did, I admit to it all. In writing, in fact.
But it's the price to pay for authentic living. For following the chosen path of myself and my boyfriend-partner-waffle mixer-Numero Uno Cat Impersonator, Alex. And I defy any societal structure that tells me how I have to spend my holiday. My weekend. My life.
So for all of you who don't live in a crisp white, black shuttered, wreath-adorned two story colonial with a mother of a Christmas Tree in the front window. For all of you away from your families, squeezing a 7 foot artificial tree into a 400 square foot apartment, cooking up some carne asada tacos, catching a movie or cleaning out your sock drawer. For all of you who have waited impatiently all year for today and for all of you who are pretending it's not here and for all of you who put up with its arrival I wish you simple things. I wish for you love in any form, perseverance in all you desire and authenticity in each act.
And Gluten Free Banana Waffles.
Pancakes are a big Christmas Tradition from my childhood - it's one of the things I like to think I've brought into the family known as 'Alex and Jess'. This year we opted for waffles. Why? Because we're adults and we can make those kinds of decisions. I'm a big fan of keeping it quick with a quality mix and our mix as of late has been Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Pancake and Baking Mix. While not completely perfect - to my palate- it is the best I have tasted so far. Most Gluten Free mixes are good for either pancakes or waffles - I find that this is a fairly versatile mix. Slightly crispy in waffle form, sturdy, excellent with bacon. I approve.
We often jazz it up with a squeeze of maple syrup right into the batter in place of honey or a very ripe banana mashed up into the mix. Above all, remember that pancakes, waffles, crepes, you name it - they are not confined to the breakfasting hours. We subscribe to the Brinner philosophy around here and semi-frequently wrap up our day with a crispy little syrup doused waffle. As you may have noticed from my post on The Pure Pantry Cookies I'm an admirer of their products and anticipate a taste test of their Buckwheat Pancake Mix and Old Fashioned Pancake Mix. With baited breath, await my review.
For those of you thinking "Good God, I am without waffle maker, whatever shall I do?" Never fear. While there are many - probably too many - waffle makers out on the market allow me to make a suggestion. I believe in appliances that pull their weight, you know - they take up space on your counter, your highest cabinet - they should really do more than just heat up a quesadilla, am I right? We've had great luck with our George Foreman Grill. Our version, with the highly intense moniker "The Next Grilleration" features removable plates to ensure its position as the Triple Threat of the small appliance aisle: straight up grilling, waffle making and baking.
Bites of Note:
- The Arrowhead Mills mix calls for egg...but I really prefer it without. The banana gives it a crisp golden hue while the egg moves it into a more dense physique.
- Also, when we're in the mood for something a bit more light and, oh, I don't know - French, we add liquid until the batter is pretty runny (read: drizzles back into your mixing bowl at a steady, non-gloopy stream when tipping it from a full spoon) and make crepes! Which are, to be perfectly honest, the best thing outta France - other than fries.
Try it both ways, which do you prefer? Do you like another mix? Let's hear about it.