Like A Ray Of Sunshine

Bake and Shake wrote about pancakes as the ultimate in hospitality which sparked in me a small fire, or a flame, maybe just an ember. Or something.

I hate pancakes.

When I was young, we’d often spend weekends at my great aunt’s house and every morning she’s spend her hard earned retirement hours making us breakfast when she could otherwise have been gardening, watching her stories or spending an extra half-hour in the park across the street looking for money dropped by “the druggies” behind the tennis courts. Instead, she got up early to make flapjacks and no matter how many times I tried to tell her I didn’t like pancakes, she’s slap them on my plate. If I didn’t eat them, she’d insist that I would if I put syrup on them and then she would pour half a bottle of boysenberry syrup on top, not knowing that it made me considerably less interested.

If there’s one thing I hate more than pancakes, it’s pancakes with syrup and if there’s one thing I hate more than pancakes with syrup, it’s pancakes with boysenberry syrup. I can’t stand the soggy bread and overly sweet liquid berry soaking together on my plate. When she’d look away, I’d feed pieces of it to her fat little poodle, Pepe, who liked stealing sips of my dad’s occasional glass of whiskey and would viciously attack anyone who came within two feet of me, including my aunt. He didn’t seem to mind the soggy pancakes or fruity syrup, so I felt good knowing that when he attacked my aunt and she threw him into the basement until he learned how to behave, he went with a full belly to pass the hours.

For some unknown reason, my hatred does not flow over into the world of waffles and, if I had my druthers, I would eat them every morning, slathered in a thick layering of Mrs Butterworth’s syrup (Can someone please explain to me why those assholes stopped making the glass bottles? It seemed so much more plausible that she’d talk when she was glossy brown rather than today’s matted brown-gray plastic). Waffles are the only breakfast item that is so delicious in and of itself that there is no need for bacon to accompany it.

Do you know why places like IHOP and the Original Pancake House are such popular breakfast spots? If you thought it was because people love pancakes, you’re so wrong. People go to these restaurants because they have found out a way to make a sad and lonely breakfast food into something slightly less reprehensible by adding ingredients to it for the sole purpose of covering up the taste of boring. That’s why people order blueberry pancakes or coconut pancakes or chocolate chip pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse. You don’t need to add a bag of Skittles to a waffle to make it taste good – they are delicious just as they are: golden, square and unapologetic.

This isn’t a foodie website and I am not a great chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel it is my duty as purveyor of delicious breakfast foods to provide a counter to the notion that pancakes are all that. This recipe yields the best waffles I have ever had. My dad made these for us when I was growing up, so much so that he had to laminate it to keep it from disintegrating. That’s how delicious these are.


Tasty, Tasty Waffles

  • 3 c flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 eggs (separate, but keep yolk and whites)
  • 2 ¼ c milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • ¾ c vegetable oil

Mix together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add egg yolks.

Fluff the egg whites until stiff, then add milk and vanilla.

Mix the egg white mixture with the dry ingredient mixture.

Mix in the vegetable oil.

I suggest you make them in a four-section waffle maker, and not one for Belgian waffles which are an abomination unto the Lord. Eat them when they’re soft, not crisp. If they’re dark brown and crispy, you’re doing it wrong and I’ll know it!

Do not make them like pancakes. They deserve better – and so do you.


  1. May 2, 2008

    I’m with you, waffles are a wonderful breakfast food. Pancakes don’t even come close to the excellence of waffles.

    And although waffles don’t need bacon to accompany them, when bacon does accompany waffles the combination is reason enough to get up in the morning. And now I’m really wishing I had waffles and bacon for breakfast this morning!

  2. May 2, 2008

    By the way, care to share the 5 tsp mystery ingredient?

  3. heathen
    May 2, 2008

    oh, man!

    It’s baking powder. 🙂 Sorry – all fixed now!

  4. May 2, 2008

    I don’t hate pancakes as much as you do, but it’s something I rarely eat. They make me tired for the rest of the day. Pancakes are my husband’s favorite food. It’s like going to breakfast with a little kid watching him smile as he devours a giant plate of pancakes.

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