Everyone has their own way of dealing with anxiety during COVID-19. For me, it’s nonstop cooking and baking.
Full disclosure: I have a lot of anxiety and times like this only make it worse. It’s not fun shutting myself up in my apartment for days on end. It makes me realize how much I actually like people and coffee shops. The latter might sound shallow, but I don’t care. There’s something soothing about sitting in a pretty place with good music and coffee with strangers, or occasionally a good friend.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, locking yourself in your house for days on end makes you appreciate the simple things and could drive you to the point of insanity.
To avoid the latter, I have a lot of recipes on tap for the next couple weeks. I started over the weekend with these waffles, which are honestly the best I’ve ever made. The recipe came to me from my friends at Perennial City Composting, who saw me post a picture of some banana chocolate muffins I made and gave me this recipe from Food52.
The recipe comes from Aretha Frankenstein, a well-named restaurant in Chattanooga, TN. I need to visit Chattanooga sometime soon.
The waffles are light and fluffy but crispy on the outside. They hold up well to butter and maple syrup, which is the tell-tale sign of an excellent waffle. There’s nothing worse that having a mushy waffle. It makes me sick to even think about it.
A couple tips for making these waffles: You can use whole milk or buttermilk in the batter depending on the flavor you want. I used whole milk because I had some in the fridge, but buttermilk would gives the waffles a more tangy flavor.
When you’re cooking the waffles, make sure to err on the side of overcooking, not undercooking. You don’t want to burn them, but you also don’t want them to come out undercooked and soft. You can accomplish this by leaving them in the waffle iron for 30 seconds to a minute after the light goes off telling you to remove them. If you have a heavy-duty waffle iron, you might not need to do this, but I have a Belgium waffle kind that requires a few seconds more of cooking.
I hope that these waffles bring you joy and comfort in very uncertain times. They soothed me over the weekend. I might make another batch this week.
Here’s a song to get you started on your Aretha Frankenstein waffle journey. It’s one of my favorite Aretha Franklin songs.