These gluten-free blueberry waffles are a near constant in our house this summer. So easy for a big summer morning breakfast.
Before I turned 50 last week, I had survived the normal amount of heartbreaks and disappointments, the way every human does. But I had also survived some extra-hard times, like the car accident when I was T-boned and the car was so crushed that the man at the auto body shop was shocked that I hobbled in on crutches to claim my stuff. “When cars look like this, we never meet the owners,” he told me before he somehow unlocked the trunk. I never forgot my luck.
There was the long winter and early spring that I was so sick that everyone I knew, including friends who were doctors and nurses, thought I was dying. When it turned out to be celiac, and I stopped eating gluten and found my life again, the gratitude never left me.
And when our darling daughter stopped breathing precisely 12 hours after she was born, and we stood over her plastic isolette in the NICU willing her to breathe, or 9 months later while we waited at Children’s Hospital for her 9-hour skull surgery to be done so we could see her again, I still held onto our luck. She lived. And now she’s floating on air, moving forward in that light.
We waited three and a half years for our son. There were times during that period that my heart hurt in my chest. Would we ever find him, after one disappointment and expensive switching of agencies after another? Here he is, working on this blog post for me.
Life goes on. There are times it feels like we’re stuck in a moment, not able to escape the place we can’t breathe. And then life changes. And it goes on. Life goes on.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about how it’s impossible to really relax into your life until you’ve lived enough of it to know the cycles. Unless you’ve survived a near-death experience. Then you seem to relax into life more quickly than the average bear.
That’s why I love this piece by Mary Elizabeth Williams, “You Don’t Need an Extreme Bucket List to Find More Happiness. Just Eat More Waffles.” Do read it. I love its gentle wisdom.
From the essay:
“The thing about surviving an experience that by all rights should have killed you is that people tend to think you have returned from the brink with the secret to life. They ask you, full of hope and curiosity, what you’ve learned and what you can impart. And because of a nearly 10-year-old Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman movie, they kind of expect you to jump out of airplanes.
Well, all right. You want the lesson of getting a diagnosis that historically only grants a handful of months to live? Here it is: don’t jump out of airplanes unless you really, really want to. More importantly, though, get rid of that lamp you never liked. Try the chow fun, even though you always get the lo mein. Buy the shoes in red instead of black. Because let’s be real: whether we’ve experienced a serious brush with death or led a thoroughly charmed, healthy, injury-free existence, living every day as if it’s the last just sounds really exhausting….
I got a life-affirming waffle maker. I don’t know why I’d somehow lived as long as I had convinced that a waffle maker was too extravagant or space consuming and complicated a device to own. Before cancer, I would sometimes awaken on a weekend and dream of waffles, and then settle instead for the runner up breakfast of pancakes. Did you know that you can get a waffle maker at any major retailer for about $25?”
Heck with big moments and dramatic announcements. I’m going to take more time away from the computer to play badminton with my kids in the middle of the day. I’m going to the Peninsula with them this week, to walk down Dungeness Spit without a deadline in my head. I’m going to lie in bed at night and talk with Dan about the day, instead of trying to complete a to-list on my phone.
If we’re alive, we should live.
Let’s start by making waffles on a weekday morning.
gluten-free blueberry waffles
These waffles are a variation on the gluten-free waffles we created for our second cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. It’s the most dog-eared of our cookbooks in our own kitchen, as it’s filled with the kind of recipes we want to make on a weekday. Originally, we created these honeyed waffles to accompany fried chicken. (Chicken and waffles? Oh, you have to try it.) But over time, they have become our favorite morning waffle recipe.
It’s pretty simple, this recipe. Flour, baking powder, salt. Buttermilk, honey, eggs, and butter. Add blueberries, if you want. Wait. Use a waffle maker to have a batch on the table in time for breakfast.
We recently purchased this Hamilton Beach Belgian waffle maker, as we somehow gave away our waffle maker to a friend. This isn’t an ad. We bought it ourselves. It’s my favorite waffle maker ever. It’s compact — barely takes up any room on the shelf. And there are no doo dads or tricks to it. Plug it in, pour in batter, and let them cook. That’s all. I love this little appliance.
By the way, with the school year starting again soon, you should know that these waffles freeze really well. Toaster waffles for the school morning! We’re heading there soon. Let’s get ready.
Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients. Whisk together the honey, buttermilk, and eggs in a large bowl. Drizzle in the melted butter and whisk it all together.
Make the waffle batter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the liquids. Stir them all together with a rubber spatula until all visible traces of the flour are gone. Add the blueberries and stir them in.
Wait. Allow the batter to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you make the waffles. (If you plan ahead, make the waffle batter the night before and let them sit in the refrigerator.)
Make the waffles. Turn on the waffle iron. When it has come to heat, brush both surfaces of the waffle iron with oil. Pour about 1/3 cup of waffle batter onto the hot iron. Cook until the waffle is well browned, about 5 minutes. Repeat until you have made all the waffles.
- Note: to make your own buttermilk, add about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of any milk you like and let it sit for 15 minutes before making this recipe.
Feel like playing? To make this dairy-free, make a buttermilk with any non-dairy milk you like. Use shortening or coconut oil in place of the butter. The waffles are just as good without the dairy. Use any summer fruit you like in place of the blueberries. We also like to use about 140 grams of our AP flour and 100 grams of another flour, such as gluten-free oat flour or sorghum, for even more flavor.