Monday, October 3, 2016

On Waffling

About once a month I delve into the selection of Belgian Waffle cookers on Amazon. Did you know that Belgian waffles are a yeast bread? They rise. That intimidates me a bit because usually I'm in a hurry to break the fast in the morning, but there are simple solutions: for example, the Hobbit solution of First and Second Breakfasts. I have a light breakfast before undertaking an involved cooking project. Lately I like a cup of fruit cocktail dumped atop cottage cheese. I also like breakfast better than any other meal (though I love food so much that dinner is a close second). At any rate, fixing a fancy breakfast of waffles and accompaniments to rival the complexities of any dinner strongly appeals to my epicurean aesthetics.

I'm also daunted by the price of a decent Belgian waffle cooker. I'm looking at the better part of a hundred dollars. I also hesitate to acquire new possessions. The day will come when my mother isn't here to be taken care of anymore. If I inherit half the house, then that will give me a small fixed income. And Social Security kicks in next year (I'm taking it as soon as I can get it). Income is not merely a license to travel, but a way of making the income last because I go to countries where the cost of living is less than in the US. If I teach English in China, then I could save my fixed income while earning my living in Asia. If I travel, I will pack lightly, and I hesitate to compound my possessions with new acquisitions. I have a fantasy of boarding a plane with a toothbrush and my phone.

I hope to travel before (or until) I'm decrepit, so I  have to decide whether to sell my possessions or pay to store them (storage very quickly adds up to more than the stored items are worth). A third option is to acquire some sort of structure that I would live in and store my possessions in that house while I'm traveling. I would come back home to them later. It will be a complicated decision to make, and it's too soon to make it.

So you see, a can of worms lies underneath my waffles. But, yes, real waffles would be infinitely better than the frozen waffles I'm eating now. Frozen waffles are so ersatz, but they are better than the unthinkable life without waffles.

In Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, a subplot about Christina Applegate's do-nothing stoner brother Kenny (Keith Coogan), tells how he slowly takes an interest in Belgian waffles and redeems himself. It's such a good point: one relatively simple thing like waffles can make a career. I'm sure that inspired a lot of lost kids out there. It inspired me, and I had a career when I saw the movie the first time. Anyway, that left a soft spot in my heart for Belgian waffles.
So every month I spend a few hours browsing Amazon for waffle machines while my mind waffles over an unforeseeable future and the question of whether to buy some kitchen gear that would sanctify certain mornings.
Photo: Belgian waffles cooked in a Krampouz cast-iron waffle iron, in a Montreal restaurant during the gastronomy competition of the Montreal Highlights Festival. Photo by Rivalinb2. Licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0