I've been mulling for days now, and I've had a really hard time coming up with what recipe I would want to be remembered for. I think, when it comes down to it, I don't really want to be remembered for any particular recipe so much as for my table, which I strive to make a place where people always feel welcome to come as they are and gather to share food and stories. The most important aspect of food, to me, is the way eating together is a communion. It teaches us about each other and knits us together.
That said, there are some foods that I break out more frequently than others for friends, and most of these are Norwegian dishes I learned to make from my mom. I thought about lefse (potato flatbread), which is so important to me in the way it represents my community from childhood, and now. But, lefse belongs to my neighborhood, not me. And I thought about boller (cardamom buns), but I think my mom is still queen of the bolle baking. So, I finally decided to go with Norwegian waffles, or vafler. In Norway, these are the quintessential snack food. Children sell them by the side of the street, like lemonade. They are served at huts out on the hiking/ski trails to give you sustenance to keep going. Mothers keep bowls of batter in their refrigerator to make snacks for their kids or unexpected coffee guests. And, most everyone has their own recipe. They are very characteristic of the things I love about the culture I was raised in, and they are something I frequently make for holidays, or just a delicious afternoon or evening snack.
A heart waffler was one of the few pieces of equipment I made absolutely sure to bring with me when I left for college, and it has followed me everywhere since. (In college, my best friend and I used to wake our boyfriends up super early once a week to have fresh waffles for breakfast with us before class - they were always so cranky...until they started eating). If (hopefully) we have kids, I plan on making waffles for them as a surprise treat, like my mom did for us growing up. I have to admit, I never make vafler the same way twice. They're made to be flexible to use any dairy you have on hand, and then you just add things until the batter looks and tastes right. But, here's the measurements from my most recent batch. Serve fresh and hot accompanied by good fruit preserves and either sour cream or whipped cream. Or just have them spread with a little pat of butter. - fiveandspice
I had never had a vaffler before, but after trying fiveandspice’s recipe, my family and I are total converts! These are indescribably good. I don’t own a heart-shaped waffle maker, so I tested this recipe first with a pizzelle iron (not a good idea—the vafflers emerged from the iron limp and flacid). Next I tried a Belgian waffle iron. Success! The vaffler batter is quite thin, so I used 1 cup of batter per Belgian waffle, just enough to coat the bottom of the iron. The baked vafflers had a nice height, were a bit chewy inside, and had a lovely crispiness around the edges. They were deliciously eggy with a delicate sweetness, flavored with just a whisper of cardamom and vanilla sugar. We ate these with butter and maple syrup, but my family also loved fiveandspice’s serving suggestion to top them with jam and sour cream—a yummy flavor combination. Excellent recipe—can’t wait to make this again! - cookinginvictoria —cookinginvictoria