Every week, Bon Appetit associate editor Christina Chaey writes about what she's cooking right now. Pro tip: If you sign up for the newsletter, you'll get the scoop before everyone else.
Dear Healthyish readers,
I have a cheap Belgian waffle iron that I purchased when I was right out of college and back living at my parents’ house in New Jersey. When I moved out, the waffle iron stayed behind—I couldn’t justify space for it in my shiny-but-tiny first NYC apartment. For 364 days of the year, it sits forgotten in a cabinet in my parents’ dining room. I pull it out exactly once a year when my sister and I go home for Mother’s Day weekend and I make us Sunday morning brunch.
For a family with very few long-standing traditions, I’m always surprised this one has stuck. Every year, I use the same recipe from our orange plastic recipe binder (Pam Anderson’s Light and Crispy Waffles, which incorporate whipped egg whites into the batter to yield golden-brown grids that live up to their name.) I always take the same photo of my mom before we start eating: posed, smiling, with her fork and knife positioned above her dinner-plate-size waffle covered in berries, powdered sugar, and syrup, the way she likes it. And I always make extras for my dad, who claims he’s going to eat just one but reliably has two and a half.
Of course, I’m not going home this weekend, even though my parents live only 25 miles from me and I haven’t seen my mom since February. Since waffles don’t ship particularly well, this year I sent her a small care package (hard plug for the USPS, which did a contactless pickup right from my porch!) I had to fill the box mostly with items scavenged from my apartment, which naturally meant there was a lot of food: a cute old metal biscuit tin filled with homemade biscotti, her favorite coffee hour nibble; fat green olives from Caputo’s, a fine-foods retailer based in Salt Lake City that I love; a baggie of instant yeast for baking experiments; and a homemade “dry mix” for a poppy loaf cake I know she’s been craving, that needs just milk, eggs, and oil to transform it into cake. (And a card I bought five years ago and have forgotten to send in the mail every year since...*grimace emoji*)
But while the care package is nice and all, it still doesn’t resolve the fact that I can’t give my mom the one food she looks forward to all year: her waffle. For the sake of keeping tradition alive—which seems more important this year than ever—I texted my dad earlier this week: Do you want to attempt to make waffles for a Mother’s Day Zoom brunch? (He recently discovered Zoom and LOVES it, l assume because he’s learned how to use the pretty filter.) I then received a long string of texts from him including: “Not sure where the orange binder is. Lol.” “Oops. Ran out of vanilla extract.” “Also don’t have milk.”
But, bless him, he’s agreed to try. I’m not sure I have total confidence in his waffle-making abilities, but I do know I will have a very, very big smile on my face when I get to see my mom eating one on Zoom...no pretty filter needed.
Okay, I’m crying now, bye!
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit