Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Years ago, I loved to go to a Waffle Shop, drink gallons of hot coffee and eat waffles and bacon, usually about two in the morning. This was in my stay up all night dancing and drinking time of life. Must have been, since the smoky diner didn’t bother me back then. In my early twenties, I could stay up all night, drink , dance, and carouse; in my late twenties I could stay up all night and dance or stay up part of the night and drink.

1-Banana Waffles 003

At thirty on the dot, I moved, started a business, got divorced, got married again. (I find it’s best to do it in that order.) Well, we actually eloped two years later, but my love at first sight conversion experienced happened at thirty. For the next fifteen years, I was too busy to think about dancing, drank medicinally (that is, two measured scotch and waters every night, without fail), and slept as a discipline so I could be ready for the next day’s work. The saying around our house was, “Oh, good, the weekend. Only two more working days ’til Monday.”

These days, except for writing and a little stock market trading, I’m pretty much a lady of leisure. And, wonder of wonders, I find that, once again, I can stay up all night and dance all night. Two out of three isn’t bad. As for drinking, less really is more.

After years as a hot-house flower, I learned to hike, treadmill, stretch, and work with free weights (very important as a white, slight woman with surgical menopause and osteoporosis in the family). And I learned to redefine what’s good to eat.

Which brings me back to waffles. I still love them, but with a twist that can make them a daily breakfast treat. Here’s the Way of the Waffle:

Make your own recipe for whole grain waffles, or buy a whole grain mix you trust. Fix them, cool on a rack, then zip them up into a freezer bag so they’ll be ready any morning.

Fresh fruit is fabulous. We all know that. But keep frozen fruit on hand for convenience and to cheat the seasons. Our favorites are peach slices, blueberries, strawberry, blackberries, raspberries and dark cherries.

To make a sensational, healthful breakfast, warm up a frozen waffle either in a toaster or the oven — don’t use the microwave; it will just get soggy and gross. Put whatever fruit or fruit mix you want in the microwave and nuke it for 3-4 minutes. Add a little sweetener of your choice and spoon the warm fruit on the hot waffle. Frozen peaches are a slightly different animal from the berries. They need to be nuked an extra minute or two, and I like to sprinkle some ginger and cardamom on them.

The waffles are kind of big, but they separate into four sections, so on most mornings we have a quarter, and it’s plenty. I think I like it the most because my mouth thinks it’s eating something wicked like blueberry or peach pie. Guess I have always liked to sin a little without having to pay a price!

Yeah, I know. My sins are pretty puny, these days. Laughable, really.

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