pancakes vs. waffles

Every Saturday morning, my dad gets up earlier than the rest of the family (nothing unusual there), makes a pot of coffee, and proceeds to whip up roughly 1,000 whole-wheat pancakes for my family’s breakfast. Everyone sits down, we pray, and Dad sets the steaming stack (kept warm in the oven) in the middle of the table for devouring. Growing up, we were allowed butter OR syrup (not both, are you crazy?) on top. I’m not sure if this rule still stands.

Nathan’s family, however, has a tradition of making waffles. On Sunday mornings. (Marriage is so hard — how do you reconcile these sorts of cultural differences!?) 🙂 Throughout the morning various Spearings trickle into the kitchen, lured by the smell of whole-wheat blueberry waffles. The table is set with honey, maple syrup, butter, fruit, and more. The family prays and then pounces on whatever waffles have already come off the iron (manned by Dad Spearing). As the plates are cleaned, all eyes are on that little light on the waffle iron — and the waffles keep on coming.

Since we’ve been married, I’ve loosely carried on the pancake tradition, not so much in the name of tradition as a congenital craving for pancakes come the weekend. I know Nathan loves waffles, but given our limited kitchen space, I’m hesitant to buy a one-trick appliance. I’ve never heard of any great secondary uses for a waffle-maker.

Then, this happened:

Nathan bought this on a Saturday morning in the thick of a particularly fierce waffle craving. Please note: this waffle iron is actually bigger than the stove in the promotional picture on the box. Noticing my skeptical look upon realizing the appliance’s actual size, Nathan assured me: “The woman at Bed, Bath and Beyond said we can bring it back after we use it if we don’t like it.”

Exhibit A:
(An elephant has been placed next to the waffle iron for reference purposes.)

Now, in its (and Nathan’s) defense, this thing made some pretty darn good waffles. We decided that for our trial-run, we would go with a classic buttermilk batter, and they were tasty and perfectly cooked. Hmm, I thought, maybe we can just return it, buy it again next time we want waffles, return it again … But that could get old after a few weeks.
(He looks so happy…)

In the end, we decided it had to go back. Like a new puppy, it was fun at first. But where would we put it? And who would end up taking care of it? Before we knew it, it would be twice this size and digging Eli’s used diapers out of the garbage and strewing them across the hallway… (Okay, I might not be talking about the waffle iron anymore.) But still, the waffle iron had to go. For now, we’re going back to the Pittman tradition. But this time, I’m using butter AND syrup. (Don’t tell Dad.)


11 responses to “pancakes vs. waffles

  1. waffles are so much better. and whether it’s waffles or pancakes, i still can’t do the whole wheat.

    i would say they don’t call it “pancake house” but i guess there actually is the IHOP and the waffle house. it’s like jacob and essau, this is a battle that will never end.

  2. Um, Jacob routinely made Esau look like a fool– the goat-armed, soup-loving buffoon. The question, then, is which son of Isaac is IHOP and which is WH?

    Jax, I like your economical canister storage space above the range…and your blog’s not so bad either.

  3. I’m going to BBandB right now and getting another one!!

  4. First off, before I forget, I like the new sprakly heading. It reminds me of Bewitched (is that on purpose?)

    Secondly, it’s good to see our children establishing their own traditons – but if you go with butter AND syrup…where will it end with future generations? You must learn to think ahead and start now denying your children for their own good.

    And as usual – I love your blog. It’s almost as good as mine.

    Love, MOM

  5. I really liked the arc of the story, and then bringing it back to the beginning with the whole butter and syrup plot point. Then I thought, I wonder who is going to buy this totally used/blogged about waffle-maker? They’ll never know, I guess.

  6. What a sad story. You bought the smaller version of my dream waffle iron… and returned it. (I’m having a moment of silence.) And the proper way to eat them is with butter, apricot preserves, just a hint of syrup (real, Vermont, first tap), and fresh vanilla/cinnamon whipped cream. I appreciate that you can mass-produce pancakes on a multi-purpose surface, but a waffle has more umph to it. Besides, when you get bored with the same old recipe, you can try the W-S savory waffle recipe with eggs benedict. Or my yummy ginger-banana waffles. Note: I do like that your dad has them all finished and kept warm in the oven before the breakfast crowd arrives. My pet peeve is a hungry crowd waiting to pounce on each new batch, leaving the cook to glean the threshing floor after the greedy harvest!

  7. Oops! I forgot to change my link info before posting that.

  8. Great post daughter and for clarification, the restriction on syrup or butter was in your best interest, sugar calories when mixed with dairy fat are ever so hard to get rid of once you pile them on. Love Pop

  9. Actually, I’m not sure we ever met! My maiden name was Wesolowski and I THINK you knew my sister, Stacey? I keep up with your mom’s blog when I can and started perusing some of the links she had listed on her blog yesterday 🙂

  10. We still have those whole wheat pancakes… and we are still only allowed to have syrup OR butter. I cant wait till I get to make my own decisions 🙂

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