Monday, May 26, 2008

A delicious weekend with Dad

There are few things lovelier than leisurely weekend meals with family and friends. When I was younger Sunday mornings were more often than not a time reserved for family breakfasts, sticky sweet cinnamon rolls, fluffy pancakes drizzled with honey and my personal favorite thick belgium waffles. Mom would gather the ingredients and mix up the batter, dad would heat the skillet or waffle iron and cook up the globs of batter till they were fluffy and golden and my brother and I had the very important job of picking out and taste testing the toppings.

Many years and weekends of breakfast later I am still quite found of Sunday morning meals. While it’s more common to find me cooking up a batch of oatmeal these days a couple times a month when I have the time and company I love to make a starchy Sunday morning meal that harkens back to Sunday breakfasts past. This past Sunday was the perfect occasion for just such a meal as it was a Sunday to be spent visiting one of my original Sunday morning breakfast companions and the man who taught me how to properly flip pancakes, my dad.

Saturday afternoon Stephen and I packed up the car and headed to Irvine with a waffle iron and bag of premixed gluten free flours in tote. We arrived at Dad’s house in the afternoon and after settling in a bit set out for a night on the town. We had a delicious dinner at a place called Bob’s Kebab House. Dad picked out a bottle of Pinot and I ordered hummus for the three of us to share. When I told the server I had a food allergy that prevented me from eating the bread and asked if he could bring us some vegetables to dip in the hummus he replied with, “We will bring you as much bread as you want” and after I repeated my inquire he asked “you want a salad?” I politely declined the additional bread and salad and said just the plain hummus would be fine. As I suspected it was delicious, even eaten sans veggies with a spoon! For our main entrĂ©e I had the chicken kebab with saffron rice, the best part about this dish were the three dipping sauces that it came with. A red one that was spicy, a green one that tasted similar to the green chutney that they always have on the table at Indian restaurants, and a white and green speckled one that tasted like a cucumber yogurt sauce. The meal was delicious and did not make me feel sick one bit (always a concern when eating out at an unfamiliar place, especially one that offers you more bread after you mention to them you are allergic to it).

After dinner we went to see “Into the Woods” a delightful play about fairy tales put on by the talented kids at Mission Viejo High School. The play was a mishmash of familiar storybook tales slightly tweaked, twisted, and put to song. I was in heaven and very much in awe of the talented young performers. As my dad put it, their ability to put on that caliber of performance and also attend school full time was indeed incredibly impressive. It made me think back to how I spent my senior year of high school, taking mostly photography and cooking classes, working at Glamour Shots doing makeup and getting off campus as much as possible on important “yearbook photo editor tasks”. Could I have squeezed taking part in a major stage production into that schedule, maybe, but it would have dramatically cut into my thrift store shopping and Saved by the Bell watching time. After the play we headed home for some more wine, fresh cut pears, and nightcap chit chat. Then it was off to bed to rest up for our Sunday breakfast.

Sunday morning bright and relatively early we rose. I awoke to a familiar smell and sound of my childhood, that of coffee brewing and my Dad playing guitar. I made a cup of tea and went to sit in the living room and listen to my Dads latest guitar melodies. After a few songs I headed to the kitchen to start on breakfast. Today’s menu was to be chicken apple sausage and waffles with blackberry sauce.

I washed the blackberries and added them to a small pot with a splash of water and about 1 tablespoon of sugar. I let the blackberries cook on medium heat until they started to break down a bit and then turned the heat to low and let it lightly simmer for about 10 minutes. About half way though cooking the blackberries I also added about 2 tablespoons of raspberry dessert wine.

For the sausage we sliced it into bite sized pieces and pan fried it until browned on both sides.

I mixed up the flours and liquids for the batter, heated the iron, and prepared the waffles. They turned out fluffy and delicious as can be! I remember I used earth balance, buttermilk powder, honey, eggs, vanilla, and 4 or 5 different flours but unfortunately, the specifics of the recipe were misplaced somewhere in transit from one house to another. But never fear I am certain I can recreate these and as soon as I do I will be sure to share the recipe. But until then here is another scrumptious breafkast picture for you to drool over.

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