So this week’s cookbook is “The Best of Waffles & Pancakes” By Jane Stacey. A friend of mine named Suze gave me this book one… Birthday? Christmas? Arbor Day? VEWPRF? Halloween? Some gift giving time. She’s a wonderful person and there was a time when having a personal brand seemed important for reasons that don’t make sense anymore when I try to think of them. There was a time when I would talk about waffles like they were a holy item. There was nothing more spectacular to me than a plate of waffles. But something changed you guys, something died inside me and I try to pretend that it’s just maturity taking root, but the reality is that I would give almost anything to get idiotically excited about a plate of waffles again. Since my ancient branding involved waffles, it was of course natural that someone would get me a cookbook. Well, Suze did.
It’s a pretty good cookbook, and has a fair amount of recipes that you can shift and adapt. It’s just… well… here’s the thing. They aren’t messing around when they tell you this is a best of collection. This is a super slim volume, as you can see in the photos of my two co-hosts. Yes, we have Pitching Wizard, we will always have Pitching Wizard, but there is also a bottle of Zombie Killer from B. Nektar, which I quite enjoy. The point is, that is not a thick volume, it comes in at just under 100 pages. There is a catch all crepe recipe, and a base pancake and waffle recipe that can be adapted for any purpose though. They didn’t waste time, space or paper in the production of this book. Recipes are well laid out, and this one has separate list of ingredients for the relish that goes with the cake. Had I paid a little better attention, I wouldn’t have made my fatal mistake.
I try to make things to the book the first time I make them. If I am trying a recipe out, I will make it exactly to how the writer said, so I can judge if it’s good or not. If you ever want to adapt, that’s fine, but the first time make it to the book. The reason is, if you don’t love it, then you know it’s not because you substituted sour cream for heavy cream and threw the balance of liquids off. Speaking of throwing off the balance and making the dish go wrong… I put balsamic vinegar in the cake, rather than in the relish. I lost focus for that one fateful second. I let my mind wander. I have no excuse and can only throw myself on your tender mercies. I noticed I had made the mistake, so the relish got it’s vinegar, but so did the cake. The result is that my cakes were not a crisp on the outside or as light as they should have been. I am not a down-home cook, I don’t think I ever made a fritter in my life before this experience. However, I have eaten some and “chewy” should not be the adjective that leaps to mind. So I screwed up a little, but that’s on me.
The resulting dish tasted good though. There was a good balance between flavors, and the relish worked quite nicely with the steaks we had along with the cakes. So not a perfect effort, but probably the next time I make these I’ll do better. When will I make them again though? In a year or two? I have a lot of cookbooks to go. That’s sort of going to become a problem . If the family likes something, when will we ever get to eat something twice? I guess I’ll worry about that later, for now the case calls to me and I must go and pick another book. Another recipe must be made and another photo shoot and post written.