Friday, May 11, 2012

A Mother's Love with a Side of Buttermilk Waffles

I have written about my grandmothers countless times, but very rarely do I write about my own mother. I no longer have my grandmothers and writing about them is the way I stay connected. Sa died long before I was old and smart enough to appreciate her presence and really deeply know her as an adult. Parkinson’s disease stole her from all of us. Tom passed away nearly in perfect health at the age of 100.
Mama is Tom’s daughter. (I don’t like the use of past tense for family. Even if a mother is no longer living, her child is still her child.) My mother goes by many names: Mama, Mandy, Mom, and Mimi and she is nothing short of my saving grace each day.
I often take her for granted, as many children do their mother. Until I became a mother six years ago, I had no comprehension of a mother’s love. I'd always heard of the depth of it and had a real respect for it, but honestly still had no clue. The very moment I laid eyes on my own child, I knew. I firmly believe that until you become a mother, you cannot truly grasp the all-encompassing, overwhelming strength of a mother’s love. Just like most mothers in the world, I would die without a second’s thought for either of my children, no questions asked. I love them unconditionally and passionately. Now, I know this is the love that my mother has for my sister and me.
Mama is giving, sometimes slightly shy (unless she is with those she knows well and then her big personality shines), loving, a gifted teacher, and a true friend. She spent 29 years of her life racing to school before the sun came up to teach second grade. She has an immense love for where she came from and my dad is still her center. As a daughter and her friend, I can say, I’m proud of her and who she is.
We don’t share the love of cooking but we share something much greater - a love of my children. I would trust her with them in any situation and know they love her nearly like they love me. I could not write an article, much less a cookbook, without her in the background keeping my family running and on track.
Mama is at my house several days each week to help me with my children. She is my shadow that is the helping hand in all I do. I am so grateful I don’t have a nanny or a long list of babysitters to spend valuable time with my children. I have my mama. She is someone that loves them wholeheartedly and relishes every second with them. A lifetime of Thank You's would not be enough.
None of us should wait until Mother’s Day to thank and appreciate our mothers. In several ways, all days are made possible by mothers everywhere. For the holiday, I'm hoping to start the day with homemade waffles, tell Mama how much I care, snuggle my babies as long as they'll let me, and squeeze in a nap or two.  

Soft Buttermilk Waffles
Makes 8 Belgian-sized waffles

Tom would make big batches of her waffles for us to keep in the freezer at our house. The soft, fluffy waffles would be stored for morning cravings or afternoon snacks. I still prefer my waffles soft like hers. When the steam stops coming out of the waffle maker, the waffles are ready.
The waffles can be frozen for up to 2 months by placing sheets of wax paper in between each one and sealing them in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Place the frozen waffles directly in the toaster for 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted and lightly browned.

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Crisco shortening
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat a Belgian waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Combine the butter and shortening in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Melt them in the microwave, about 45 seconds.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the egg, milk, and buttermilk together in a medium mixing bowl and stir into the dry ingredients. Slowly pour the melted butter and shortening into the batter.
Lightly spray the heated waffle maker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour half (about 2 cups) of the batter in the waffle maker. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat with the remaining 2 cups of batter.

Copyright © 2012 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. All rights reserved.  
Recipe from Quick-Fix Southern by Rebecca Lang, Andrews McMeel Publishing 2011