So! I emerge from The Cave of Two Small Children to say hello and bring you waffles. With whole wheat, no less! I know. What has happened to me?! But in truth, there’s been a lot of exciting things happening around these parts–life is good, full, verrrrry busy. I’m even working on developing some new, exciting projects that may or may not end up being real life things so LET’S JUST NOT JINX IT, OKAY?
I’m going to try really hard not to make all my check-ins with you lovely people be all about being a harried mother of two, because honestly, I’m not experiencing anything that one tra-zillion women before me haven’t. But dang, it’s all-consuming, this two kids business. Everyday I remind myself to take it easy, to simplifysimplifysimplify, and not get all worked up about all the things on the checklist that don’t get done. Because I’m kind of Type A when it comes to my checklist, whether it’s mental or written. And just when I think I’m going to get 30 minutes to do something that might make me feel “accomplished” on a given day, somebody needs something and gahhhhh, another item on the checklist is getting pushed off again. It could be working on a new book idea, composing a coherent e-mail, or folding an entire basket of laundry at once. It could be showering when I’d like to, or it could be finally–finally!–finding my other black (most comfortable, most loved, where arrreee yooouuu?) Reef flip-flop. Madness, I tell you.
Last weekend, my fabulous husband took the kids–to where? I don’t know, I just know they weren’t all up in my area–and I got nearly three solid hours to work on a creative project. Glorious! I think I must have gone to another planet with that much time to think and record those thoughts at the same time. When they all came home, breaking the seal of silence, clambering up the stairs from the garage in a jumble of footsteps and chirpy little girl questions and fussy hungry baby pouts, I hardly remembered who those people were. (I eventually remembered.)
With the new order of our lives right now, it’s rare that things fall into place just so to get such a break, in between feedings and nap induction and snack issuing and what not. My life has become a deranged game of sorts–what can I accomplish with one hand/five minutes/one short spurt of infant catnap? But really, when people ask that loaded question, “So what’s it like with TWO?”, I often surprise myself with the calm answer: it’s not nearly as horrific as I had feared; in fact, it’s actually kind of great. And at this point, three and a half months in, every week, it gets a little easier, a little more feasible to carve out the kind of Real, Not-Mothering Work Time that I need to feel like a whole person.
Also? I’m so, so grateful this time around to not be crippled with post-partum depression. Did I ever even tell you that about that after the first baby? I can’t remember. Probably not. But I totally was. And oh man, it was bad. Like, please-give-me-a-bottle-of-Wild-Turkey-and-a-dark-closet-and-wake-me-when-it’s-over bad. And it was so very, very hard to get out from underneath it. But eventually, with modern medicine and time, things got better. So much better that I eventually considered having another. And now we’re a family of four! Unreal. And it’s working, people. I don’t know how it’s working, but it is, and I try not to ask too many questions.
Speaking of this family of four business, we’ve made a new little tradition here of making Actual Breakfast at least one morning over the weekends. Pancakes, waffles, or maybe baked oatmeal prepared the night before, thick-cut bacon or chicken sausage on the side, that kind of thing. Since I’ve recently been playing around with a lot of alternatives to white sugar (Hey, Coconut Sugar–Luv U Gurl), I’ve naturally started trying to use less processed flours, too. And the past couple of weekends, these whole wheat waffles from the geniuses at King Arthur Flour have ended up on a platter in the center of the table. So much flavor here, guys. And something I really, really love is their tip to swap out two tablespoons of the milk for orange juice, in order to combat the strong flavor that some recipes using all whole wheat flour can have. Again, I don’t know how it works, but it does, and I try not to ask too many questions.
Whole Wheat Waffles
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes about 6-8 regular round waffles, or 3 1/2 Belgian (deep-pocket) waffles
I use a large glass measuring cup for the wet ingredients; I first pour in cold milk and warm in the microwave for just about 45 seconds or so, to take the chill off. This is especially important if you’re using melted butter instead of oil–if you pour melted butter into straight-from-the-fridge milk, it will harden up into little chunks. No bueno.
Swapping out two tablespoons of the milk for orange juice helps tame the sort of strong, tannic flavor that whole wheat flour can have, without making the whole thing taste citrus-y. Genius!
I use coconut sugar instead of plain white sugar here, and usually throw in a splash of vanilla extract, too.
1 1/2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
Preheat a waffle iron. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and butter or oil until well-blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wets. Stir just to combine–the batter can have a few small lumps, and all will work out fine. Cook in the waffle iron to your desired doneness.
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