I got into a serious breakfast habit when I lived in Rockford, and all it took were some bone-chilling conditions.
I won’t lie: That first winter kicked my ass — a wimpy ass clad in multiple-multiple-multiple layers. On the worst days: thermal underwear, wool pants and socks, a couple of shirts/sweaters, thick-as-a-brick gloves, leather jacket, -40 degree boots, scarf and wool hat. I almost bought a balaclava, not to be confused with baklava. No, sir, it would not be inaccurate to say I looked a whole lot like Randy Parker— Ralphie’s overly bundled younger brother on “A Christmas Story.”
The second winter, while worse, was more tolerable. Sure, it was colder, the snow was deeper and my pleasant spirit was packed in boxes with shorts and an oscillating fan. But my blood was thicker. I invested in a space heater. I discovered the power of rolled oats. Hell, I played ice hockey on the frozen Sinnissippi Lagoon when it was a balmy 12 degrees. I firmly believe this would not have been possible without ... oatmeal! The breakfast of aged hippies, Wilford Brimley and less-famous fogies! It’s great. In fact, I still pour a few bowls a week. The trouble is, well, it’s just a bit boring, even when I add bananas, raisins, yogurt, brown sugar ... you get the picture. But thanks to my second favorite kitchen appliance — my waffle iron — oatmeal goes from bland to badass in no time.
My first batch — Oatmeal-Walnut-Raisin waffles — rocked. It had a great texture and crunch. It was a warm, filling and just all-around awesome breakfast.
That recipe is great, but it can’t hold a candle to the big brother of badass Belgian breakfasts ... Pumpkin Waffles.
Uh-huh, it’s another VWaV recipe. And every novice cook has raved about it on the PPK forum. I am happy to join the club. By comparison, as much as I love Magnolia Cafe’s Gingerbread Pancakes, these are even better (lighter, better after freezing and cheaper)! Served with coffee, syrup and NPR, I’ve got a new morning staple.