18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, December 6, 1913: The whole family was invited out for dinner today. We all went except Pa. It was up at Tweet’s place. We had something that I always had a curiosity to know what they tasted like. It was waffles.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
mmm. . . Waffles sound good.
Until I read this I hadn’t realized that waffles were around a hundred years ago. I wonder how they were made back in the days before electric waffle makers.
Here’s an excellent old family recipe for waffles and it may be similar to the recipe that Tweet used.
2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons melted butter
Beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl combine cake flour, baking powder, salt, egg yolks, milk, and butter. Add flour gradually, beating only until smooth. Gently fold in beaten egg whites. Bake in a hot waffle iron.
Yield: approximately 4 servings
This recipe old, but it’s not a recipe of Grandma’s. Let me tell you its story:
This recipe was in my mother’s recipe card box. I think that it is the waffle recipe that my maternal grandmother used. (The grandmother I write about in this blog is my paternal grandmother).
We often had waffles when I was a child—but we never used this recipe—instead we used the recipe on the Bisquick box.
A few years ago I compiled my recipes—including recipes of my mother’s which were in my recipe box but that I’d never made—into a family cookbook. I gave the cookbook to my children and other relatives.
A couple of months ago my adult son said, “Mom, that’s a great waffle recipe in your cookbook.”
And, I responded, “What recipe?” since I’d never made the waffle recipe and had forgotten that I’d put it into the cookbook.
I recently actually made this recipe and it’s wonderful—and it’s even more wonderful that my children are discovering their food heritage.
Tweet was the nickname of Helen Wesner. She was a friend of Grandma’s and lived with her family on a farm at the edge of McEwensville.
My readers are wonderful. I now know what an old-fashioned waffle iron looks like. RuthAnn at Labyrinth Living sent me a picture of an old-fashioned cast iron waffle iron that her great-grandmother used. She gave me permission to share it with you. Here is what she wrote:
It would have been used on a wood cook stove, but I know Grandma also used it later on her electric stove, just right on the elements. If you can see on one piece, one end has a round socket and the other piece has a round ball that fits into the socket. So those two halves fit together and are placed on the stove to heat. One lifts the handle to open the halves, and puts the batter on the waffle grid, then closes it and holds it for about a minute and then lifts the two handles together and swivels it around (the ball in the socket is the swivel) and puts it down to cook the other side. When it stops steaming, it should be ready to remove and serve.