Sunday, January 9, 2022

Back to the Fifties: Waffles


     This past Christmas, 2021, my waffle iron bit the proverbial dust.  About once a month I make a batch of waffles and pancakes, freeze them and have them for breakfast for a couple of months.  The Linda Eggo Waffle...😂 


 Last week, while in Walmart, I saw the exact waffle maker I wanted.  Today was its maiden voyage.

     My inner maternal great grandmother, Jessie Pool VanGilder, kicked in and I decided to make the waffles from scratch.  No premade mix this time.  As the waffles were baking away and as each one, done and stacking up on a plate for later freezing, my mind traveled to a memory from my early years.

     In the early 1950's, there were special times that I would spend a weekend at my paternal grandparents, George Henry Hughes aka "Pop Pop" and Sarah (Sara) VanGilder Hughes aka "Grams".  

     From 1950-1956 they lived in a duplex apartment at 168 Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue, a town outside Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. As an elementary aged kid, I called this place the Grandpa Snazzy House.  More about that in another blog.  I have so many cherished memories of this home.  The waffle story is one of them.

     When I stayed at 168 Lincoln, I slept in Aunt Faith's bedroom.  She was attending school at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.  My mother's alma mater. Later in life, Aunt Faith told me that her bedroom set formerly belonged to her maternal grandmother, Jessie Pool VanGilder.  Holy Toledo!  I slept in Great Grandma VanGilder's bed.

     One Saturday morning I awoke and hurried downstairs following the aroma of breakfast that was filling the apartment.  When I entered the kitchen, Grams was busy at the stove and Pop Pop was at the kitchen table reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee nearby.  

     I need to add here that my Grams was a wonderful cook.  Nothing fancy....just delicious.plain.home cooked food.  It was mostly made from scratch.  She was well schooled in food preparation.  Her mother ran boarding houses and then was the cook on several different steamboats.     

My brother at the home breakfast table 
Talk about a choice of cereal.😉

     To my delight, the breakfast menu that morning consisted of waffles, bacon and orange juice.  I want to interject here that my Mom was not a morning person or a cook.  I don't think I had ever seen or eaten French toast until I spent an overnight with my elementary school best friend and neighbor, Ruthie Arthur, circa 1956.  Breakfast at home in the 1950's was a collection of different cereal boxes to choose from on the kitchen table.  Waffles and bacon was the breakfast of kings or a princess 😂   

     And now the cherished memory.  Grams plated my breakfast and placed it before me on the kitchen table.  As I was about to dig in, Pop Pop stopped me.  He took the little metal log cabin syrup container (Remember them?  The container shaped like a log cabin) and poured a small amount of syrup in each little square in the waffle.  💕


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