Leaves, fluttering like feathers, rhythmical swayed back and forth as they descended from the trees this morning -
"Waffles for breakfast?"
The leftover pumpkin purée in the fridge has been my topping for everything since Thanksgiving, I've especially enjoyed it with plain yogurt in the mornings as the subtle, indulgent flavours complement added fruits such as apples or bananas. Oh, and don't forget the added serving of vegetables at the same time!
I've been admiring all the pumpkin baked goods at Starbucks, which I don't grab anymore, as I reluctantly pull my eyes away,
Focus on the hot drinks instead.
Except even those drinks don't maintain the true pumpkin taste I crave when the leaves begin to float through the air on their way to the ground, a complement to the cinnamon and nutmeg spices, and delicately embodying what I think fall is about. Comfort. Familiarity. Cherishing the moments.
This morning, my friend and I in oversized university sweaters from our sisters, slippers, and pyjamas, made tea to warm up with as mum and dad woke up and we decided about breakfast.
Fittingly, for the house was chilly when we awoke, I received a text from a friend that read,
'Hey its snowing!'
And in the grogginess of sleep I thought it was from a friend who lived nearby, and the possibility of it never crossed my mind. So, my friend and I leant far out the window with arms outstretched trying to find droplets, rain or snow, and wondering where she had gotten the notion of snow. To our dismay the air was clear of falling crystals, despite grey clouds above, and bundling back inside, tripping over one another to reach our sweaters, I realised the snow was falling much farther north, home to one friend and the source of the text.
It must be around -30° C where she lives, a temperature intolerable for me, as I find myself in sweaters, scarves, a big coat and mittens in the current 10° C and the thought of the inevitable -5° C of our winters frightening. But I will embrace it with a mug of tea in the morning and some gluten-free hot cereal, which I'm working on at the moment. Preparations for winter.
Saturday mornings are the perfect day for a cooked breakfast with family, as are Sundays, when everyone's home and all are ready to relax into a long morning that stretches into an afternoon filled with the repetition of pouring teapots and the flow of chatter at the table. Idle chatter about the week's events, and the island gossip; laughter as we poke fun, but also chatter about what might really be going on underneath the surface of those around us, and why things are always changing pace.
I've learnt time and time again that its best to open up, and never to let things simmer on high as they're bottled. The pot will boil over eventually. And breakfast, even if things aren't said directly, is the perfect time for the presence of those around to become the net to catch words, whether they be good, grieving, or ambiguously embedded and tied up in the need for others to decipher them.
Baking is a lot like watching the formation of secrets, the spices become buried underneath the complex configuration of other ingredients, masked in colour by the whiteness of flours, and hidden by the thickness of the batter. However, underneath each crust, muffin top or pastry shell, we know whats been added, although unknown to the baker are the chemical processes that undergo when heat is applied. The baker's apprentice, the bystander, can't yet understand the effect each ingredient, each addition, every cause, will have on the outcome, and the consequence triggered eventually. And like hurt that's been smothered as if a thick smog blanketed it once before, feelings eventually reveal themselves, all those hidden secrets, and all those forgotten spices come out again.
They give the cake it's name, make the muffin flavourful, desirable, as the secrets reveal themselves from under the shell.
So within these waffles I've added spices and pumpkin, a complementary pair, working heroes together, that make these waffles, and this breakfast, special. Memorable. They've made it what it is.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Waffles
The moist and tender waffles can be altered to sport your favourite dried or fresh fruit, such as blueberries or peeled and diced apple, or even chocolate chips. Be happy with your creation.
Serves 6 to 8
250 g Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 pumpkin puree
4 tbsp grape seed oil
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 - 2 1/2 c rice or almond milk
Heat up waffle iron and preheat oven to 180° F with a large plate inside. Combine all flour mix, baking powder and soda, and spices in a large bowl, set aside.
In another bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs.
Make and well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredient, stir until mixed.
Slowly pour in rice or almond milk and stir constantly, add enough for batter to become thick and runny.
Spoon mixture into waffle iron and close, following cooking instructions specific to your waffle iron.
Transfer cooked waffles to a plate in the oven until all waffles are cooked.
Serve with maple syrup and slices of fresh apple or banana.
Labels: apple, batter, bread, breakfast, Cinnamon, cooked, eggs, fall, flour mix, gluten free, maple syrup, pumpkin, quick recipe, rice flour, spice, sweet, waffles, warm