Last night before bed, O asked me if I'd get up early and make waffles before school. Waffles are a weekend ritual around here; I have made them so many times that I don't need a recipe and can pretty much eyeball the ingredients without measuring tools. O was giving me his Big Blue Eyes look when he asked, so of course I said I'd jump out of my warm bed a little early so he could be sent off to school with Mom's good cooking in his tummy.
I go to bed before anyone else around here. As I was saying my goodnights last night, I noticed the smell of meat coming from our kitchen. Not surprising since my husband likes to eat late. What was a surprising was that he was cooking hamburger in our waffle iron. Or, I should say, he'd attempted to cook hamburger in our waffle iron. I say "our" waffle iron because it was a wedding gift we received from our friends Chris and Melanie seventeen years ago, a gift that we've often remarked has been the most-used wedding gift in our household.
I bit my tongue as I watched my husband (sheepish expression on his face) chisel bits of burger out of the iron. Then I said goodnight, too tired to observe his cooking escapades any longer.
So...I get up this morning, eager to make my son happy, and bounce into the kitchen. The waffle iron is still out and looks surprisingly clean. I plug the appliance in to heat up while I gather ingredients, and that's when I smell ... meat. Then I hear sizzling coming from the iron, which I can only assume is sizzling meat.
Undaunted, I smooth waffle batter over the heated iron and tell myself I'll do what Julia Child used to do with her first crêpe of her batch ... toss it out. I'm confident this first waffle will absorb any beefy flavor leftover on the iron, and the remaining waffles will be fine.
Except, as you can see, they weren't.
The timer went off and as I lifted the top of the iron up, the waffle pulled in half. Normally the waffles just slip out of the iron as easily as silk slips across skin. But not this morning. I reached for silicone tongs, hoping that a little force would help the remnants un-adhere. No dice.
My son walks out into the kitchen, takes one look at the mess, and says, "Oh, Dad was trying to get the hamburger out with steel wool last night."
As my friend Gwen said after seeing the picture above and hearing how my husband attempted to clean the iron, "Well, who doesn't like waffles with old hamburger, bits of steel wool, and Teflon dust in them? Maple syrup is for the weak."
I've left the waffle iron on the counter, waffle still adhered, with a note that says, "Please order a new waffle maker AND a George Foreman Grill."
I'm beginning to think there's something to this whole "Mercury is in retrograde" business everyone's talking about.