For a faithful crowd of ten odd Wellfleetians, waffles are a Sunday imperative. We gather most weeks for a feast of fruit and bacon and heap upon heap of cakes hot off the iron.
On summer mornings, we descend upon the lilting kitchen and shady screened in porch of a tiny Cottontail road cottage. The mother of the house fills griddle after griddle with ladles of batter until finally we put down our forks, satiated.
This week, with two brand new kitchen tables and a hand-me-down waffle iron just arrived, I decided to repay the many mornings of generosity with a gathering of my own. I called over the troops, flung open the windows, and cranked up the cast iron press for a seasonal Sunday feast.
With the strawberry rhubarb compote I'd been using on my oatmeal, I mixed up a batch of fluffy spring waffles, and we headed onto the deck and into the sunshine for the first outdoor meal of the season. Two bowls of batter later, we sat full and lazy, soaking up the heat of the noontime sun.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB WAFFLES
Plug in waffle iron to preheat.
Cut up 3 stalks rhubarb, toss into a pot, and cover with water. Boil over medium-high heat 5-10 minutes, or until soft. Drain water carefully using pot lid. Stir in 1/2 cup strawberry jam and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Melt 8-12 tablespoons butter or bacon fat over low heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 and 1/2 cups milk and 3 eggs. Add melted fat and strawberry rhubarb compote; stir wet ingredients into dry.
Ladle batter into hot waffle iron, about 1 and 1/2 large ladles full at a time. Let cook until machine indicates done or stops steaming; remove with a fork and serve hot. Makes 3-4 batches.