HOSSACK: It’s time — out with the new
For more than three years, we have been without waffles.
This, ever since our shiny, modern waffle-maker (the plastic parts of which periodically cracked and fell off, leaving the hinge all wobbly and prone to slamming closed on our finger while ladling batter) finally just up and died.
Gave up its ghost.
Went to its rest.
Reached its warranty date.
Waffled its last.
Since then, our
toaster oven has gone
to be with it, along with an invincible-looking stand mixer (already dead inside its shipping box), pop-up toaster, two breadmakers, electric kettle, blender, Crock Pot and electric batter beater.
If we’d seen it all coming, by now we could be operating our own small appliance Pick-A-Part business.
Or an appliance graveyard.
Or we could be “Those Neighbours,” the ones who anger the entire block with their collection of eccentric garden ornaments.
Instead, every one of those small appliances, along with one refrigerator, have become just more landfill flotsam, the volume of which should redden the cheeks of their makers.
Although I must accept my share of the fault, mustn’t I?
At the very least, I’m to blame for my toast fetishes, my dough-making impulses, tea yearnings, smoothie hankerings and slow-cooker curry desire-ings.
And, having slipped so many lifeless contraptions down the chute into gadget afterlife, where nothing ever decomposes, I should know better by now.
Possibly, I’m being punished for letting a machine knead and/or proof my pizza dough.
Perhaps I should have discovered long ago how to toast bread with a pair of tongs and a plumber’s torch.
Or, and this could be entirely true, my expectations are too high.
Which brings us back to the waffle iron.
I expected it to waffle. At first it did, and then it did not.
What to do now?
Part with another loaf of money and buy the next generation of trash?
Walk over my pancakes with golf shoes (voila, waffles!)?
Stand in line at the pancake house, waiting to be seated in spilled syrup?
Not this time.
This time, at least, I have an un-gadget-y solution to the problem of a disposable society: My grandmother’s waffle iron.
It’s an antique stovetop model which has no cord to plug in, no plastic hinges or casings to crack off, no dials, switches, knobs or computer chips.
Older than I am, this marvel of old-fashioned ingenuity, which my mom lately gave me as a keepsake, is being put back into service on Sunday mornings.
And, in 40 years or so, when I’m done with it, I’ll give it to the grandchildren my niece might someday have.
By then, rather than broken, I suspect it’ll still be barely broken in.
Darcie Hossack is a food writer and author of Mennonites Don't Dance (Thistledown Press). Dean Hossack is an internationally award-winning chef and two-time member of Culinary Team B.C. Send food and cooking questions here.