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raised buckwheat waffles + vanilla stewed rhubarb


Have I ever told you how this blog came to be a real thing? As in an internet real thing? My friend Michelle pushed me to do it. It took a bit of convincing. I generally liked food blogs, but was also annoyed by them all the same. The more I mulled over the actual existence of it, the less I thought I had to contribute to people’s actual lives in a productive sense. I knew a few things about cooking, had studied nutrition and held some very solid dinner parties in my time (including that one where I made straight bourbon slushies with little more than a sprig of mint to “soften the blow”), but a regular log of that stuff–where people can see it and generally like or be annoyed by it too? Eeeeeenh. It took me a solid bit of time, waffling between the reasons why or why not (see what I did there?).

And my friend kept at it until I dredged up the gumption essentially. She would gently nudge me on what I could contribute in a real way. There were texts asking me about a particular ingredient or cooking technique, with the obligatory reminder that qualified the creation of a site. Jokingly, she would mention its sheer benefit to her own life with food.

So I tried making and photographing a few things with a purchased domain just kind of sitting there. I agonized about those first recipes. They weren’t good enough, I hated the photos (I have an embarrassed fondness for a lot of my old photos now), the whole thing felt kind of silly (“blog” as an actual word, bluh awful)–just riffing on healthy seasonal foods to a solid following of 12 people (hey mom!).

Nowadays, the number of readers is a bit higher and this project has contributed a lot of (sometimes crazy) greatness to my life. I’ve only been tempted 4 times that I can remember to start a post with “Guys, I hate blogging. Fuuuuuuu–” …So, many wins. But still, every little speck of opportunity I get because of it, you betcha I’m letting my instigating friend hear about it first and foremost. This usually leads to a blitz of !!!’s and “Holy shit!” kind of texts, which is pretty much the most fun. I was compelled to talk about this here, to serve as a reminder of the serious abundance she’s helped bring into my life and why I keep at this thing. What I’m driving at here: You need to keep the good + positive people around you, to remind you that a blog isn’t always the silliest thing in the world. Or to just help you work towards actually creating and becoming something to wave from up high with all of your pride.

Since Michelle is pretty keen on pointing out that I probably just want to post breakfast treats all the time (I do), I made some waffles for y’all this week–with my first bunch of rhubarb that I bought from a really sweet lady on the side of the road over the weekend. She weighed the bunch on an old-time-y scale, questioning its accuracy as the bunch seemed to thicken rather tremendously. I brought it home and stewed half of it with tons of vanilla bean flecks, orange zest and juice, and slid the mushy heap of it right onto the tops of golden, yeasted buckwheat-y waffles. What could be better enjoyed outside in a spring splendour? Nothin’ at all.

Did you know that rhubarb and buckwheat are botanical relatives in the category of pseudocereals? I thought this was kind of interesting for a few reasons. Both ingredients seem to take a few tries to fully appreciate for one. Buckwheat flour has a bitter, wine-y quality that requires thoughtful pairing in a general sense–in blinis with smoked fish + horseradish, mixed into pancakes with roasted pears, as noodles in fragrant + perfectly salty/pork-y ramen broth. Its aroma is sweet and colour delightfully purple-ish heather grey (this tends to fade throughout the course of cooking/baking). Rhubarb is notoriously sour, and like buckwheat, not often enjoyed on its own. Pairings of berries, heavy cream and heaps of sugar are utilized with frequency and um yep, it’s pretty delicious with riesling and other white wines. So I thought that the two together would make a very happy union, one offering up what the other lacked with an enthusiastic drizzle of maple syrup, a heavy hand of wholewheat pastry flour to balance the assertiveness of the buckwheat and flecks of warm spice throughout the waffle. We ate them outside in the shade, perched at the tiniest patio table, completely full in all ways imaginable.

Waving hello from some strange (but wonderful) summer-in-spring weather, bike rides + new albums on repeat. xo!

raised buckwheat waffles + vanilla bean braised rhubarb
serves: 2
notes: You have the option to raise the batter on the counter for 1 hour before you plan to cook the waffles OR for a 1/2 hour on the counter + a covered overnight rest in the fridge for extra developed flavour from the yeast. The stewed rhubarb remains pleasantly sour, so I would recommend serving these with some maple syrup on the side for the lovers of sweetness in the am hours.

raised buckwheat waffles ingredients:
1 cup warm almond milk (or other milk that you like)
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 tbsp raw honey/maple syrup/agave
2 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil + extra to grease waffle iron
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup wholewheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
2 tbsp warm water
pinch of fine sea salt

vanilla stewed rhubarb ingredients: 
1/2 lb rhubarb, cleaned + cut into 3-4 inch pieces
1/4 cup maple syrup + extra to serve
zest + juice of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped

In a medium-large non reactive bowl, combine the warm almond milk and yeast. Let the yeast dissolve and become part of the milk for a few minutes.

To the almond milk and yeast, add the honey, oil and vanilla. Give it a stir. Add the buckwheat and wholewheat flours, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir until just combined, then add the water and stir one more time. over the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1/2 an hour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight (or let the batter sit on the counter for a full hour and go from there if you’re okay with slightly less developed flavour).

Meanwhile, make the braised rhubarb. Combine the rhubarb, maple syrup, orange zest + juice and vanilla bean seeds in a medium saucepan (throw the vanilla pod in while it cooks too). Let it sit over medium heat until there’s some faint bubbling. Let the rhubarb cook until soft and syrup-y, about 12 minutes. Set it aside or keep it warm until you’re ready to serve the waffles.

Remove the batter from the fridge and stir in the fine sea salt. Let the batter rest while you preheat the waffle iron. I find a higher done-ness level is desirable with yeasted waffles in general, so there’s that. Grease the waffle iron and cook waffle batter according to your maker’s directions (almost 1/2 the batter per waffle in the iron for 3 minutes or so for me). Enjoy waffles warm with the stewed rhubarb.

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Blogging is a magical thing, you just never know what will happen. But one thing is for sure – you make a great work. Your recipes are delicious, photography amazing. You show food as it should be seen. Yummy yummy.

thelittleloaf22/05/2013 - 8:44 am

I need a waffle maker! As for your thoughts on blogging, it’s fascinating to hear about your journey to get to this space and I’m so pleased your friend encouraged you to do it. The internet wouldn’t be quite the same without you :-)

Asha@FSK22/05/2013 - 9:07 am

haha… Glad you held out and are here now. Blogging can be frustrating like when you are stuck for things to say and short on time but it is also hugely rewarding in just the people sense :) It is such an altruistic effort in and by itself :)

Ashley22/05/2013 - 9:23 am

I’m so glad you stopped waffling and decided to create this spectacular space! It is a true gem!! I have a friend who is like your friend. Such a great reminder about keeping the good and positive people around us. There just isn’t time for anything else! I am loving how you prepared the rhubarb and that you cut it in mini stalks. Also…I also only want to post breakfast…all of the time! Hugs, friend!

Sophia22/05/2013 - 9:45 am

Well I am glad your friend pestered you long enough to start this blog – I have yet to come across a dish I didn’t want to immediately devour and let’s not get me started on your beautiful photos!

And the waffles look and sound delicious – I agree that both buckwheat and rhubarb are quite particular ingredients and need careful thought when it comes to pairing them with other ingredients but the idea of putting the two together in a dish seems great (even more so given that the plants are related!).

Erin22/05/2013 - 10:08 am

Hooray for new experiences and exciting adventures because of the blog! I’ve had only a few times where I said “screw it, I’m deleting the whole damn thing” but those usually came after a few super crazy comments :)

I also think we should start a blogger breakfast support group because you’re not alone. Breakfast, always (I do put eggs on everything just so it looks like lunch, but could still be a legit breakfast…)

Terry22/05/2013 - 10:31 am

Great post, and as someone also encouraged down this blogging path with my own “why am I doing this questions”, I appreciate your thoughts! It is amazing how much people can add to your life if they are positive, and take away if not. And – this is on the dinner menu tonight!

Caitlin22/05/2013 - 10:31 am

i completely understood where you are coming from in this post. blogging is weird to me, and i question it, but those positive people in my life make me feel like i’m doing a great service to humanity ;) even if only my husband, mom, dad, aunt, and best friend read my blog, that’s just fine with me ;)

ashley c22/05/2013 - 10:49 am

thank you for sharing! i’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, and this post is so raw and inspiring. i just started school at iin and have been thinking of starting a blog, but had the same reservations as you. who knows, maybe i’ll start one soon?

Melissa // The Fauxmartha22/05/2013 - 11:19 am

Forever indebted to Michelle for pushing you to do this. I love your voice in this blog world that sometimes leaves me questioning my place in it too. You’re a keeper and a big inspiration to me. And of course, I lurrrvvee waffles like they’re going out of style.

Blaine22/05/2013 - 2:19 pm

Having kindred spirits out there blogging about good food & seemingly trivial bits of life reminds me that I am not alone, in some way. That connection is nothing short of awesome!
Rock on with your posts. Especially if they’re breakfasty.

Kathryne22/05/2013 - 3:09 pm

Well, I’m glad you’re friend convinced you to start blogging. Otherwise I wouldn’t have the pleasure of knowing you! This recipe sounds great. Side note: I’ve been listening Trouble Will Find Me on repeat this morning. It’s haunting.

Laura@bakinginpyjamas22/05/2013 - 3:45 pm

I love the combination of flavours here, I can imagine these taste delicious! I’ve never had waffles before and this recipe makes me want to try them in the very near future.

Jo22/05/2013 - 4:48 pm

Reading certain blogs is somewhat a passion of mine.. you have me hooked with your amazing unique recipes, stories, humor and amazing pictures! You made me curious to look back to the start of your blog; your pics are still stunning then in my books! Though you should be very proud of how your writing and photography has come on over the course of your wonderful blog. They are an amazing tool for motivation and learning! Keep being your creative inspiring self, I for one am loving your work x

Kasey22/05/2013 - 5:40 pm

I love this story, and I am so glad you are here. There. Everywhere, wherever my computer/mobile device goes ;) If it were up to me, I’d post breakfast treats all the time, too. In fact, I have a little yeasted waffle recipe I am sharing very soon (clearly we are on the same wavelength). This is gorgeous, lady. Blogging brings so many good things to our lives. I’m thankful for it everyday (even the days I wanna be like, fuuuuuu…) xo

Polly22/05/2013 - 5:50 pm

I’m so pleased that friend pestered you into blogging! I’ve only found your space quite recently but I’m so pleased to have. Your photography is beautiful and your food looks so good and leaves me inspired every post.

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com23/05/2013 - 12:14 am

I’m glad you were literally “pushed” into blogging! You are surrounded by people who loves you very much :)

And I want this yeasty waffles in my life.

Sarah23/05/2013 - 1:40 am

Your waffles look freaking amazing and I love your work. Never stop, even though I agree that this can sometimes be a sucker’s game. Bloggers be crazy.

Trisha @ Vignette23/05/2013 - 3:04 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. I agree, surrounding ourselves with supportive friends makes our lives so much brighter and fulfilling! The vanilla braised rhubarb looks positively delicious on these waffles!

Courtney23/05/2013 - 4:15 pm

Blogging has always been a bit of a struggle for me as I don’t particularly like talking about myself (I’d rather just share the food!). But, it’s been a good sort of challenge that I like to think has allowed me to grow. I love coming to this space and seeing what you’ve cooked up as it follows with how I like to live and eat. Bravo on a beautiful space and can’t wait to be able to make these waffles :)

la domestique23/05/2013 - 6:20 pm

Can’t get enough rhubarb these days and totally love waffles means I think this post is fantastic! So glad you’re in the annoying food blog world! :)

carey23/05/2013 - 6:25 pm

Oh man, that blog beginnings story is so familiar. (My friend Matt [now friend/admin] was the one who hassled me as I continually weighed the pros and cons, and tried to generally avoid talking about it as much as possible except when I felt like theoretically babbling about all the things I would do if I did have a blog…yeah. Go pesky friends!)

My love affair with buckwheat is super new and exciting, so the blinis + smoked fish + horseradish nearly killed me. NEED THAT in my life/face.

lindsey25/05/2013 - 8:25 am

you are so right, surrounding yourself with positive people, no matter what you’re doing in life is super important. thanks for sharing your story.

i made something very similar a few weeks back. i added some bourbon to the rhubarb, next time i’ll add more, made for a nice boozy breakfast. the addition of buckwheat is so clever. i knew they were relatives, but i never would have thought to pair them in a breakfast recipe – awesome!

Justina25/05/2013 - 4:43 pm

I love this post (and your photographs are beautiful). Thanks for the reminder of how encouraging and fun it can be. A few of my best friends encouraged me to start a blog as well and they are the same people that I share the “you won’t believe” or “I have a great idea” with. I look forward to following your blog.

mary rizzaro26/05/2013 - 1:08 pm

Can’t wait to try this!

Mark27/05/2013 - 9:42 am

Great post… These look delicious!

Irina @ wandercrush28/05/2013 - 9:53 am

Lovely! The idea of yeasted buckwheat waffles is making me drool. That rhubarb looks extra beautiful in your pink saucepan. So glad to have found your blog.

Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)30/05/2013 - 10:59 am

I think I am in love with these waffles. Absolutely smitten. Your photography is just gorgeous!

Caroline03/06/2013 - 12:45 pm

I liiiike rhubarb pretty well. My husband really really likes rhubarb. So every week I buy it at the Farmer’s Market and wonder what to do it with. He made a really kick ass rhubarb savory sauce one time. I put some wilted stalks into our kale smoothies. This weekend I made rhubarb vanilla rosemary jam, which burnt a little bit but still tastes pretty damn great. But now. Now I want to stew the rest and make these. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Jennifer12/05/2014 - 5:17 am

Hi,

I made these waffles yesterday and followed the recipe exactly. They came out tasting wonderful but somehow they did not hold together and ended up sticking to my waffle iron (which I had oiled prior to use) and falling apart in the middle. Do you have any idea why this might have happened and how I could avoid this? I also made some whole wheat waffles the same day in the same waffle iron using the same amount of oil and these came out perfectly.

Any advice? I would love to make your waffles again as they tasted amazing!

Laura Wright12/05/2014 - 7:36 am

Hi Jennifer,
I’m so sorry that these stuck to your waffle iron! From my experience, waffles that stick/fall apart in the middle tend to come from mixtures that are too wet. I’ve made these a few times and have never had a problem, so I’m scratching my head a bit at this one. Do you live in a humid climate? Either way, I might try an extra couple tablespoons of whole wheat pastry flour stirred in next time, or perhaps a little bit less oil in the batter itself next time. Please let me know if you try them again!
-L

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