Wednesday, December 1, 2010


So I've decided that what I hate more than anything, is people telling me what I can and cannot do. The whole notion that there are a prescribed set of rules that I have to adhere to... because... just because. The only thing this does is severely limit the opportunities to appreciate the realness of what is offered up each and every day.
We wait. For that perfect vacation. To own that perfect house or car. What we miss is that the real pleasures... the opportunities to feel the realness of life come in appreciating and preserving our own personal freedom. 

They say that drinking in the morning is a bad thing. And while I suppose even I find it startling to think of enjoying a glass of scotch or a vodka martini before coffee, there are many more ways to live a little while still in sweats and big comfy slippers.

Which brings us to waffles. 

Those warm wafers with pockets to hold deliciousness are the perfect breakfast food for a comfort food freak like me, with one caveat. They're just generally too sweet for me. I love the bready aspect of waffles; as glutens actually occupy the space of three of my five food groups.
It's the syrup that just ruins them. And the 100% natural pure maple kind just doesn't do the trick. The deep, dark general mapley-ness of this syrup is still the wrong kind of sweet for me so early in the morning.

So in my desire to preserve the use of my Belgian waffle iron, I set out to explore what I could drizzle over these warm creations. Something that would pour. Something that would be sweet but not cloying. Something with dimension.  It seemed so obvious but so against the rules. So here's how I spend Sunday mornings now...

I meticulously whisk my Belgian waffle batter and patiently wait for them to become golden brown and perfectly crisp... easily popping out of the maker and onto my plate.
I then take out the special bottle with its smooth, gently sloping shoulders... smooth and cool to the touch. I wrap my hands around its waist and gently pull... the cork.. people, the cork! I have brought home the perfect pairing. A bottle of 2006 Royal Tokaji Red Label 5 Puttonyos. At first, botrytis, apricot, orange peel and honey hit the nose. The palate is rich with orange and notes of botrytis, which is then swept by apricot with a citrusy aftertaste. The lively acidity of this "dessert" wine contrasts nicely with the richness of the waffle. Nothing like the normally cloying feeling of the sticky sweetness offered up by syrup. It's almost refreshing thanks to the crisp acidity. And with sugar content of 178g/l my topping comes in at less than half as sweet as a dose of Vermont's finest. Making my choice a healthy choice by comparison -- and every bit as natural.

And the 10% alcohol content? Easily burned off with a brisk walk around the block or an hour of raking leaves. And as I lick my plate (literally), I am content in knowing that this morning, I have done it my way and have tasted a bit of perfection from a land half way across the world.

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