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Another Day in the Country

Seal of approval needed

© Another Day in the Country

Twenty-five years ago, we found an older model Belgian Waffle Maker in an antique store, as I recall. I don’t even remember the brand.

It was in wonderful condition and it wasn’t very expensive. We bought it for The Ramona House, which we were furnishing and just because we love Belgian waffles. Later, when we moved to Kansas from California, Jess added it to her collection of waffle irons.

You may not realize this, but waffle makers — that are good — are hard to find. We understood completely our old friend Warren Fike and his obsession with waffle irons. 

Years ago, Warren took us down into his basement where he stored his collection of old, old waffle makers. It was amazing!

When Warren died and his collection was auctioned off, I said to Jess, “Don’t you think we ought to go to the auction and buy one of those old waffle irons?”  

“You don’t need to go anywhere near an auction,” she huffed. “We have plenty of old stuff, including waffle irons, already!”

As fate decreed, shortly thereafter, our good old, tried and true Belgian waffle maker died. The electrical system had gone kaput. Jess deemed it a “complete goner,” which meant that we didn’t believe that even our friend Art (the best fixer-upper we know) could redeem it.

Thus began our hunt for a good Belgian waffle iron that wasn’t heart-shaped.

We’ve been hunting for several years, to no avail.  When we made waffles for a group of friends at a baby shower, we tried out one of the new waffle makers we’d purchased.  

“It doesn’t work,” Jess lamented.

This process was like being America’s test kitchen in Ramona!

“The pockets aren’t deep enough,” Jess said. “The waffle is limp and not crispy.”

We took the waffle iron back!

We have tried more brands of waffle irons than you can imagine. None of them measure up to that old waffle iron that died on us.

For Christmas last year, I bravely bought my sister a new Belgian waffle iron made by Krupps.

I’d gone online and searched for hours, scrolling through pages and pages of waffle iron descriptions and reading customer reviews.  Finally, I’d chosen this one, ordered it, wrapped it up and put it under the tree.

“Oh, how lovely,” my sister said, “Thank you.”  

But everyone knows by now that just any old waffle iron may not make the cut.

“It’s too big,” Jess declared. “I could almost use up all the batter in one waffle.”

“But it is in segments!” I countered, “You can break them apart.”

But she insisted it was still not right,  so that waffle iron stayed at my house because I have more cupboard space.  It didn’t get used.

This week, I gave it one more try.  I bought another waffle maker.

It was smaller, had deep pockets, and just looked right. On Sunday morning, at our weekly communal breakfast, we made buttermilk waffles, and I held my breath.  I had a brand new bottle of genuine, pure, maple syrup. I had blueberries and whipped cream. Jess made beautiful buttermilk batter.

“You know, I think we tried this brand before,” Jess cautiously said. “At Kristina’s baby shower!”

That was almost three years ago!

We heated it up and sprayed the element carefully. We sat waiting in anticipation. The waffle stopped steaming. Jess opened the lid.  

“This waffle is limp,” was the verdict. “Disgusting.”

And it was! Pathetic. 

Even the chickens may turn up their nose at this poor specimen. So I got out the big waffle iron and cooked the rest of the batter in one shot. The ensuing waffle was ok, just not great!

“I guess we need to find one recommended by The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” I commented.

“Do they do that anymore?” Jess asked.

Whereupon I “Googled it” and discovered that indeed they do still test products and give their seal of approval, and have been doing that service for more than 90 years.

I found a toaster, an automatic hot water pot, and a vacuum that were all in my price range and highly recommended — but not a single Belgian waffle iron.

It’s just another day in the country, but once again I’m on the prowl for a deep pocketed, small, hot enough to make them crispy, Beglian waffle maker. Any recommendations?

And, by the way, anyone need an almost brand new, only used twice, large waffle iron for Christmas? Call me!

Last modified Nov. 28, 2019

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