The waffle iron was already a near antique “Universal” brand small appliance. Its baking grids were cast-iron and the heating elements did not have temperature or time controls. When the iron was used, it was just plugged in. If you needed to regulate the heat, you unplugged it for a few minutes, then reconnected it to the electrical socket.
My sister inherited the waffle iron and used it until a few years ago when she had to retire it due to safety concerns. I gave my own “Universal” art deco style waffle iron to her two years ago because I very rarely prepare waffles anymore due to blood sugar issues. My old iron operates in the same manner as the one our family used back in the day.
I remember the joy of using these antiquated appliances now because today is Våffeldagen (Swedish for “waffle day”). Våffeldagen, each year, was one of the days dad wanted to enjoy a waffle supper because this was one way he could easily celebrate our Swedish heritage. Mom, whose family came from Germany, didn’t mind because dad would be doing the cooking for Våffeldagen. We kids loved the waffle suppers because the waffles were always so delicious.
One of the highlights of Våffeldagen at our house was the syrup. It was real, authentic maple syrup. Because the syrup required refrigeration, mom heated it in a double-boiler pan before returning it to the syrup pitcher. The warm syrup ensured that it would not cool the waffles when used. Sometimes we had the option of pouring on fruit syrups like blueberry or raspberry. Peanut butter was another topping option. I liked the combination of raspberry and peanut butter, but preferred maple syrup solo in most instances.
Because today is Våffeldagen, I’m planning to prepare some whole-grain waffles tonight. I’ll top most of them with cashew butter. There is some leftover Canadian maple syrup in the fridge that I’ll heat up to use on one waffle. It’s good to salute a family tradition.