I had this post planned for a while. Yesterday, I was hoping that I might be sipping a Mimosa along with these waffles. But, such is not the case. Yesterday there was an election here in the United States. And the result of that election has left many of us (in fact half the country) in despair. I won’t dwell on the politics of the situation because it’s almost too overwhelming to contemplate. I woke up this morning, after a very fitful sleep and went right into the kitchen. Cooking is my “out”; it’s my escape when I’m sad, or lonely, or worried, or stressed. I immerse myself in the work of creating something good to eat, reveling in the beauty of ingredients, and the process that makes them into delicious food. I am going to need to do a lot of cooking in the weeks, months, and years ahead. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had started to nurture a sourdough starter. It has yielded several happy results so far, and I can now add these waffles to the collection. If you’re familiar with sourdough starter you may know that the regular “feeding” requires discarding a portion of the active starter. If you (like me) have felt badly about this, then this recipe will make up for the guilt of washing that perfectly good mixture down the drain. These waffles use a cup of starter, which is exactly the amount that usually gets discarded. Plan to make them when you’re ready to feed your starter, and you can use that “discard” to good advantage. I had a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl that looked like they wanted to participate in a waffle-topping project, so they got to bathe in a warm butter-brown sugar-maple syrup sauce before I spooned them over a stack of waffles. A little more syrup on top is always a good thing.
Now I have a confession to make: I didn’t make the sourdough starter. I ordered it from the baking experts at King Arthur Flour. It’s not that I haven’t tried to make sourdough starter. The last time I did it involved days of watching a bowl filled with a bag of crushed grapes, flour, and water. It yielded a very weak starter that failed to leaven or flavor my baked goods. So, I went with a sure thing, and I advise you to do the same. The waffle recipe is from King Arthur, and, because I didn’t change it in any way, I will send you here to access it. The bananas are a pretty simple addition, but they make a delicious topping for the waffles. If you are in the mood for some comfort food today, give these a try. There will be a lot more comfort coming this way as we try to move forward.
Brown Sugar-Maple Bananas
- 2 or 3 ripe, but firm bananas, peeled and sliced (not too thin)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup pure Maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A few drops of balsamic vinegar
- Additional Maple syrup, for serving
- In a small, non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cook and stir until it melts. Add the Maple syrup and cinnamon and stir together. Add a few drops of the vinegar, to adjust the sweetness, ever so slightly.
- Add the sliced bananas to the skillet and stir gently to coat evenly with the sugar-syrup mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook only until the bananas are warm. Spoon over each serving of waffles, and add additional Maple syrup, if you like.