Back To School Waffles

Back To School Waffles

I love eating.

I know it doesn’t look like I do, but food is such a simple comfort and, better yet, food is fuel.  I started eating Torill’s waffles when I was a growing 11 year-old synchronized swimmer.  Early morning practices and 4-hour-long weekend practices were grueling and intense, so I needed to find food that could fuel long and hard work outs. 

Enter Torill: her waffles got me through 5 am practices, 4 day competitions, extra practice and day-to-day life.  I would have 3 or 4 waffles in the morning or 2 before practice and would have all the energy I needed to make it through to the end of the day.  I’ve since stopped swimming daily, but as a university student living away from home, I found myself falling back on the Norwegian waffles as a source of comfort, food, and fuel. 

I brought bags of mix and my own waffle iron (thank you mom) to my first year of university away from home, and I am very grateful that I did.  My dorm was nice enough, but it had no oven, a broken microwave and a 2-slot toaster, so anything other than toast was a bit of a challenge to make.  My food options were limited:
Do I eat toast all day every day?
Drop way too much money at the restaurants on campus?
Do I buy ready-made meals and borrow my neighbors microwave 3 times a day? 
None were very appealing options, I’ve always liked to make my own food so I can make it taste exactly how I want and I can eat as healthy (or unhealthy) as I please without worrying about it.  I also prefer to treat food as fuel for my body; why eat a greasy McDonald’s hamburger from the campus food hall when I could make my own with my favorite buns, cheese and toppings?  All I was missing was a stovetop, oven, or microwave to cook with.

My elegant solution was to use my waffle maker for EVERYTHING.  My first impromptu iron use was for a wrap; I cooked some sliced chicken breast and bacon in the iron, wiped it down and then grilled the wrap before taking off to my next class.  On weekends I would make big batches of waffles and hoard them in my freezer.  In the morning I would optimize my sleep-to-work ratio (sleeping in until 15 minutes before class) by pre-heating my iron while I got ready and then reheating one or two waffles for 30 seconds before I ran to class.  This made sure I started my day with good food I liked without having to wake up early and cook something to eat before the torture that was 8 am calculus. 

I’m in my 3rd year of university now.  Now I have an oven, a stove top, a working microwave, and a toaster… and I still have my waffle iron.  I still make big batches of waffles for early mornings, I still eat 3 or 4 before working out, I still enjoy slathering them with apple butter or nutella, and now I also work for the lady whose waffles I’ve eaten for the past 8 years.

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