My mother sent this picture from Norway. Snow, winter, family, winter sports on TV: it all seems very far away when it is a sweaty 32C here in Accra. The harmattan seems to be over, the skies are clearer and it is a relief to not have the dust creeping in. I am still househunting with current flatmates, there are possibilities for potential 3-bedroom flats (though so expensive….). I never thought I’d be flat-sharing again at my age, but it does saves money, which will go towards flights back to see my husband. And the flatmates are very nice, so yesterday I made waffles for breakfast. Most of my things are still packed away in boxes, pending the next house move in February, but I did excavate my Norwegian waffle iron. Bare essentials! It was also a pre-Accra gift from my mother. As she says, you can find eggs, flour and milk most places in the world, which means you can make warm cardamon-scented waffles like these, and that makes a temporary place feel more like home.
To quote My Little Norway, which also has several waffle recipes:
Waffles are a Norwegian tradition. Not a week goes by in a Norwegian home without a waffle being eaten. Unlike the Belgium waffles, Norwegian waffles are large, soft and fluffy and fit pefectly folded in your hand. Soured milk is a usual ingredient however, it can be replaced by fresh milk. Cardamum, a common spice used in Norway, is not typically used in basic recipes but can add extra flavour. The toppings are simple but yummy: slices of Norwegian brown cheese, a spread of sour cream and jam or just a sprinkling of sugar.
4 medium eggs
500 ml milk (I used milk powder + water)
400 ml all-purpose wheat flour
Optional: a handful of oatmeal
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
100 grammes melted butter
Whisk eggs and milk. Then whisk in the dry ingredents. Finally, add the melted butter (cool a bit before adding to batter). Let batter rest 30 minutes at least. I made mine the night before as it was for breakfast the next day, and left it in the fridge. You may need to add more flour or more milk until the batter consistency is about right. Heat your waffle iron, it may need a bit of butter to avoid sticking, but these did not. My waffle iron beeps when they are done, which makes it very easy. Otherwise, let them cook until golden (but do not peek too early or they will collapse), then flick them out with a knife (without scratching the iron.) Let them cool slightly on a cooking rack. Serve the waffles cut into single waffle hearts or double ones, nicely presented on a plate, with jam for each person to add as needed.
This is finger food, normally not eaten at breakfast or with cutlery, but served afternoon or evening, along with coffee. (Arctic Grub explains this very well in 10 Things You May Not Know About Norwegian Waffles and even includes a vegan waffle recipe, which looks delicious.)
I do have a precious block of Norwegian brown cheese in the fridge, and will break that out for future waffles. Normally I’d make at least a litre of waffle batter, so there are leftovers, and I might try this Tine waffle recipe doubled next time. Waffles do bring happiness!