January is my least favorite month of the year. After the magic of the holidays, nothing is left but dark, overcast skies, muddy, brown grass, and shriveled leaves scattered on lawns. I walk around my neighborhood every morning and search for tiny hints of Spring. So far, nothing is to be found.
I am reminded of my favorite poet, Raymond Carver, and his poem This Morning. Carver describes walking around his town, looking for the beauty in nature during the winter months. However, he begins to dwell on the unhappiness that occurred in his past. He loses himself briefly, but then is able to emerge, looking forward to what lies ahead.
I find solace in his words and search for every happy moment that can be extracted from my day to day life. Things like taking long walks with my mom and our pups on Saturday mornings, getting expensive takeout for me and Dayv to enjoy on Friday night, and making Belgian Waffles on Sunday mornings.
With each pour of the batter and flip of the handle, I become a little girl again, anxiously waiting for the beep to signal that the waffles are ready to be eaten. Quickly slathered in Earth Balance and drizzled with maple syrup, I bring in the first prepared plate for Dayv to enjoy. He takes his first bite, looks up at me, and sweetly smiles. That, my friends, is what makes my January happy.
All the things I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day.
What I've trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else. I know I did.
For when I turned back I didn't know
where I was. Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees. And flew
in the direction I needed to be going.
-Raymond Carver, excerpt from This Morning
Notes: Dayv and I enjoy a crispier waffle, so I heat our waffle maker to the highest setting. 1/2 cup of batter makes one Belgian waffle in our machine. Make sure to adjust allotted batter for each waffle depending on your machine.
Buttermilk Belgian Waffles
makes approximately three
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/4 c millet flour
1/4 c potato starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 c unsweetened almond milk + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar mixed and set aside for 5 minutes
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat waffle maker to desired setting. In a medium bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add in almond milk/apple cider vinegar mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and whisk until completely combined. Grease preheated waffle maker with Earth Balance and pour in allotted batter. Cook until machine signals that the waffle is done. Remove waffle and repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with additional Earth Balance and maple syrup. Enjoy!