My Waffle Maker

johnny-automatic-waffle-iron-800px“I have a great idea.”

My wife said this from the kitchen and it is from the kitchen, more than any other room, that she comes up with ideas for me to do things I do not want to do.

“Why don’t you come into the living room and tell me about it,” I say.

“Why should I do that?” she asks.

“No reason,” I tell her.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what my idea is?”

“Sure, what is your idea?”


I admit, waffles are a brilliant idea. I love waffles. Who doesn’t? But making waffles requires a special appliance that is almost always stored in the furthest corner of the bottom-most shelf of the most inaccessible cabinet of the kitchen.

“How about oatmeal instead?”

“No,” she says, “but it would be extra sweet if you made me waffles.”

There is no arguing because I could never pay the price for winning that one.

So waffles it is.

I lower myself to the floor and stick my head into the most inaccessible cabinet in the kitchen.  It has been years since I made waffles and it is no coincidence that it has been just as long since I have flexed the muscles required to retrieve a waffle maker from the bottom most shelf.  They remind me of this.

The first minor appliance I encounter is the Vega-matic. We bought it at the Minnesota State Fair from a man whose pitch we could not resist. He promised it would make us happier, healthier and wealthier. It has done none of those things – instead it made our cabinets clutterier.

Next came a platoon of crock-pots; each a unique size, shape and brand.  Predictably, the larger the pot, the further back it was stashed.

Beyond the crock-pots lay a region of unidentifiable appliances. Some could be toasters, some toaster ovens.  Some are still in their original boxes (some of those boxes were never opened).  Many of these appliances have not encountered a human in years, it makes them skittish and unruly.

And finally, waaay in the back of the back, my fingertips locate the waffle maker. At least I thought so. It was small and round and plated in chrome.

What else could it be?

I hope not the meat slicer.

I nudge it a bit to get a better grip. Of course it resists me. So I give it a shove, only to discover that it is indeed the meat slicer.

Behind that is another small, round, chrome-plated object. Fortunately, this one can be identified by two raised Teflon grids instead of a circular knife– so at last I found it.  I grab and pull – but it refuses to budge. Perhaps the cord is wrapped around something. so I pull again and it pulls back.

This is when I realize my hand has extended a whole lot further into the cabinet than our kitchen goes.  I have experienced this mystery in other places in our house – and it does not end well.  They air movies about such things on the Syfy Channel.

I quickly scurry back out of the cabinet.

If the little guy wants to be left in peace, I am willing to oblige it.

“So what made you think about waffles?” I ask.

She is looking out the kitchen window at the frost shrouded trees that line the banks of Five Drunk Creek.

“Nothing really,” she says.

It is then I realize what she was thinking – because of her new job, we will not be going south this year – and every year on our journey south, we know we have escaped the cold clutches of the north when we spot our first WAFFLE HOUSE restaurant and it is our tradition to stop there.

“I have a great idea,” I tell her.

“What?” she asks.

“How about tomorrow morning, we order pecan waffles from a waitress who calls you Honey?”

“Kansas City?” she asks.

“You bet,” I say, “we can be back by Sunday night.”

Author: Almost Iowa

63 thoughts on “My Waffle Maker”

  1. You had to go and write a post about stuff at the back of kitchen cupboards, didn’t you? And I had to go and read it. Damn.
    Glad you took her (you did took… er, take her, didn’t you? I mean it’s April now and this was in January. Wait… people from Almost Iowa eat waffles in January?)
    My waffle machine hasn’t yet seen any waffle batter. I’m a Brit in the UK and I have yet to overcome my ‘first waffle will be a failure’ fear. It doesn’t, however, live in a cupboard. Yet.
    Now I shall breathe out and follow your blog. Good ‘un.

  2. This is such a good post. I burst out laughing, and I realize that it’s a combination of how much I identify with your topics and how the way you write perfectly nails it. I swear I can hear a racoon in our walls. My husband swears it’s a mouse and I exaggerate. This animal is only active at night and I think he’s almost made it through the walls. I’ll have to look in the cabinets.

  3. Very funny, and very familiar! I think few of us have the storage capacity required for all our kitchen gadgets, which certainly creates problems. You’re very brave to store a mean slicer in the deeper depths. And I look forward to the post that explores just how deep your cabinets actually go. Enjoy your trip to the waffle house!

    1. “You’re very brave to store a mean slicer in the deeper depths.”

      It wasn’t bravery. I attribute it all to a failed intelligence briefing. Before going in, I asked if there was anything in there that had it out for me – and she said, “no more than usual.”

  4. It was all just a plot to get you to pull everything out of the cabinet to get the waffle maker, then try to get it all back in. Can’t be done – something gets tweaked in that strange space-time continuum so you end up with less space. That’s also why I’ve never tried taking apart a watch.

    1. That is so true. It is one of the great mysteries of the universe, kind of like the parts that are always left over when I repair something.

    1. Clutterier is not a word? That’s odd, it is how people describe our house every time they come over. Though sometimes they do not leave… so it merely adds to the clutter.

  5. Cracked me up, Greg. Made me miss Waffle Houses, too. I don’t like waffles, but they have the best grits… mmmm… (can’t ear ’em anymore, anyway).

    My ex was the pack-rat. I closed our portal to the Poppins carpet-bag/cabinet dimension by inserting a big cardboard carton of jelly jars, cleverly artificially darkened for disguise, right in the accumulation zone.

    “But see? There’s no more room for another thing!”

    Feel free to borrow my proven-successful strategy.

    1. “I closed our portal to the Poppins carpet-bag/cabinet dimension by inserting a big cardboard carton of jelly jars, cleverly artificially darkened for disguise, right in the accumulation zone.”

      Brilliant move. They should hand out awards for this sort of thing.

  6. Most entertaining. It gave me a great desire to waffle-cate, and the waffle-maker is kept in the same place as yours. After an hour of searching I was informed that we didn’t own one and never had. Oh well – it’s all your fault.

  7. What a slick way to get out of that one! Cute story and it rings so true. BTW, a good philosophy is if you haven’t used it in a year, stow it. Which you did. If you haven’t used it in two years, get ride of it. It works for me for most things. Of course there are those inherited items that just take up space forever. I know my kids will toss them, but I can’t seem to do it. sd

    1. That is a great policy for getting rid of stuff, unfortunately I married a pack rat who refuses to get rid of anything – lucky for me, I have buddy who like to “borrow” things.

  8. Now you’ve got me worried. You mean those cupboards really do extend beyond the realms of known space time. I shall have to be more careful next time I look for the waffle maker.

  9. Your stories never end as I expect they will, which is precisely why I so enjoy them.

    My cousin recently managed a Waffle House, maybe in Arkansas (I can’t recall for sure). I sleep in a Waffle House t-shirt. His parents once brought several to a family gathering. Personally, I do not much care for waffles or pancakes. I do, however, eat oatmeal every morning and occasionally must dig in the back recesses of a cupboard. That I understand.

  10. Well done. I could just picture myself on my hands and knees reaching into the nether regions of one of our lower kitchen cabinets to fulfill our twice a year waffle making craving 😀
    I’m not sure what’s the closest Waffle House location to us, but I’m pretty sure it’s too long a drive.

    1. And the thing is, as you digging through all that detritus, someone is inevitably standing behind you musing about how you need more storage space. It makes one want to scramble toward the region that goes beyond the wall.

  11. I very much enjoy your humorous story-telling. Your wit is brilliant; the very detailed accounts of your experiences creates vivid imagery in my mind.

  12. Well, that answers the question that’s been knocking around in my head. I was about to get in touch and propose that we meet somewhere for coffee during your annual migration. I guess that won’t be happening this year.

    But, yes: Waffle House beats digging in the cabinet every time. For one thing, you have diners around you at the Waffle House that provide wonderful fodder for posts. I think the usual ratio is one hour = twelve posts. Until the day I die, I never will forget the experience of watching an old geezer hitting on my mom at the Waffle House in Joplin.

    1. I would have loved to meet for coffee – but oh well, another time.

      I have often asked myself why Waffle House doesn’t open franchises in the north but I suppose the answer is obvious – its the culture. There are somethings that simply cannot be replicated.

  13. Aw, you are a softy at heart, Either that or you saw something in that cabinet and you’ve made arrangements for your cousin Egor to deal with it Saturday afternoon. Enjoy the waffles.

  14. Brilliant capture of the curse of buying kitchen things that seemed a good idea at the time; that were too expensive to just bin; that might one day after a war have a use yet never will. Plus ending up in the darkest corner of the darkest cupboard there is the propensity to put ones back out in the recovery of said item process…I know that well from the time a few years back when the missus asked me to retrieve a machine that dices about 100 carrots at a time. ‘Surely the regular grater will suffice dear?’…’No I want the machine’…in traction for weeks thereafter. Regardless, a bloody good read was this.

    1. It is getting close to fifty years since I walked onto a freeway ramp and stuck my thumb out. I didn’t come back for a very long while and in that time all that I owned fit in a very small backpack. I don’t know why I brought this up…. nostalgia, I guess. 🙂

      1. The days when things were simple…like before I purchased my first car and the steering wheel came off in my hands (still kept steering with it oddly, until I crashed)…a downward slope ever since and never mention the Kenwood Food Mixer, bloody thing that it was…still lurking about this house somewhere even after 4 house moves since she got the thing!

        1. I know what you are saying…. but well….. then there is tools. One has to have tools – and then there is the bulldozer to consider. 🙂

          1. I don’t need a bulldozer, but I am partial to my quilting machine. However, when I contemplate seriously, there’s an awful lot I could do without, and life would still be pretty damn good.

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