Here is where I really get into cooking for a crowd. My husband prefers waffles as a lunch snack in place of bread, so when I make them, I prepare enough for two meals for our family and lunch snacks for the week. They’re also great as an after-school snack. I save them in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them, but ours don’t last long enough for that.
One issue we circumvented early on was the invariable association of waffles with maple syrup. When we serve syrup with waffles or pancakes, we mix equal portions of maple syrup and water, so I can watch the kids pour without having to say “That’s enough.” As an alternative to syrup, we often serve smoothies as a topping, fruit mixed with unsweetened vanilla-flavored yogurt, or blueberry sauce. Applesauce with yogurt is terrific, too.
You can usually find the flours at a health food store or in the specialty section of your supermarket. You can also grind rice, barley, and millet in a coffee- or spice-grinder. Vary the types of flour to fit what you have on hand. Whole-wheat flour makes the pancakes or waffles heavier; rice and barley flour lighten them.
1 cup barley flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup millet flour
2 cups oats, ground into flour in a blender
2 cups whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/3 cup melted butter
6 or more cups milk or soy milk
2 tablespoons besan or soy flour (optional) or
1 cup cooked, ground lima beans (optional)
Mix the dry ingredients together in a very large bowl.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the dry ingredients, along with the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir gently. The consistency should be that of loose cake batter. Add more milk, if necessary.
Preheat and lightly oil either a large frying pan or a waffle iron (or both, if you feel like playing short-order cook). Turn the pancakes when they bubble on top.
Put the finished products on a glass plate in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve them. Extras can be reheated in a toaster or oven the next day.
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup apple juice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
½ to 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
Warm the blueberries and add the other ingredients.
Blend until smooth and serve over pancakes or waffles.