By Annily Hawks
I am sure you have heard of the famous Waffle House restaurant, most recognizable by their yellow signs and welcoming atmosphere. I have a few great memories there, most of which include dining in at 2 am during my first year of college with my new friends. Maybe they are to blame for my freshman 15. Although these were fun times, my favorite memories and the best waffles I have ever tasted didn’t come from Waffle House. They came from a home.
The first time I had the world’s best waffles was 2009. My mom had just remarried, and I gained what I like to call a bonus dad, as well as 6 siblings. It was quite the adjustment. I’ve always had my bonus dad wrapped around my finger, but I can recall the day he truly won me over. It was a Sunday morning before church, I didn’t have to be ready until noon so my plan was to sleep in. But instead I was awakened by the sweet smell of bacon…and another smell I didn’t quite recognize. I headed downstairs to the kitchen and I saw waffles. Part of me as a little disappointed because I had never really been a fan of waffles. I was more of a biscuits and gravy kind of girl. But I, of course, indulged anyways.
The perfect meal. What better way to win a 12-year-old girl over, than with a really good breakfast. Waffles, paired with moms famous buttermilk syrup, with a side of bacon. The taste that would later bring many people together.
Our family wasn’t the only thing that blended that year. Our family recipes blended, memories, laughs, and A LOT of arguing. But we never argued sitting around the table on a Sunday morning eating waffles.
As I got older our family grew. No, my mom didn’t have more kids. But, my siblings and I made friends. An abundance of my friends didn’t have the easiest home life, or they struggled in some way. As I would come home as express my concern about them, to my mom, she always suggested inviting them over for waffles.
Even now, in my adult life, I am always extending an invitation for waffles. Although I’ve lived away from home for years, there is no problem that can’t be solved by Bonus Dad’s Waffles, and Mom’s Buttermilk Syrup.
It all started when a boy was 15 years old. It was his turn to make dinner, so he picked out a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens recipe book. It just so happened to be waffles. Little did that 15-year-old boy know, he would gain me as a daughter. And with the help of my mom, it would create a lasting tradition and a safe house for many.
Bonus Dad’s Waffles (AKA ‘Oh Boy! Waffles’ from Better Home and Gardens Cookbook)
Mom’s Buttermilk Syrup (Six Sisters’ Stuff Blog)
Annily Hawks grew up in Coolidge/Florence, Arizona. She is a past FFA member, and Past State Officer and hopes to continue to give back to FFA in any way she can. Annily attends BYU-I online and is working toward majoring in Agriculture Education with a minor in journalism. She wants to one day become an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. Annily also wants to help others get through loss and grief by writing on her own blog and hopefully one day she will write her own book. Her hobbies include photographing, reading, and being in the mountains.