The sisterhood of the summer waffles

The best Mother's Day gift we ever gave my mom was a Belgian waffle maker. I feel certain she's the one who gave us the suggestion. However, it was really my sister Laura and I who loved it.

I was in middle school that year. When summer arrived, my sister and I spent all our time swimming. My mom would be at work when we came home from morning practice. As a result, the two of us were left in charge of making our own breakfast. We always came home starving with the kind of hunger that a bowl of cereal just couldn't fill. So that's when the waffle maker called to us from the depths of the kitchen cabinet.

Determined to make our own, we went looking for a waffle recipe. Thoughts of crispy waffles with sweet maple syrup filled my head as I suddenly remembered my mom's Cooking Light magazines. I specifically recalled seeing a recent issue with a stack of waffles covered in strawberries. On a mission, I climbed up the kitchen desk and searched through a tall tower of magazines until I found it.

Excited and famished, my sister and I pulled out the flour, sugar, eggs and milk and began measuring and mixing the batter. We poured it into the waffle maker and watched in amazement as it slowly puffed up. When it began to steam wildly, we bravely lifted the lid to find our treasure, golden waffles. We made a short stack and ate them together. Full and happy, we vowed to make waffles all summer long.

Summers have a way of flying by. Now my sister and I each have two daughters of our own. Laura lives in New Jersey, so we don't see each other quite as often as we would like. But some things don't change, my girls love Belgian waffles as much as my sister and I did. These days it's my daughters who are in the kitchen mixing up a batch of waffles and as I watch them, I am reminded of all those summers at the pool and waffles with my sister.

- Amy McCauley of Hinsdale is the paper's

food columnist. Readers can email her at

[email protected].