Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To Mt. Krumpit To Dump It

We have several holiday traditions. The ones we do best aren't necessarily heartwarming, but we have in the past, and tried, in the present to recreate some holiday magic.

Donning an apron and a frilly pen, I tried to do just that by making Grandma Nellis' famous Waffle Cookies. (The pen in my pocket is simply to add to the picture and take note of any spectacular events if they should happen.)

Isn't it festive? Your letters were written with it,if you received one from me, if not, sorry. We've had a lot goin' on as the next few paragraphs will show.

So, I,, in my apron, pulled out the recipe and our old, on its last frayed wire, waffle iron.

Memories of visiting the old, white gingerbread-fashioned house in Shelley on Christmas Eve came over me. Our family would pile into the car, drive over the slick Snake River bridge, to Grandma's house. There she would have the traditional cookies in the clear, square Tupperware. Inside were cakey, brown cookies shaped like stars and drizzled with creamy frosting. Each year they were a bit different simply because Gma didn't always follow the recipe.

As I looked at the recipe and started making them myself, I found that you did need to play around with the ingredients for a smoother consistency. Otherwise, the whole batter wrapped inside the beater and I had to shovel it out with a spoon, and somehow scrape the sticky, thick 'dallop' from my fingers onto the fire hazard.

Luckily, Baby Brother was present when the waffle iron sparked, a nice flame erupted, and I stood there like the Grinch on Mt. Krumpit stumped that the Who's were singin' without presents at all!

Seconds earlier, I had cleaned grease from our deep fryer because we'd had a shrimp fest earlier that week. Conveniently I had put it in a Sam's Club sized syrup bottle just a few feet from the old iron.

For that split moment I looked at the flame, measured the distance from the syrup bottle, eyed the outlet I'd need to pull the cord and recalled being shocked one year by another faulty outlet. All this took place in Olympic- quick fashion. Millionths of seconds.

If anyone knows the outcome of uplugging a cord, that is on fire, let me know. Cause I let Dan blow it out before I pulled it. In that millionth of a second decision I referred to earlier.

Thankfully, the Holiday Cheermeister, Padre, was out of town. Not that there was any damage, but who wants to put a damper on Christmas with a "I almost burnt down the kitchen trying to make waffle cookies" story over dinner? Not me.

So I packed up the hot iron and put it in the frigid, Idaho cold on the steps to cool until I could take it to Mt. Krumpit. Went dowstairs to the fruit room and extracted my Belgian Waffle Iron.

This made the cookies look quite different. Bigger. A lot of milk required. After the commotion I didn't have the energy to frost the cookies before an urgent errand.
So I wrote a little note, left it next to the cookies and frosting and headed out into the wind and rain that is Idaho Christmas.

When I came home I found this:

So I sat down in a chair up to the table and frosted the Begian Waffle Cookies.

Needless to say, I had a lot of empathy for Grandma's efforts making all those cookies for a zillion grandkids that visited in shifts on Christmas Eve.

I've thrown the idea around to the siblings to recreate a "Nellis Eve", where we go to Kings Department Store and try to find a gift for each other and open them Christmas Eve. We'll have to borrow my mom's siblings and their kids, which I'm pretty sure they are all over the country; to rotate being at Gma's house until our turn came.

And The Cheermeister heard about my small spark while making cookies so we've had to limit the time ANY Christmas lights are on. Despite the lecture on the proficiency in holiday lights versus an old, on its last leg waffle iron, I continue to plug tree lights back in whenever I notice Padre has turned them off.

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