I really don't know, sorrowfully so, why my dad got stuck on making one particular thing for breakfast...I never asked. But in the wee hours of the morning, before our brains had fully awakened, we'd all stumble downstairs to the table and there it would be ... soup bowls of molten grits and toast. And, we'd have it every morning for what seemed weeks. And, just when you got to the point where you couldn't eat another bowl.... he'd find a new breakfast.
I remember when my folks bought the Waring Electric Pancake Griddle (slash) Waffle Iron. It was all chrome-y and shiny and gave off that faint ozone smell all electric appliances used to have. It opened up into 2 (count em) 2 full-sized griddles that would finally allow the six of us to have all the pancakes we could eat. - or you could flip the griddle plates over and make 4 normal sized waffles at a time. It was a thing of beauty. It was a breakfast revelation in the Corn Household. It was the beginning of a year in breakfast hell.
Dad made pancakes by the bucket-full. And, what began innocently as Silver Dollar Pancakes, over the weeks blossomed into coaster-sized hotcakes. And by the end of the summer, had burst into dinner plate flapjacks. There was no getting to the bottom of the keeping pan, you'd eat 4...and there would be 6 more to eat. It wasn't until we pleaded with batter choked threats of mutiny that he flipped the griddle plates over..... and the waffle assault began.
A couple of key points about the differences between waffles and pancakes.
1. Waffles are denser and heavier than pancakes
2. It takes 2 pancakes worth of batter to make 1 waffle
3. Two waffles are plenty enough for anyone, and
4. Cold waffles are impossible to eat.
I still can't eat pancakes...
I've poked fun at my dad over the years about his breakfast cuisine prowess, and yes, I have exaggerated the mountains of griddle fried baked goods at the morning table because, well.... its just funnier to tell that way.
But there were two things he cooked all those years ago that still brings back fond memories - Dried Beef Gravy and Toast, and his Oven Omelet - and sadly, he never made either of them all that often.
So, as a final act of apology for all those years of attrition, I thought I'd honor the memory of my father with his two Best breakfast meals.
Charles' Oven OmeletServes 6
8 Large Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
6 Slices of Bacon - fried crispy and crumbled
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese - Sliced
Pepper to Taste
1 Seasoned Cast Iron Frying Pan
1 Large Mixing Bowl
- Preheat Oven to 400
- Pour oil in frying pan and place empty pan in the oven
- Beat eggs, milk, salt & pepper together
- When the oven is up to temp and the frying pan is hot, pour the egg mixture into the frying pan
- Scatter the crumbled bacon over the top
- arrange the sliced cheese over the top of the eggs
- Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes - or until the center of the omelet is set and the cheese is bubbly and browning
- Serve immediately.
Dried Beef Gravy on Toast
- or -Chipped Beef on Toast
Serves 6 to 8
4 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
4 tablespoons Self Rising Flour
3 Cups Milk
1 (8 Ounce) Jar Hormel(c) Dried Beef - Shredded
Salt & Pepper to Taste
16 Slices of Toast - Cut in Half
1 Medium Sauce Pan & 1 Whisk
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat
- Whisk in flour all at once so that it makes a roux.
- Whisk in milk, a little at a time
- Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened - About 3 minutes
- Bring saucepan to a boil
- Stir in beef and seasonings and heat through
- Remove from heat and serve over toast