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This last Saturday I made a triple batch of Belgium waffles to freeze for my DH’s use whenever he wants some for breakfast on his early mornings. Unfortunately, I was out of both flours that I like to use: whole wheat and brown rice. I pulled out my grain mill, the canister that connects to it (then later stores the flour), and brought up the wheat and rice from the basement. Then I ground the wheat, filling the designated container.

My granddaughter was visiting, and though she wanted to be with me, backed away from the whir of the machine until she felt more confident. Mostly she contented herself with “her cupboard”—the one where I keep non-breakable containers.

At this point I realized that I should have ground the rice first, transferred it to its container, and then ground the wheat that would remain in the container that connects to the machine. It wasn’t until much later that I thought of the best solution: dump the wheat flour into a bowl and still proceed.

Instead, it got interesting. After a quick search of my kitchen, I found a metal bowl that almost fit the lid that attached to the grain mill. I elevated the bowl with a couple of inverted plates underneath, turned on the mill, filled the hopper, and grabbed the bowl and lid to better seal the gap where the flour shoots from the machine. But not before flour had sprayed out and coated the counter top and the floor at my feet.

While holding fast to direct the remaining flour to the correct location—I couldn’t turn off the machine until all the grain had gone through—I stepped back and looked to see the clear outline of my toes in the mist of white that coated my hardwood floor. My granddaughter saw it too. She came forward, squatted, and reached out to add her prints to the floor.

Quickly I used my cleaner leg to move her backward, with a gentle, “no, no.” The machine continued to whir and to grind rice. I continued to hold the bowl to the lid. My granddaughter felt dejected. She backed up, looked up with me with her large eyes that teared up amazingly quick, and began to sob.

Grandma’s heart burst. Hoping one hand could do the job of two, I reached out to gently stroke her head and soothe, “It’s okay honey.” I left behind a child now covered with flour. The machine finally ran out of rice.

Sometimes life comes at us all at once. The best we can do is

1. Hang on until it’s done.
2. Laugh at our inability to get through gracefully.
3. Give loves to those who feel the tragedy of the moments.
4. Be reassured that the great machines of tribulation run out of fuel eventually. At least until more gets poured into the hopper. But there is usually a rest, and in the meantime, fresh Belgium Waffles to enjoy.
5. Clean up the mess, and then forget about it—except the lesson learned. (Next time, grind the rice first.)

Whole Grain Waffles              (from an old cookbook, Wheat for Man)
1 C. sifted whole wheat flour (I use half brown rice to add lightness.)
2 eggs, separated
1 T. baking powder       1¼ C. milk
½ tsp. salt                    ¼ C. oil
2 tsp. raw sugar or honey

Sift together dry ingredients. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add egg yolks, oil, honey (if not using sugar) and milk to flour gradually. Batter will be very thin. Beat hard for 2 minutes. Fold in beaten egg whites. Bake in preheated waffle iron. (This is a small batch.)

Serve with maple syrup and either fresh berries or almond butter or chopped walnuts.

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