A weekend with my sisters is a jaunt to the basics. Chocolate. Carbs. Sugar.
So when it came to breakfast, I knew I had to sweeten the deal. Lila, the youngest, is the trickier one to appease. She wants a fluffy, tender pancake rather than a crisp-edged waffle. Danny and I love the texture of waffles, so I tried to sway her with chocolate. I didn't mention that it was dark chocolate rather than the milky, more sugary kind she's used to eating.
From her and Danny's latest couch fort, I heard her pleas to take some of the batter and make a couple of pancakes. Just try a piece of the waffle, I said. I broke off a piece of one, buttered it up, and placed it in her hand before she could object. All I heard after that were the cries of Lilo & Stitch on the TV.
Soon we were all seated at the table. She seemed to quickly warm to the idea of waffles instead of her beloved pancakes for breakfast.
"How do you like them, Lila?"
"They're good. I like your waffles," she said. "They're only good if they're homemade. That's a fact."
No argument there. On her last waffle square, she spread the butter to cover as much surface area as possible. She broke pieces of bacon and layered them all over the top. She prepared her last perfect bites with such care, and then she dug in. My other sister, Melly, really liked these, too, without butter. These dark chocolate waffles are on the tender side, which is what they both prefer.
Visits to Bern's for sundaes, mornings at the farmers market in St. Pete, and forts made with couches and sheets continue to be traditions when my sisters visit, and now I bet we'll be adding these chocolate waffles to the list. Though to be honest, I may have to treat myself to another batch of these before their next weekend in town. The all-carb, pro-chocolate diet is not easy to get off of once you're on it, especially when I consider Lila's advice.
Lila: "Thirty-five is old."
Me: "I only have 10 years left."
Lila: "Well, you better use those years wisely."
Ileana Morales is a writer who cooks in a small apartment kitchen in Tampa with boyfriend Danny Valentine, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. For more of their kitchen adventures, visit Ileana's blog, alittlesaffron.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.