And so, we moved. Packed our lives into a tower of boxes, which we tripped over, shoved at and cursed repeatedly, and moved them off to our new little life. Our new little home. In our new little neighbourhood.
It never feels like it’s going to be worth it, when you’re in it. Staring at the tower of cursed boxes, and all the bits and pieces of your life scattered about the floors, the photos on the walls that have felt like home for so long. We toiled and sweat and drilled and patched holes, swept, and swept, and swept. Four animals make a whole lot of mess, if you couldn’t imagine. I’m sure we swept up enough to make a full army of cats (which is, of course, my dream).
We’re lucky to have good friends who helped Allan move every box, smiles on their faces the whole damned time, for little more than a few hugs and a couple cheap beers. Lucky doesn’t cover it – we’re blessed to be surrounded by good, kind hearts.
Our new home feels like a dream. No neighbours upstairs or down, our own little home, a finished basement and huge backyard (south facing – oh shiiiiiiit, the gardens we’ll sow…if the jerk squirrels will allow it). Freshly finished floors and a bathtub (I haven’t had one in at least two years and I’ve been in that thing more than I’ve been anywhere else in the house). Close to work, close to cute shops, fish mongers, butchers, bread makers, tiny little grocers and sweet little coffee shop/florist hybrids (I can’t get enough of blumenstudio – their espresso is so good it makes my knees week and Kat makes the most stunning floral arrangements I’ve seen). The neighbourhood has everything we’ve ever wanted, including the house of our dreams. Life couldn’t get much better than it is right now. We’re lucky. And we’re thankful.
These waffles were the first thing I made in my new kitchen (which is itty bitty but functional enough). Wholesome and slightly sweet and full of warmth. Sort of the way my innards are feeling after the move. All warm and fluffy and full of goodness. These tend to be a bit denser than a white-flour waffle but they’re gluten free (assuming you’re careful about what kind of oats/oat flour you’re buying so there isn’t any cross-contamination). I used both chai tea bags and some fresh ground spices to make the warmth really pop. The black cardamom is something I’ve been playing with lately (like in these Dark Chocolate, Sour Cherry and Black Cardamom Biscotti I posted on Baked the Blog). It’s slightly smokey and robust, warm with tingling menthol sensation you might recognize from your green cardamom pods. It’s best when you grind it fresh but if you can only find pre-ground, that will do too.
Gluten Free Chai + Oat Flour Waffles
makes 12 square waffles
I wanted these to be sweet so I added two different kinds of sweetners (brown sugar and maple). If you prefer yours less sweet, halve the amounts or use just one of the two.
As I mentioned above, if you’re gluten-intolerant be mindful of the oats and oat flour you’re buying. Depending on the facilty they’re produced/packaged in, there is a good chance for cross-contamination. Buy from a source that states the oats are gluten free.
2 1/2 cups milk (cows, almond, soy)
8 chai tea bags
3 1/2 cups oat flour
4 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 black cardamom pods, husk removed and seeds ground
Pinch ground clove
Pinch ground allspice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp veg or olive oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a sauce pot, add the milk and chai tea bags and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until milk is fragrant. Remove tea bags and let milk cool. It should reduce a bit and you should have about 2 cups total. If you have more, pour into a mug, add a little sugar and sip until it’s gone.
In a large bowl, mix your oat flour*, baking powder and all the spices and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. In another small bowl, whisk together your maple syrup (or honey), eggs, oil, and vanilla. Once cool, slowly whisk in the chai milk. Pour the wet into the dry and fold together until just combined. A few lumps is perfectly OK (both in food, and in life friends). Let the mixture sit for 10-12 minutes so the oats can absorb the liquids and thicken up. While it sits, preheat your waffle iron. and brush down with a bit of oil.
Pour batter, 1/3 cup at a time, into each waffle mold. Cook according to your waffle iron instructions. I usually pop mine into a 250 oven to keep warm and crisp the edges a bit more. Serve with room temperature butter and warm maple syrup.
*If you don’t have ground oat flour, all you need is a bag of old fashioned oats and a blender/food processor.