We had Inga and Dave over for brunch, and boy are my arms tired!!
Buckwheat waffles with maple and/or birch syrup
Baguette pieces with butter and/or apricot jam
Salad greens with vinaigrette (for authentic Brooklyn-in-CA brunch)
Roasted fingerling potatoes with yellow onion
Yes, it was a very carbohydrate-intensive brunch, but that's ok! A good time was had by all.
So, since most of the other things on the menu are pretty intuitive, let's talk about this birch syrup. We had never heard of it before John's dad sent us a little jug from Alaska for Christmas.
In a lot of ways, birch syrup is like maple syrup--it's just derived from birch sap instead of maple sap. However, it's thinner, darker in color, and smells a bit like molasses. In the picture up top, there's birch syrup in the front left quadrant--check out how pale it makes the maple syrup look!
Clearly, a batch of buckwheat waffles was the perfect testing ground.
For the waffles, we switched up the standard Joy of Cooking recipe, subbing buckwheat flour for about a third of the original white flour. When you have a waffle iron, a jug of birch syrup (and one of maple), and people coming over for brunch, you have to make waffles, right? Right. We made waffles.
We made so many waffles that several of them got to make their temporary home in our freezer. This, in turn, means we can now have waffles and syrup for dessert on the slightest of impulse. Hooray!
1 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
a stick of butter, melted (8 tbsp, for those of you)
1 1/2 cups milk
This is super easy. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until combined.
Cook 1/2 cup of batter at a time in a hot greased waffle iron. You'll know your waffles are done when they stop steaming. Pry them off the iron with a chopstick, flip them onto a plate, and eat them with butter, syrup, jam, fruit, or whatever else you like on your waffles.
Of course, if you don't want sweet stuff on your waffles, that's fine too. These contain little enough sugar that they can totally take a savory addition instead. For instance, juicy braised greens with hot sauce and crispy bacon would be an excellent plan.