So, I’ve been left to fend for myself this weekend. My daughter headed down to Grandma’s to spend a little time with her and my wife went down to Chicago, picked up a friend, and headed over to Michigan to see an old friend. That leaves me, the dog, the cats and the fish. The goal was to get a bunch of yard work done, but the weather has not cooperated with those plans. I was able to get the much needed mowing done, between raindrops and even got some of the flowerbed weeded, but when I went over to work on our community garden plot I found most of it under water from the storms we had these past few days. And they’re calling for rain again today, tomorrow and everyday for the near future. That’s the last thing we need, is more rain. Last year we couldn’t get any and now it doesn’t seem to stop. Last year the farmers were hurting due to drought now they are having trouble even getting their fields planted due to all the rain and flooding. They just can’t seem to get a break this year.

Okay, so back to what I was saying about me being a bachelor, for the weekend; Friday night our neighbors had a bonfire so I found myself over there drinking the World’s Largest Maker’s Mark Manhattan until about 1am. Needless to say, I didn’t get up very early yesterday and it took me awhile to get motivated. Last night though, I was good and only had a few “regular” sized cocktails before heading up to bed at a decent hour. So, this morning, I was up bright and early with all intentions of doing work in the garden, but as I said, when I went to check it out, the garden was under a couple of inches of water. So instead, I decided to come home and treat myself to a warm and filling breakfast.

While the concept is not new, I thought this morning, instead of having my waffles with a side of bacon, I would incorporate the bacon right into the waffles. I have had these before, both in restaurants and at friends’ houses and oftentimes this great idea ended up being somewhat disappointing. Sure they were good, but often lacked a good bacon punch. I have solved this problem by substituting some of the fat (in this case vegetable oil) that you find in waffle recipes, with some of the rendered bacon drippings. This helped bump up the bacon flavor without overwhelming the flavor of the waffle. I definitely wanted a balance of flavors in this recipe and didn’t want the bacon flavor to overwhelm all the other flavors. Start with the recommended amount of bacon fat in the batter. Cook a sample waffle and taste it. If you want more bacon flavor you can always add a bit more of the fat to your batter.

Bacon Waffles
serves 4-6

1/2 pound Bacon
2 cups All purpose flour
4 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Tbl. Sugar, granulated
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 cup Vegetable oil
2 Tbl. Bacon fat

Chop the bacon into small (1/4″) pieces and place in a skillet over high heat. Cook until bacon is brown and crispy. Drain bacon from fat, reserving at least 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Preheat waffle iron. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In another bowl, beat the egg and add the milk, vanilla, oil and bacon fat. Stir to combine. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, along with the chopped and cooked bacon. Stir to combine. Don’t over mix or your waffles will come out tough. Place a predetermined amount of waffle batter onto the waffle iron based on the directions of your individual iron and cook following the manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately with butter and real maple syrup.