The treat of Austin eats
The Christmas Eve Waffle Dinner
Because we always ate such a light breakfast on Christmas morning, the holiday dining ritual of my childhood included a festive Christmas Eve supper of crisp waffles, thick slabs of crunchy peppered bacon, and steaming mugs of coffee or hot chocolate. This was one of my mother's favorite parties. She loved to share the evening with friends and neighbors and her special "gourmet" touch was a selection of then-exotic Knott's Berry Farm flavored syrups to accompany her signature buttermilk waffles.
For a uniquely Austin spin on re-creating this dinner as a gift idea, start with a gift basket from an Austin original, Kerbey Lane Cafe. This includes a bowl with your choice of two of their famous pancake mixes (buttermilk, gingerbread, pumpkin, apple whole wheat), some real maple syrup, a spatula, and a whisk. The Kerbey Lane mixes are available at your favorite KLC location, online at www.kerbeylanecafe.com, and most recently, at Whole Foods Markets. For a selection of syrups, try Bee Cave Honey Co. Cinnamon or Orange whipped honeys, Hudson's on the Bend Bourbon Vanilla Praline Sauce, Fischer & Weiser's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, all available at Central Market, or some Rum Apple Butter or Apple Cider Sauce from Love Creek Orchards (www.lovecreekorchards.com).
For the perfect pork flavor to complement the pancakes and waffles, the best choice is the delectable pure Berkshire pork bacon or sausage from Peach Creek Farm, available online at www.peachcreekfarm.us or each Saturday morning at the Austin Farmers' Market Downtown. While you're at the market during the holidays, be sure to grab some Cocoa Puro Hot Chocolate Mix. Chocolate maven Tom Pedersen (www.cocoapuro.com) adds finely ground roasted criollo and trinitario cocoa beans to the granulated mixture, which intensifies the rich, chocolate flavor. Add a selection of huge ceramic mugs and a bag of flavored homemade marshmallows from Central Market or Whole Foods, and the gift of the feast is complete.