Today it is exactly nine months until Christmas. Christmas, really? Yes, Christmas. But not because I’m rushing the holiday. There’s plenty of time for that. Today, as tradition has it, is the day when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Mother, Mary. In the Catholic Church, this day is known as The Annunciation. So what does that mean?
In places like Sweden, this day was an official public holiday until 1952. It is also International Waffle Day, and so waffles are the food most closely associated with the Annunciation. In Sweden, this is called Vårfrudagen, Our Lady’s Day. It is also Vafferdag, (Waffle Day). As a result of the similarities between these words; a nationwide act of devotion to the Blessed Virgin that dates as far back as the 17th century is linked to eating waffles on this day. For Catholics and Lutherans alike, historically speaking today is a day for eating waffles.
For Catholics, having a particular sweet, indulgent food associated with a particular feast day is nothing new. Traditionally speaking, Almond Biscotti are eaten on the Feast of Saint Francis Transits, Hot-Cross Buns on the feast of Saint Clair, Honey Cakes on the Feast of Saint Abigail, and Croissants on Our Lady of the Rosary. And believe me, there’s more where that came from. Imagine tempting conversion with delicious foods! Some even consider eating a particular sweet on a particular feast day an act of piety. Still others say it’s a good excuse to indulge just a little, like too much chocolate on Saint Valentine‘s Day.
It doesn’t matter the motive – if want to show your support of religious devotion at the table or if you are just a fan of waffles – this would be a great morning for taking the time to enjoy in a golden waffle or three . . .
Annunciation Waffles with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries
Whipped Cream and Berry Toppings
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 cup Raspberries
1/2 cup Blueberries
2 Eggs, separated
2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1⁄2 teaspoon Salt
1⁄4 cup Sugar
1⁄2 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
For the Toppings:
Pour heavy cream into the well chilled bowl of your standing mixer. Whip cream with sugar until stiff peaks form. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Rinse berries and pat dry. Place in bowls and keep chilled until ready to serve.
For the Waffles:
Oil the waffle maker. Heat according to manufacturer’s directions for a crisp waffle, medium-high settings.
Separate egg yolks from egg whites in two bowls. Set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Add milk, oil and vanilla to the egg yolks. Stir lightly. Add the yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Ladle batter into the hot waffle maker and close, allowing waffles to cook for about 5 minutes or until golden crisp.
Top waffles with a dollop of whipped cream and the berries.
Traditionally, these waffles are made in a heart-shaped Swedish Waffle Iron, but any Belgium or deep-welled waffle maker will work.