A Place at the Table

Waffles. I don’t make them often enough and I’m not sure why. Oh, wait: I am sure why. Because they always seem like kind of a slow, slumbery, Sunday thing to make and I rarely have those kind of mornings–even on Sundays. But I found a recipe I’ve fallen pretty hard for. It’s an old-fashioned waffle recipe and you make the yeasted batter in advance, put it in the fridge for 12-24 hours, and it’s ready to go in the morning. I’ve actually kept the batter in my fridge for a few days and just pull it out, put a scoop on the waffle iron, and have a warm waffle to take in the car on the way to work. Beats a granola bar or banana any day.

Or, I actually sit down and have a waffle. With warm, homemade pomegranate syrup. I’ve been trying to actually pull up a chair and have a seat at the table more often rather than just eating at my desk or standing up while chatting on the phone. This is something that, for some reason, I find hard to do by myself. It’s kind of weird sitting at the table alone–kind of quiet and ho-hum. I find myself eating quicker than I’d like to so I can get back to whatever I was previously doing. But I just finished this really beautiful memoir entitled Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee. It’s a book that deals with the importance of place and home and the search for both. Kim was adopted from Korea and spends her young adult life cooking and enjoying the finer side of life with Olivier, a lovely French man. She eventually realizes that in becoming immersed in the wealthy countryside that’s so pleasant yet so staid, she’s completely lost her sense of self. She doesn’t know where home is. She doesn’t know where she belongs. I don’t want to ruin the ending for you because I’d love for you to read it, but here’s a quote that resonated with me:

“All the times I’ve changed cities and countries, I’ve left a trail of things behind—clothes and worn shoes, crumbled maps with highlighted borders to tell me concretely where I am. I keep books and music, postcards. Over the years, I’ve also kept tasting notes, menus, jotted-down recipes, clues as as to what I crave that may help me know who I am, better understand how food has the power to ground and comfort in times of disarray” (61).

While Kim was talking about how food comforts in times of confusion and uncertainty, it also grounds us in times of relative stability–it lends us that. Routine, order, ritual. Even meditation perhaps. And that, my friends, is reason enough to pull up a seat at the table and take a moment to eat in peace and quiet and to give thanks. Give thanks for all of the above and give thanks for easy warm waffles with tart berries and sweet, fragrant syrup. Oh, and hot coffee helps. Pretty plates are nice, too. And I’ve been loving the Wailin Jennies in the mornings. Have you heard them? They’re good morning waffle music. And finally, the darn recipe.

If you’ve never had yeasted waffles, they’re lighter and fluffier than any waffles you’ve ever tasted. And not nearly as sweet. I’m not a scientist so I can’t tell you why, but they hold syrup better than other waffles and don’t get nearly as soggy. They make your kitchen smell like warm baking bread. They’ll make you happy. The lovely folks at POM Wonderful sent me some samples of their pomegranate juice a few weeks ago. I drank most of them straight (o.k., I mixed a few with vodka, too), but I thought I’d try cooking with them as well. So I made a simple syrup by adding sugar to the juice and cooking it down on the stove. It’s awesome. I have a little jar of it in the fridge and continually find good excuses to use it on other things (it’s great on ice cream). So there you have it. Enjoy. Many happy mornings to you (and check out that book!)

Yeasted Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup

Yeasted Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup

  • Yield: 12 waffles
  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins

Please note that the waffle batter chills in the refrigerator overnight (not accounted for in the timing above), so plan accordingly. I used orange zest in this recipe, but lemon zest would be great, too. I think it’d also be interesting to experiment with the vanilla extract and use almond instead. You could also omit the extract altogether if you’d prefer.

Slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens


For the pomegranate syrup:

2 cups Pomegranate juice (I used POM brand)
3/4 cup sugar

For the waffles:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup Canola (or vegetable) oil
2 Tbsp. orange zest


Make the pomegranate syrup: Combine juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until mixture is reduce to one cup. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool. Store in a tightly closed car. This will last in your refrigerator for up to two months!

Make the waffles: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, yeast, vanilla and salt. Add in the milk, eggs, and oil and beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Cover the batter loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel and chill overnight or up to 24 hours.

Stir the batter before using. Preheat and lightly grease your waffle maker. Pour about 3/4 cup batter onto  waffle iron and close lid quickly; do not open until done. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular waffle iron. When done, use a fork to lift waffle off the grid. Repeat with remaining batter.


  1. Lady Grey

    sounds amazing! I've never tried yeasted waffles, but you've certainly convinced me!

  2. Wizzythestick

    Funny I did find it hard to eat alone or rather to maintain a sense of ceremony that requires setting a place at the table...on the other hand now that I have a young family it's just as hard. Seems I'm always on my feet at mealtimes serving, feeding, cleaning up after:-)

  3. Lisa

    If you eat a waffle in the car doesn't the syrup drip onto your lap?

  4. A Canadian Foodie

    What a find! This is definitely a keeper. Thank you!! I love it when a batter will keep in the fridge. You do have the refrigerator bran muffin recipe, don't you? They are to die for, too!

  5. Sarah

    Thanks -- sounds great! The recipe directions mention milk, but it's not listed in the ingredients. Help!

    1. megang

      Eek! Sarah...thank you so much for pointing that out. I've updated the recipe and I apologize for the confusion. That's what I get for late-night blogging. Let me know how you like them.

  6. Suzanne T-H

    Yum - pomegranate syrup. Tasty in & on many things. Try it in waldorf salad or any mixed drink calling for grenadine. We are lucky to have a pomegranate tree, so I can make my own juice & syrup. Such a great combination of sweet & tart.

  7. Swee San

    "does not turn soggy", "lighter and fluffier". That's enough to win me over. I gotta bookmark this and make it this coming weekend. Thanks

  8. Kate

    I love waffles, in any form but this is the third or fourth post I've read about yeasted waffles so I think I need to mix up a batch for clarity.

    Those moments of alone time at the table do seem uncomfortable, but they are so vital to the nurturing of who we really are, for that sense of self. It's a time to be able to really enjoy the food and comfort it brings, to feel it filling your body and really tasting every aspect of it. Learn to love those moments.

  9. megang

    Valerie: I don't know the bran muffin recipe. Would love it if you'd share!

    Lisa: No syrup in the car! I usually just do butter and cinnamon sugar.

    Suzanne: How lucky you are to have a pomegranate tree! They tend to be pretty pricey in the stores here, so that would be great.

    Kate: Thanks for your sweet comment. I think you'll enjoy them. They're really special (and easy!)

  10. M.

    I haven't had breakfast yet so I'm almost licking my computer screen....oh my...they look soooo gooood!!!!

  11. Anne

    Oh I have been craving waffles, this makes it worse!
    And I love that book too, might have to dig it out and re-read.

  12. Shannalee

    Good gracious. My mouth is watering. These look heavenly!

  13. Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen

    I rarely do it, but getting up a tad bit earlier so I can sit down for a quiet breakfast is a great way to start the day. You've inspired me to do that. Tomorrow will be the day!

  14. Manggy

    I've never had yeasted wafles before (heck, I've never *made* waffles before) but I think I need to change that pronto!

  15. Dana

    Well aren't those some handsome looking waffles? The recipe I use isn't yeasted, but it sounds like a plan to have batter just waiting for you in the fridge, slow Sunday morning or not. What a great way to start the day!

  16. Nastassia (Let Me Eat Cake)

    Great recipe and I like that you can make it in advance! I know why I don't make waffles than often but wish I did...no waffle iron :( Great pictures!

  17. Maddie

    Isn't it wonderful to find a little luxury in your mornings? Even if you're alone, there's nothing wrong with making a fuss over yourself; it's a bright spot in your day that you can go back to later, when you're running around and crazed and doing things for other people.

    Thanks, too, for the book review—I've got Trail of Crumbs sitting on my bookshelf, just waiting for me to pick it up! And you know what? I think I'll do so. :)

  18. Danielle

    I know what you mean about how it's hard to sit down and have a meal on your own. I lunch on my own during the week and always find myself catching up on news, watching a video, working on a recipe, etc...doing everything else but focusing on the food! This post reminds me of that delicious one I had at Blue Bottle...ahhhh, if only to get my own waffle iron! :)

  19. sweetlife

    yeasted waffles, how wonderful...I must try these and how lovely to keep in the fridge for a quick midweek treat


  20. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    I am a little late to the party but I loved Trail of Crumbs too! This is a beautifully written post and a fab recipe, as usual!

  21. ileana

    These waffles look great. I don't make them often enough either. I've never tried making my own syrup for breakfast, but I like that idea. Pomegranate sounds like a lovely and luxurious place to start.

  22. Mary

    Hi Megan! How many grams it has the package active dry yeast? Thanks

    1. megang

      Hi, Mary! Should be 7 grams. Great question; thank you.

Join the Discussion

Glimpses of Spring

Minestrone Verde with White Beans and Pesto

Minestrone Verde with White Beans and Pesto

We returned home from San Francisco on New Years Eve just in time for dinner, and craving greens -- or anything other than baked goods and pizza (ohhhh San Francisco, how I love your bakeries. And citrus. And winter sunshine).  Instead of driving straight home, we stopped at our co-op where I ran in for some arugula, an avocado, a bottle of Prosecco, and for the checkout guys to not-so-subtly mock the outlook of our New Years Eve: rousing party, eh? They looked to be in their mid-twenties and I figured I probably looked ancient to them, sad even. But really, there wasn't much sad (or rousing, to be fair) about our evening: putting Oliver to bed, opening up holiday cards and hanging them in the kitchen, and toasting the New Year with arugula, half a quesadilla and sparkling wine. It wasn't lavish. But it's what we both needed. (Or at least what we had to work with.) Since then, I've been more inspired to cook lots of "real" food versus all of the treats and appetizers and snacks the holidays always bring on. I made Julia Turshen's curried red lentils for the millionth time, a wintry whole grain salad with tuna and fennel, roasted potatoes, and this simple green minestrone that I've taken for lunch this week. Determined to fit as many seasonal vegetables into a bowl as humanly possible, I spooned a colorful pesto on top, as much for the reminder of warmer days to come as for the accent in the soup (and for the enjoyment later of slathering the leftover pesto on crusty bread).

Read More
Quick Pickled Strawberries

Quick Pickled Strawberries

It turns out shopping for wedding dresses is nothing like they make it appear in the movies. Or at least it hasn't been for me. Angels don't sing. Stars don't explode. Relatives don't cry. There isn't a sudden heart-stopping moment that this is, in fact, "the one." To be honest, I always knew that I wasn't the kind of gal for whom angels would sing or stars would explode but I did think I'd have some kind of moment where I could tell I'd found the best dress. Instead, my mom flew into town and we spent three (yes, three!!) days shopping for dresses, and since then I've been back to the stores we visited -- and I'm more undecided than ever. Tomorrow morning I'll return with my friend Keena to try and tie this business up once and for all. Cross your fingers. 

Read More
Feeding Ourselves Well

Feeding Ourselves Well

When I was single and living alone in the Bay Area, I made virtually the same thing for dinner each night. I ate meals quickly while in front of the computer. Or even worse: the television. This most often included what I call "Mexican Pizzas" which were basically glorified quesadillas baked in the oven until crispy. Sometimes, if I was really feeling like cooking, I'd whip up a quick stir-fry with frozen vegetables from Trader Joe's or a mushroom frittata using pre-sliced mushrooms. Mostly, though, it was Mexican Pizzas -- a good four or five nights a week. Today, thankfully, dinner looks a lot different. Meals in general look a lot different. How would I explain that difference? I think that ultimately how we feel about our life colors how we choose to feed ourselves and the importance that we place on preparing our own meals.

Read More
Farro Salad with Arugula, Lemon, Feta and Pistachio

Farro Salad with Arugula, Lemon, Feta and Pistachio

Today was 75 degrees in Seattle and it seemed the whole city was out and about drinking iced coffee in tank tops and perhaps not working all that hard. When we have a hit of sunshine like this in April (or, really, any time of the year), we're all really good at making excuses to leave the office early -- or, simply, to "work from home." I just got back from LA last night, unpacked in a whirlwind this morning, and took Oliver to meet up with three friends from our parents group at the zoo. The only other time I'd been to the Seattle zoo was once with Sam a few years ago when we arrived thirty minutes before closing and ended up doing a whirlwind tour -- sprinting from the giraffes to the massive brown bear to the meerkat. The visit today was much different: we strolled slowly trying to avoid the spring break crowds and beating sun. I managed to only get one of Oliver's cheeks sunburned, and he even got in a decent nap. A success of an afternoon, I'd say. Coming home I realized we didn't have much in the fridge for lunch -- but thankfully there was a respectable stash of Le Croix (Le Croix season is back!) and a small bowl of this whole grain salad I made right before I left town. It's the kind of salad that's meant for this time of year: it pulls off colorful and fresh despite the fact that much of the true spring and summer produce isn't yet available. And for that reason, I make a few versions of it in early spring, often doubling the recipe so there's always the possibility of having a small bowl at 1 p.m. while the baby naps in the car seat, one cheek sunburned, windows and back door open -- a warm breeze creeping into the kitchen. 

Read More
Whole Grain Any-Fruit Crisp

Whole Grain Any-Fruit Crisp

On Monday our little family of three is headed to the airport at 6 am to board our first with-baby cross-country trip. We'll be visiting Sam's family in New Jersey for a few days, then renting a car and driving over to meet up with my family at my mom's lake house in the Adirondacks. Sam's younger sister and her kids have yet to meet Oliver; my grandpa has yet to meet him, and Oliver has yet to take a dunk in a lake, see a firefly, or spend quality time with energetic dogs -- of which there will be three. A lot of firsts. This week my family has been madly texting, volunteering to make certain meals or sweets on assigned days while we're at the cabin and it got me thinking about really simple, effortless summer desserts -- in particular, ones that you can make while staying in a house with an unfamiliar kitchen and unfamiliar equipment and still do a pretty bang-up job. I think fruit crisp is just that thing. 

Read More