Blueberry Sourdough Waffles accompanied by lovely humanely-raised pork breakfast links
and a stack of books from a recent trip to the recycling center
Lammas, Lughnasa, Lughnasadh--whatever you call it* or however you spell it, August 1st is a super-awesome holiday. It's what is referred to as a "first fruits" festival, meaning it kicks off the beginning of the harvest. In some parts of the Britain and Ireland, it's referred to as "Bilberry Day" and marks the first day of bilberry season. I don't have any bilberries, but I do have their American cousin, the blueberry. To incorporate both the wheat harvest aspect of Lughnasadh and Bilberry Day, I've made Blueberry Sourdough Waffles. Yummy yummy yummy.
I talked about the origins of the term "Lammas" this time last year, so in this post, I'll talk about Lughnasadh. The name comes from the Irish god Lugh. His grandfather was Balor, a tyrant ruling Tory Island. There was a prophecy that if Balor's only daughter, Eithne, gave birth to a son, he would kill his grandfather. So, Balor locked Eithne in a tower so she couldn't meet any men. However, she somehow managed to meet with Cian (who was evidently good at climbing) and eventually gave birth to Lugh. To say Balor was unhappy would be an understatement. He executed Cian and put Eithne and Lugh out on a boat to fend (or not) for themselves.
Unluckily for Balor, Eithne and Lugh didn't die out on the open sea. They were rescued by a smith who made a great spear for the boy and then Lugh was fostered out to the sea god Manannán Mac Lir, who taught Lugh many skills leading to Lugh's title of ildánach ("many gifted"). Next, Lugh was sent to foster with the Queen of Fir Bolg, Tailtiu, who died clearing Ireland's central plain so it could be put under cultivation. Lugh instituted an assembly in her honor that occurred every year sometime in late July or early August.
To read more about Lugh and Lughnasadh and other first-fruits myths and traditions, check out Lughnasa by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason.
*Both "Lughnasa" and "Lughnasadh" are pronounced loo-nahs-uh.
Blueberry Sourdough Waffles
1 cup unfed sourdough starter* (your "discard" cup)
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons sucanat or rapadura sugar
8 ounces sifted sprouted-wheat flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup blueberries
At least 8 hours before you plan to cook your waffles, start the sponge. Place the cup of starter into a large mixing bowl and stir in the buttermilk. Add the sugar and then stir in the flour. Cover and rest at room temperature for at least eight hours.
To make the waffle batter stir the melted butter into the rested sponge mixture. In a separate mixing bowl, break up the eggs with a fork or whisk and add the salt, baking soda and spices. Stir into the batter. Finally, fold in the blueberries and cook on a preheated and greased waffle iron (check the instructions for your particular machine).
This recipe made 5 full sheets of waffles in my waffle iron. The serving in the photo is 1 sheet. To keep them warm while they cook, place waffles on a plate in your oven on the lowest heat. Waffles can be frozen and reheated.
Adapted from "Classic Sourdough Waffles or Pancakes" from King Arthur Flour.
About the ingredients:
- My sourdough starter is from King Arthur Flour. I feed it with their all-purpose flour.
- The buttermilk I use is from Kalona Supernaturals and is from grass-fed cows. It's also 2% instead of skim. Frequently I substitute milk soured with vinegar or some thinned-out yogurt. I used buttermilk in this recipe.
- Flour should be sifted before it's weighed. I use a sprouted flour which has larger bits of bran that are easier to sift out. There's quite a bit of debate in the "real food" community about preparing grains. I tend to believe that, since they had sieves, our preindustrial ancestors would have sifted their flour. Unsifted stone-ground flour gives everything a "sawdust" texture. Plus, I read somewhere that the Romans sifted their wheat flour seven times through progressively finer sieves. I imagine a stoneground white flour would be a close approximation to the flour of wealthy Romans. Anyway, the sprouted-wheat flour I used is from To Your Health.
- Butter is pasture butter and is salted.
- Eggs are free-range.
- Spices are organic; nutmeg is freshly-grated.
- Blueberries are organic.