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The Ones That Get Away {with Toasted Coconut Waffles}

They say the mementos you don’t buy on vacation wind up meaning more to you than the ones you do.  You’re more likely to say “do you remember that beautiful necklace I tried on in Florence” than you are to look at the souvenir paperweight on your desk and think fondly of Italy.  Maybe it’s because regret is a stronger emotion than past happiness, but I certainly hope not.  I like to think the one that got away just has a special hold on us.

Things get away from me all the time, and it’s not always a tragedy.

If you asked me about the best rainbow I ever saw, I’d tell you about the one that arched over Paris one afternoon, electrifying the sky and sending me scrambling down six-flights of stairs to the street.  I stood on the sidewalk in front of a pharmacy and took a whole roll of film, already thinking about how I’d mount the best shots and where I’d hang them.  It took a week to get film developed in Paris back then, and it cost about twenty dollars–a splurge–so when the negatives were finally ready, I was giddy with excitement.  I opened the envelope as the cashier counted my change, and my heart sank: inside, there were twenty-four photographs of grey rooftops and a clear, white sky.  In my haste, I’d loaded the camera with black and white film.

I think of that rainbow–the one that got away–every time it rains on a sunny day.

And if you asked me about the best concert I ever went to, I’d tell you about the time I saw The Rolling Stones.  They played on a Sunday night.   I had to be at the airport at 5 a.m. the next morning to fly to New York and interview for a job I desperately wanted, so I promised myself I’d leave at midnight.  Ten minutes into the concert, though, Mick Jagger stopped playing and asked all twenty thousand of us to file slowly out of the stadium while they dealt with a technical issue.  (The technical issue, it turned out, was a bomb threat.)  By the time the police let us back in, it was 11:30.  At 1, I dragged myself up the concrete stairs and past security, and as the turnstile clicked behind me the band started playing Beast of Burden.  There was nothing I could do to get back inside so I sat on a curb, surrounded by cigarette butts and empty beer cans, and I listened.

It was the best two minutes of any concert I’ve ever been to.

coconut wafflesSo, look–if you don’t get around to making these coconut waffles, I won’t be sad.  It’s a win either way:  If you make them, they’ll be delicious; if you don’t, you may still remember them as the best waffles ever.

coconut waffles with syrupWithout further ado: toasted coconut waffles.  (And a relevant poem, for the poemish among us!)

Toasted Coconut Waffles {Download & Print Recipe}
Recipe by the Elmwood Cafe in Berkley, CA, via Bon Appétit, told in my own words.
These waffles have a subtle coconut scent to them, and as you eat them your teeth will tug every once in a while on a delicious, slightly chewy, fleck of coconut.  They’re light and crisp, and delicious with just butter.


1 1/2 c. shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened–I like sweetened but the recipe calls for unsweetened)

1 1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. cornstarch

1 tsp. kosher salt (or substitute 1/4 tsp. regular salt)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 eggs

1 c. buttermilk (or milk mixed with 1 Tbsp. vingear)

1 c. whole milk

2/3 c. coconut oil, heated up so it melts

1/4 c. sugar


Preheat the oven or toaster-oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it for a couple of minutes, until it’s golden brown.  (Keep an eye on it!)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, coconut oil and sugar.

Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they’re evenly combined.  Mix in the coconut.

Turn the waffle iron on.  When it’s very hot, spray it with oil or rub it with a little butter, and pour in a little batter.  Cook each waffle is brown to your liking, placing each waffle on a cooling rack in the still-warm oven.  (If you stack hot waffles on a plate, they’ll get soggy.)  Serve with butter and syrup and additional toasted coconut, if you like.


ThunderThunder doesn’t like when anything–her toys, her food, her own pet (Seymour)–gets away from her.  Not at all.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. You don’t look like a happy camper. Put a smile on your face. The waffles sound yummy.

    April 7, 2014
  2. Can you be territorial about waffles? I’ll ask Thunder.

    April 8, 2014
  3. The picture of you holding the waffles reminds me of the Twilight book cover. But 800x better because, well, you’re holding WAFFLES. And toasted coconut waffles?! They sound and look so, so good!!!

    April 8, 2014
  4. What a lovely descriptive post. I can almost taste that texture! (Can you taste a texture? Well, you know what I mean.)

    April 8, 2014
  5. i love an interesting waffle. this is an interesting waffle (one which i will for sure be making at some point, but it always hinges on how lazy i am and how much i’m willing to go through to dig my waffle iron out of its home. you’d think someone would come up with an “unbulky” version at some point.)

    April 8, 2014
  6. What a great story about the rainbow that got away! I’m glad that its memory has lasted so vividly, though.

    April 8, 2014
  7. *Glurge*, these look delicious!!!

    April 8, 2014
  8. Amy #

    Mmm, these waffles look delicious!!! I’m sad just reading about your black and white rainbow…but I bet even color pics wouldn’t come close to doing it justice, so don’t fret.

    April 8, 2014
  9. Sounds awesome 🙂 Does the one that got away apply to men? Had a couple like that… Not my ex though, he can stay far, far away.

    April 8, 2014
  10. jenny_o #

    I love both of your examples of things that got away. Great memories!

    Your captions under your pictures of Thunder (and Seymour) always crack me up 🙂

    April 8, 2014
  11. Loved reading this post, and the waffles look delicious!

    April 9, 2014
  12. Toasted. Coconut. Waffles. I’m not even a breakfast person, and I kind of want to be your best friend. Is that awkward? This sounds AMAZING. Well, anyway, now I’m REALLY glad that my husband randomly bought me a waffle maker for Christmas two years ago. I’m definitely hauling it out this weekend!

    April 10, 2014
  13. I never buy “souvenirs” when I travel. I stay away from Made In China souviner shops. I only buy things that I really like and it is an added bonus that they double as souvenirs.

    Coconut waffles sounds so wonderfully tropical. As it is bucket down and grey skies here today, I can’t help but wonder if these waffles would make friends slice banana and mango puree?

    April 10, 2014
  14. I think these must be the best tasted coconut waffles I’ve never tasted. And lovely photos. Sophie

    April 16, 2014

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