Specifically, my favorite household object right now is a bite of Eggo chocolate chip waffle soaked in maple syrup. If you want to make it perfectly, toast the waffle, heat the syrup in a French ceramic pitcher, pour the syrup over the waffle, cut it into bite-size pieces for an eight-year-old, serve it for breakfast, clear the half-eaten mess, leave the plate sitting by the sink for twenty minutes, approach the plate with the intention of scraping the waffle into the trash but instead–in flagrant uprising against the divine monarchy of your low-carbohydrate regime–eat a bite.
If this baclava-like morsel were served to me in a European bakery I would be happy.
Have I lost my mind, or my palate? Too little sleep, too many Southwest Airlines candy-coated peanuts? It was not a Proustian experience of remembered childhood taste, because I grew up on Aunt Jemima’s syrup, albeit with Eggo waffles popping golden out of their toaster slots just like on TV. My children have always had maple syrup. Maple syrup is in. My husband has said, “We spend more on maple syrup than on gasoline!” The rules of their childhood dictate maple syrup, cloth napkins, books everywhere, untidiness, and dogs that jump on you when you come in. (Plus a damp and disgusting basement, a mom who won’t drive on highways, etc., but why get into that? Which reminds me of a Spalding Gray journal entry about his domestic life and his little son, Theo: “Theo keeps asking me to tell him a ‘scary story’ and at least I don’t say, ‘Look around you, this is the scary story…'”, August 9, 2001)
A film director said in the December 5th The New Yorker, “You have fifteen minutes to tell the audience, ‘These are the rules.’ ‘Jurassic Park’ teaches us to expect a T. rex, but if a T. rex comes thirty minutes into ‘When Harry Met Sally’ you won’t believe it.” (Michel Hazanavicius, director of the new black-and-white silent French film, “The Artist.”) This is true! I would have been taken aback had a T. rex charged into Meg Ryan’s sweet little Manhattan bookstore. Some years ago, a deer charged through the plate-glass window of our local Hallmark store and rampaged around, an event that was scarcely believable even though it actually happened.
The rules of gastronomy say that a cold bite of syrup-soaked Eggo waffle will not be any good.