Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Favorite Summer Vacation country Breakfast - Waffles with Bacon

My Favorite Summer Vacation country Breakfast - Waffles with Bacon

Waffles for Breakfast or anytime!

No bacon in this one, but next time we will!  We use real butter and Vegan Organic syrup, or low sugar jam

The best summer vacation country breakfast I had as a kid!

My Grandma Ethel made the best waffles and breakfasts I have ever have had on vacation and visits to her home. The one thing I remember the most is her waffles with bacon in them!
This page is about the waffles, and the vacation spot we went to at the Russian River area in northern California. There is a brief biography about my Grandma Ethel and my Aunt Mona. I have included photos of them and photos of me, my cousins and Grandmother at Russian River.
We lived in San Francisco and Marin county after 1963. We went to Russian River every summer that I can remember for at least 10 years that I recall. Each year I stayed with Grandma Ethel and my Aunt Mona. More about that below.
So I was looking at the photo of the old waffle Iron and remembered how my Grandma Ethel had cooked so many wonderful things for us on vacation including the waffles.
I decided to have a story about my Summer vacations with her and my brother Mike, my cousins and Aunts and Uncles. We had so much fun! The last time I remember going to Russian River with them I was about 17. I don't know how old I was when we started to go and stay with Grandma and Aunt Mona.
I mostly remember when I was about age 9 until I was 17.
I all the time with my family as an adult with my kids. At Russian River they have an annual Jazz and Blues Festival, sort of a type of "Monterey Pop" Jazz and Blues Festival. The last time I remember going was about 20 years ago. It has been a long time! I will have to have the kids take me again to see how it has changed!
So back to the past we go! About from 1958 is when I remember most things from my life, I was eight years old.

Close up photo of the vintage waffle Iron - Dan C Rinnert photo

The old vintage waffle Iron
The old vintage waffle Iron
Here we have Dan's vintage waffle iron that he still uses that was his Grandmother's. You can see that it has the old style cord that has a cloth sleeve for the wires! I love the scroll design on the top! I remember we had a toaster like that with that scroll work. I think a lot of old vintage small appliances had that design.
I sent Dan an email asking permission to use this photo. I have not heard back from him so If he says no, I will have to take it down, But I wanted to get this story published!

Variation on a theme - different Waffles

Here is the classic recipe for homemade waffles. The way I remember my Grandma making these waffles is that she took bacon and sliced it up into pieces and placed a piece on each of the sections of the waffle iron.
Then she cooked them until they were half way done. Without removing the bacon she added the batter for the waffles on top. The bacon was finished cooking in the waffle itself!
She had the best syrup as well. I can't remember if she made it herself or what. She did quite a lot of home made things all her life such as her own ketchup and dried glazed fruit for her famous Fruit Cake which I already wrote about [the link is below].
My daughter adds things to the waffles such as walnuts, cinnamon and the yogurt in place of some of the oil. Besides the bacon idea, you can add a lot of things to the waffles.
I have a link to a story of a new bride used her waffle iron to make a cake with her waffle iron among other fun ideas you can use your waffle iron! Crazy and Unique Recipes for Your Waffle Iron A great story and great ideas!

Nom Nom Waffles my daughter made for us

My Daughter made me waffles, we use real butter and Vegan Organic syrup

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: 4 to 6


  • Waffles with Bacon
  • 2 cups of regular flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups of regular milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter, or margarine, or vegetable oil or plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Bacon cut into 2 inch pieces, uncooked

    Making Waffles - plain without bacon this time

    Ingredients for waffles.
    Ingredients for waffles.
    Mixing waffle wet ingredients.
    Mixing waffle wet ingredients.
    Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, Note there is some lumps in the batter, You do not want to over beat the batter.
    Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, Note there is some lumps in the batter, You do not want to over beat the batter.
    Waffle batter in the waffle iron.
    Waffle batter in the waffle iron.
    The waffle is golden brown.
    The waffle is golden brown.
    Waffles on the plate with butter and syrup. Just a little syrup for me!
    Waffles on the plate with butter and syrup. Just a little syrup for me!


    1. Mix all the wet ingredients in one bowl. If using yogurt add it to the wet ingredients. Mix all the dry ingredients in another bowl, Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix. Do not overmix! Hand mix do not use a electric mixer.
    2. If using bacon add one slice that is raw bacon about a two inch slice, on each of the sections. It does not take long to melt the bacon, and slightly cook it. Probably less than 2 minutes.
    3. Pour mixed batter over the waffle iron sections until covered and not overflowing. Bake in the waffle iron until steam stops or desired crispness is achieved. Refer to your individual waffle iron instructions.
    4. No need to oil the waffle iron if you are using bacon, or a non stick waffle iron. I think my Grandmother used the bacon for the express purpose to oiling her old, old, old waffle iron! The cord was covered with cloth it was so old! It looked very much like the photo at the top of the page.
    5. You can use spray oil if you need to after it starts to heat up and after a few waffles are baked. My daughter does this with her waffle iron and it IS a non stick waffle iron. She has the square one right now, but she wants to get the round one like I have here in Amazon! She loves the Belgian waffle iron!
    The Vacation spot
    Now that you have read about the Waffles I am now going to talk about the Vacation at Russian River and my Aunt Mona who was the main reason why we all went to Russian River in the summer.
    I also am going to talk about my Grandma Ethel for we would not have the waffles with bacon with out her!

    Our Family Vacation place - Johnson's Beach, Russian River, Guerneville, Sonoma, California

    Johnson’s Beach and Resort - our Family vacation retreat for many years
    Johnson’s Beach and Resort - our Family vacation retreat for many years
    Source: Johnson's Beach

    Vacation where my Grandma made the Waffles

    Russian River, Sonoma county, California
    I asked my cousins and Aunts about where we stayed. They said Guernewood Park and Johnson's Beach. Each year at Johnson's beach they have the Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival. I have attended that when I was an adult.
    I remember we rented canoes when I was 17 with my brother and my cousin Linda and friends that summer. They have canoe rentals here at Johnson's beach and I have a photo of us there.

    Me and my Grandma Ethel and my cousins at Russian River about 1962

    Russian River about 1962 me front right, cousins Michelle, Ricky, Yvonne, and brother Mike with Grandma Ethel
    Russian River about 1962 me front right, cousins Michelle, Ricky, Yvonne, and brother Mike with Grandma Ethel

    That's me in front on the right with the glasses

    This photo was taken at Russian River about 1962.
    I am sure that was a PJ top I was wearing over my bathing suit with a towel wrapped around my body!
    Next to me is my cousin Yvonne, then Grandma Ethel with her shopping bag. In the back behind Grandma is cousin Michelle [Yvonne's sister], and their brother Rickey.
    Rickey loved to do the bunny ears and I guess he decided to self bunny ears!
    In the top row is my brother Mike, who is two years older than me and my only sibling.
    Yvonne, Michelle, Rickey, Mike and I would stay with Grandma and Aunt Mona in a cabin that was rented and my parents helped to pay for our share.
    Aunt Mona's vacation time
    We went to Russian River when Aunt Mona had her two weeks vacation in the summer.
    My Dad would drive us up on a Saturday. He would stay all day and swim and then drive back to San Francisco as Mom did not go.
    A lot of my Aunts and Uncles and cousins would all come up there at that time as well. It was our summer reunion for Mom's sisters and family. They had a Christmas reunion every year also. Story on that soon!
    One of the Aunts and Uncles would drive Grandma and Aunt Mona as they did not drive. As mentioned my brother and I stayed with Grandma Ethel and Aunt Mona.
    The cabin had a kitchen, two bedrooms and one bathroom. Each bedroom had several beds. One bedroom had 3 beds, one full size bed and two small ones. The cabin that we rented was very close to the beach of the river. It was surrounded with Redwood trees. It was here that I knew I always had to live near the Redwoods! I don't remember going when I was very little, but when I was about 8 thought my years and beyond.
    Me and my same age cousins
    Cousins Yvonne, Michelle and Rickey stayed with us some nights when their parents met with other Aunts and Uncles went to the dance hall and or to the nightclub. We played cards and board games as there was NO TV!!! There may have been a radio.
    My parents, brother and I lived in San Francisco. Trees there were pretty sparse in some neighborhoods. The second house we had did not have any trees, The local parks or Golden Gate Park was were most of the trees were. The house in back of us where we had the lilac tree had some huge trees and some apricot trees, I remember eating those on a hot summer day!
    As mentioned my first house I remember only had one tree, It was a lilac tree. I wrote a story about that already.

    Russian River vacation photo about 1964 - My Aunts, Uncles, and cousins

    Aunts, Uncles and cousins at Russian River 1964
    Aunts, Uncles and cousins at Russian River 1964

    Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

    You can see in the background that same building as in the photo above with me and my Grandma. I know that this color photo is a different year as the girls are younger in the photo with Grandma.
    Aunt Joyce and friend Miguel; Aunt Mona, Aunt Geri and husband Uncle Bill, Aunt Pat and husband Uncle Larry and cousins Diane, Yvonne, Michelle, Ricky.

    My last Vacation with My Grandmother and Aunt Mona about 1966

    Russian River 1966
    Russian River 1966

    Grandma, Uncle, Aunt and cousins

    I found this photo from about 1966 or 1967, the last time I remember going to Russian River with my Grandmother Ethel and my Aunt Mona.
    It looks like this was a Polaroid photo. It was very dark, so I lightened it up with an online photo editor,
    The people in the photo are my Uncle Elmo with his son Johnny in front of him. Seated next is my cousin Linda, then me. Standing is Linda's boyfriend George. Next to him is Grandma Ethel, then my brother Michael and lastly Aunt Mona.
    I think that it was about this time that Grandma and Aunt Mona did not go anymore to Russian river. It could be that Aunt Mona was retired from work about this time. She would have been only 40 at the time. So it is unclear. I do remember he being ill at this time.
    Anyway I am glad I found the photo. The cute little multi colored fence in front of the cabin that we rented and the cabin size is visible in this photo. I could not see any photos of the old cabins online when I looked. No doubt they are all gone and remodeled by now.

    A short Biography of my Grandma Ethel and Aunt Mona

    Waffles with bacon and Johnson's beach vacation would not be the same without Grandma Ethel and Aunt Mona so I have added a short biography on both of them.
    My Grandma Ethel
    My Grandma Ethel

    My Grandma Ethel

    Grandma Ethel was born in San Francisco 1904 and passed away in 1979. From the time I can remember Grandma Ethel cooked and sewed for the family and extended family. I will be doing another story on her and all her talents.
    I don't remember all what she cooked when we stayed at Russian River, but I cannot forget those waffles!
    I do remember when she had company from out of state come in and visit. My brother and I lived just 4 blocks away from Grandma and Grandpa. Mike and I were there often and saw her cooking up a storm in advance of her guests. She made several lovely banana nut cakes, and had a breakfast spread one time I will never forget.
    Multi Family Brunch for visitors
    She had the table heavily laden with platters of sausage, toast, bacon, eggs and potatoes and all the condiments. I had never seen than much food on the table before. I was probably 8 and never noticed this kind of thing before when we had our family reunions. So it made is big impression on me at the time.
    Too honest - got me into trouble
    I think that I remember this occasion especially as I got into trouble with Grandma. My brother and I saw her making the banana nut cakes. The cakes were cooling and she said they were for tomorrow when the company from Utah was coming. She told us that the ants started to attack the cakes. So she put them in the oven to shoo away the ants. We thought it was funny in our childish way.
    Like I said I was really stupid kid and said it like it was, I was always very honest.
    I let on to the company that the ants attacked the cakes... The look of the banana nut cakes inside have little black flecks from the bananas. So no one wanted to eat the cakes!
    Boy, did Grandma get mad at me!
    It was not the first nor the last!
    Grandma's cookbook
    Aunt Laurie and Aunt Pat took Grandma's cookbook with all her recipes in and photocopied it and made a copy for each of the 8 sisters. Each sister made copies for their kids. My Mom made copies for my kids, too. So we have a lot of copies of the cook book.
    The book was hand-written by my Grandma and also by Grandpa. You can even see scribbles where the kids got to it!
    Added the Family recipes to it
    When they were getting ready to print the pages they got all the sisters, cousins and Uncles to write their favorite recipes that they had made and add it to the book! So not only do we have Grandma's recipes, we have the other family generations recipes. too!
    Grandma cooked everything from scratch
    Grandma made her own ketchup, pickles, and canned foods in mason jars like fruits and veggies and the deer meat from when Grandpa went hunting in Utah. Back in the 1920's through the 1940's most people did this. When a jar was empty she would fill it back up with water for storage in the winter.
    After that I am not clear if she did any canning any more. She made wonderful foods from scratch such as rice pudding, meatloaf, and she cooked things like Philadelphia scrapple, and beef tongue. Many people did not care for beef tongue or some other cuts such as tripe and kidney's which no one wanted from the butcher shop and she got for a very low price or free from the butcher. She learned a lot from her Mother and Grandma who were very good cooks. too! Some of their recipes are in the book as well.
    Philadelphia scrapple or "Pon Haus"
    Philadelphia scrapple is also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name "pon haus." It is pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal mush.
    You make the cornmeal mush and then add the pork scraps. You pour it all into a sheet cake pan that is about an inch tall. The cool it.
    You cut it into squares like the size of a piece a bread, You refry it in lard or oil. Yummmy!
    Beef Tongue is very stringy meat like pulled pork
    For the tongue after cooking it and scraping it into small parts like pulled pork she mixed with some sweet pickles [and other things I cannot remember and don't have the cookbook handy].
    She refrigerated it. Then when you ate it she made a sandwich with it and sliced it very thin. I liked it. I had done this when I had acreage and a cow we processed. It was good.
    Grandma Ethel inspired us all and all of her daughters and grandchildren are great cooks!

    Aunt Mona age 4 in 1930

    Matching dress, coat and umbrella 1930
    Matching dress, coat and umbrella 1930

    Aunt Mona as a teenager

    Aunt Mona
    Aunt Mona

    Aunt Mona in her prime

    Aunt Mona

    My Aunt Mona Dolores Mifflin was born 19 September 1926 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah.
    Aunt Mona worked at the candy concessions at several movie theaters in San Francisco. One of the theaters she worked at was the Golden Gate theater. Every summer she had off at least one week, if not two, Grandma and her would rent a cabin at Russian River. Grandma would let us come up for at least a week, She made us those waffles with the bacon.
    Aunt Mona had about a dozen bathing suits. One year I was 12 and I needed a bathing suit for my first year girls summer camp. Aunt Mona let me borrow one. I remember trying on about 5 of them.
    Aunt Mona was a tiny woman. She had size 3 feet. It was really difficult for her to find high heels in that size. She would let us play dress up with her clothes that she did not care for and the tiny shoes. By the time I was 11, I could not fit in those shoes any more.
    Aunt Mona let us use her cosmetics like bottles of cologne and dusting powder to play store when my cousin Diane came up to stay with Grandma and Aunt Mona. It was fun times.
    Aunt Mona would wear a different bathing suit each day at the Russian River, She loved to lay in the sun and tan herself. That was pretty popular thing to do back then.
    When she worked she worked the night shift. So she did not have to be to work until late in the day, probably 6 or 7 pm. Grandma would say time to help Aunt Mona wake up. It was hard for me as a kid to understand why someone had a hard time getting out of bed before 2 pm!
    After work Aunt Mona would go to the Sinaloa dance and dining club to dance and have fun. So she got to bed probably at 3 am. As a kid one does not understand why you are not getting up at 9 am or earlier when you work late and go out! LOL!!!
    Aunt Mona loved kids and babysat us and the other cousins. Aunt Mona was married for a short time. She had twins that were born early and did not survive. She was only a few months pregnant with them.
    Aunt Mona was a loving person. We miss her! Aunt Mona passed away on 22 November 1980 in San Francisco, California.

    Me and my cousins dressing similar - Sisters Yvonne, Michelle, cousin Diane and I

    One time at Russian River my three cousins who were close to my age would all dress alike. Here in this photo below, they dyed their sweatshirts and headbands to match. Me, Yvonne, Michelle and Diane were all about were 14 at the time of this photo at my house in Kentfield, Sonoma, California.
    That one year - I was probably 12 and they all had white pleated skirts to wear.They had planned this in advance and I did not know about it. I did not have a white pleated skirt or the gingham check blouse.
    So Aunt Geri, Michelle and Yvonne's Mom had one. She graciously lent me her skirt so I could match my cousins. I had to roll the waistband up for the length and pin it so it fit. I then had a great time at the dance.
    Later when we made plans in advance I was able to be prepared to match what they were wearing! It was fun to dress alike!
    In preparation for this page I asked my cousins and Aunts about our vacations to Russian River. Here is what the cousins say about their memories of Russian River.
    Michelle says: The restaurant we ate at was Negris or Occidental.
    Yvonne says: It was Guernewood Park in Guerneville where we had stayed in the cabins. The restaurant was
    Mike says it was the Occidental Restaurant.
    Aunt Nancy says: My daughter Theresa just made bacon waffles this weekend. Tony had never tasted one before, and he like it. My favorite. Don't know where Grandma [her Mom] picked up the recipe, or if she just invented it ????
    Yvonne says: Our Mom used to make us pancakes and waffles with bacon. Soooo yummy! She would cut the bacon into little pieces place the bacon on the grill and then add the batter.
    Michelle says: I remember the white pleated skirts, gingham blouses and little clip on bows in our hair. We went to a dance.
    Diane says: Mike is correct about the spaghetti ever. The building behind you is where the dance hall was where our parents used to dance at night. We used to watch them. In front of it was the fire pit where we used to roast marshmallows. Johnson beach is in Guerneville...this beach where we used to go was in Guernewood park, but I can't remember the name of the beach there. My favorite was the French toast grandma made in the waffle iron. I still make it sometimes.
    So, it was a dance we went to at that building in the photo. The restaurant we went to was in Occidental, Yes, I remember they called it "Neapolitan spaghetti"! I was so dumb with words all I knew about "Neapolitan" was Ice cream that my parents bought when I was a kid, which was 1/3 chocolate, 1/3 strawberry and 1/3 vanilla! I did not know that it meant Napoli, Italy!!!!!
    I remember the white cabins with the red doors. All was in walking distance of the beach area like in the photo. I don't remember where that restaurant was. I thought we walked there. I do recall walking over that bridge to the pee wee golf and that with my cousins and Grandma.

    Me and my cousins dressing similar - Sisters Yvonne, Michelle, cousin Diane and I in 1964

    Me in back with glasses with cousins all dressed similar
    Me in back with glasses with cousins all dressed similar

    Web page links about the History of the Russian River area

    Links for the Russian River area

    In the photo above the page is a file so I took a screen-shot. The link for the pdf is: LOK Group
    People would take the Ferry Boat from San Francisco and then take the train to the Russian River area before they built the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin county in 1939.

    Map of Russian River in California - This is one of the largest rivers in California

    Perspective map of Russian River in California
    Perspective map of Russian River in California

    The link to this map

    Here is a map of the Entire Russian River in Sonoma County California and information at Wikipedia:

    So that is the story of my Russian River Vacations with the Mifflin families and Grandma Ethel's wonderful Waffles with Bacon!!
    Thank you for reading!