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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, December 5, 2011

I was blessed to have been born into a family where both my mother and father held a deep appreciation for the arts.
Hardbound classic literature stuffed our book shelves.
I routinely poured through art books filled with full-page colored photos of Giotto's paintings, Michelangelo's sculptures, Rembrandt's soulful portraits, on up through the romantics, realists, impressionists, and so on.
On Saturday mornings, my parents would make a big, scrumptious breakfast --usually pancakes, eggs and bacon -- and put classical music on the "hi-fi."
We listened to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Scarlatti piano sonatas, Beethoven symphonies, Brahm's piano concertos, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.
By the time I was in high school I could identify the music of just about any classical composer.
But I always associated the beautiful music with the special breakfast shared with my entire family.
Saturday breakfasts became a kind of sacred time: food, togetherness, and classical music.
The weekly experience helped bond us together as the family Nicolaisen:
In no other family do they make pancakes in precisely the way we make them in the Nicolaisen family.
In no other family but ours do we hum a Haydn tune and then giggle at each other because we know what we were discussing the last time Haydn was playing.
In no other family do they associate Puccini with arguing about how much cinnamon to add to the egg batter for French toast.
Bruce and I carried on the musical breakfast tradition into our own young family.
The music is a little bit different because we are a family of deep Christian faith and so our musical mornings also include various styles of Christian music. But the laughter, the in-jokes, the appreciation for each other, and the shared memories are precious.

Now that the children have grown and gone on to create their own family meal traditions,
Bruce and I are starting to create some new traditions.
I like to make omelets. But Bruce is the master waffle-maker. He makes banana waffles, raspberry waffles, strawberries and powdered sugar waffles, or just plain waffles. If you want the best, lightest, most delicious waffles, here's the recipe:

1 1/4 cup flour
2 teasp baking powder
1 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp salt
4 eggs separated
2 cups orange juice
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 teasp cream of tartar
In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Separate eggs: yolks in one bowl, whites in a mixing bowl.
Beat egg yolks until creamy. Blend in orange juice and butter. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in egg mixture. Stir until just blended.
Beat egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff (but not dry)
Just before baking, fold in the whites.
Recipe makes about 5 waffles.

I hope your try the recipe and then let me know how they turned out. Have a great day!

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Col. 3:15-16 NIV Bible)


  1. Thank you for sharing such beautiful memories. If I had a waffle iron, I'd give that recipe a whirl. :)

  2. Susan, this recipe also makes some pretty good pancakes!

  3. I love family traditions. They really do bind the family members together. The waffles sound wonderful. Dennis and I will celebrate our second anniversary on Valentine's Day, and so we're in the early stages of tradition building. It's quite different in the retirement years and with children/grandchildren from previous marriages. :-)

  4. So romantic, Nancy. I know you'll plan a wonderful celebration.In our early years of marriage, we were very stuck in our parents' traditions. Not that that was bad. But then we kind of branched out and made our own. Now we see our children beginning to do the same thing. Cool!