Life is something that happens when you can’t get to sleep. ~ Fran Lebowitz, American author/social commentator
I envy people who can sleep anywhere, in any position. Unlike them, I’m completely wide-eyed during those 13-hour transatlantic flights, to say nothing of jetlag upon reaching my destination. Willing sleep to come is exasperating and it winds me up so much that shut-eye is nigh impossible. To make matters worse, I’m also a very light sleeper; any noise will rouse me from slumber and often, I’m unable to return to sleep’s sweet embrace.
I’m far from being an insomniac or relying on artificial means of getting to sleep. Sometimes I suffer from a full mind and an empty stomach or an excess of coffee consumed too late in the day. Sometimes I’m overly anxious or excited about something. The week before I get married, I survived on four hours of sleep a night. My eyebags were monstrous on the big day but thank goodness for mousse foundation. But being unable to sleep just because sleep eludes me is the worst. When my night begins to practically guarantee hours of tossing and turning, and when reading any one or two of the three or four books by my bedside doesn’t help, more aggressive measures are called for.
The world is very different when I’m trying to sleep. Silence is amplified and time stands still. Counting sheep (or sweets) is silly and staring at ceilings is counterproductive. Listening to music is irreverent even when piped down low, and I don’t like watching TV. So I sometimes peep through my curtains into the windows of my neighbor, a famous artist, who prefers to paint during the witching hours. But even that gets tiresome after like, two minutes. So I look over at my Bin and check on Boo, both blissfully in slumber. My Bin’s snores are “cataclysmic,” and Boo sometimes giggles in her sleep which is cute to watch. Once, in a fit of mischief brought on by sleep deprivation, I grab my Bin’s nostrils with my thumb and index finger and shut them tight. With one explosive intake of air, his eyelids fly open and he smacks away my offending fingers. What the f***, Lor?!! He cries in outrage. I grin naughtily.
AMAZING OVERNIGHT WAFFLES
Adapted from ”Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe” from the book The 150 Best American Recipes by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens.
Yield: I get 5 large Belgian-style waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (I use whole milk but I’ve also successfully used powdered milk mixed with water)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (depending on my mood, I’ll sometimes substitute corn oil or use a combination of melted butter and oil)
1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Use a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix in the milk. Blend until there are only a few lumps. It will never be a completely smooth batter, nor should you try to achieve that otherwise your waffles will be tough.Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight (or for however much sleep you're able to get).
2. In the morning (or in my case, at 5 a.m.),heat waffle iron. In a small bowl, beat egg lightly and pour into batter followed by the melted butter and/or oil. Batter will be quite thick and smell yeasty. (I love that smell!) Spray hot waffle iron with nonstick spray or brush with some butter. Add enough batter to cover cooking surface.
3. Cook waffles until crisp and brown but not too dark. I usually bake mine for 3 1/2 minutes for a softly chewy waffle or 4 minutes for a crispy waffle. Again, it depends on my mood.