When I'm out in the middle of the woods running or biking, it isn't too unusual to come across something that makes me sprint in the other direction - a bear, a half naked man sunning himself behind a rock, parts of a gorilla suit costume (not joking!). But a discovery on last Sunday's "off-piste" bike ride might just be the most interesting yet. By off-piste, I don't just mean mountain biking. It was more like backcountry biking - think riding a mountain bike along an old overgrown dirt logging road until it fades away and you are in the middle of the woods. No marked trails and only dozens of faint game paths to follow. We were in an area that is an extension of our backyard so we know it well. Hardly anyone goes there (other than that half naked man), so spotting this random yellow sign tacked to a tree came as a surprise:
It seems to make no sense. There certainly wasn't a place to plug in a waffle iron for miles around. Our best guess is that it was part of a scavenger hunt or an orienteering check point. Either way, it gave me something to think about as we continued to "bike" whack through the woods for 40 more minutes until we reached a proper single track trail. Wondering what the sign meant was a good distraction from the frustration of agreeing to go on a mountain bike ride (and one without trails) with three very experienced mountain bike riders.
So between thinking about why the sign was there and cursing myself for being such a scaredy cat mountain biker, I started to get really hungry for waffles. When we finally got home I pulled out the waffle iron. I didn't make sausage gravy since the sign was pretty negative on that and instead made the extreme opposite: fresh rhubarb sauce. We have a thriving rhubarb patch in our yard (one of the only thing the deer haven't discovered), so it was easy to throw together this quick waffle topping. For the waffles themselves, I adapted a recipe from the King Arthur flour website, making it gluten-free coconut-full.
4 cups Rhubarb cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Put all ingredients except the lemon juice in a heavy saucepan.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce thickens. Stir in lemon juice. Serve warm.
Adapted from this King Arthur flour recipe
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I found some at TJMaxx, of all places)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 large egg
2 cups milk
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in egg, milk and oil. Stir until combined, leaving batter lumpy.
Put one heaping 1/2 cup in the middle of a hot waffle iron and cook.