Episode 09: Make America Waffles Again

Episode 09: Make America Waffles Again

In Episode 09 we discuss how the favorite food of Leslie Knope built America. The legendary history of waffles in America usually starts with Jefferson, but we explore the real back story and how Thomas Jefferson owes most of his culinary reputation to a slave named James Hemings (read more about him here). Aimee and Kate continue to not shut up about Hamilton and Melissa laments how not funny this episode is.

During the recording of this episode, we made The Bourbon Brunch and gagged our way through it. Break audio is “It’s almost breakfast” from Portlandia Season 8. Outro music is “What’d I Miss” from Hamilton performed by Daveed Diggs.

Listen on the link below, or on your preferred platform. Check out our research notes at the bottom of this post!

Research Photos

Special Thanks

This episode, we learned so much from the James Hemings Foundation, so please consider checking them out and supporting them in any way you can.


Garden & Gun
Monticello Research Foundation
Jefferson Hour

Completely Bonkers Hot Dog Recipes

Completely Bonkers Hot Dog Recipes

As you plan your 4th of July menus, you may be compelled to keep it simple on the grill with classic burgers and hot dogs. But if you want to spice things up for your Independence Day festivities, check out these bonkers hot dog recipes from the past.

Listen to Episode 07: Cocktails for Hitler here. We dig into the Patriotic & German heritage of the hot dog.

Cold Hot Dog Pie

this recipe looks as disgusting as it sounds! via Cooking Light & Well Done

Stuffed Hot Dogs

Blogger Kitchen Monkey actually tried these, bless her.

Hot Dog Casserole

Epicurious has a vintage 1950s recipe up for a Hot Dog Casserole. Sure, the whole point of a cookout is to…well…cook out. But who cares?

West Virginia Hot Dog Sauce

They say it’s a cross between a chilli and a sauce, but we think it looks a little bit like barf! The Kitchen Wife uncovered this 1920s southern recipe. Enjoy!

Modern Flavors

If none of these vintage recipes tickled your fancy, check out some of these actually delicious sounding hot dog recipes over at Foodal.

Two of your kids' favorite come together at last in this crazy hog dog. Check out these mac and cheese dogs and more wild and crazy hot dog recipes right here on Foodal: https://foodal.com/recipes/barbeque/crazy-hot-dogs/
Queer Culinary: LGBTQIA+ Chefs to Follow on Instagram

Queer Culinary: LGBTQIA+ Chefs to Follow on Instagram

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Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

Hopefully, by now you’ve listened to Episode 1 or at least read our recap of it, and you’re ready to try making Hot Cross Buns for yourself. There are a ton of recipes out there–including ones that contain mashed potatoes! Or powdered milk! Most of these were a product of their times–when certain ingredients might be sparse or hard to come by. For this one, we adapted a few modern recipes for our favorite.

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

  • 1 package of active dry yeast (or .25 oz)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 Granulated Sugar
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • A bunch of spices (I used cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and maple sugar–but you do you)
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 2 large eggs (at room temp)
  • 3/4 cup dried frut of your choice

The Process

Step 1: Proof the Yeast. Stir together 1/4 of the warm milk, 1 tsp of sugar, and the package of yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and watch for it to froth.

Proofing the yeast makes sure it is alive. Yeast needs to be alive to do its thing. This is a nice little test to ensure it will actually make whatever you’re baking rise.

Step 2:Mix it up. If you’re using an electric mixer, combine all of the dry stuff together in whatever bowl accommodates your dough hook. If you’re mixing by hand, then just grab a bowl and mix up the flour, spices, and rest of the sugar.

Step 3: Make a well. Essentially you’re digging a hole in the middle of the ingredients you just mixed. Once that well is formed, add in that frothy yeast stuff we made in step 1, along with butter, eggs, and the rest of the milk. This is gonna get sticky. If you’re using a mixer, turn it on. If mixing by hands, give your biceps and triceps a good stretch.

Step 4: Add the fruit. We used currants, and some lemon zest, but you can use pretty much any kind of dried fruit you want. Make sure it’s dehydrated in some form in order to keep the water content down. Fold it into the dough and mix well.

Step 5: Be patient. This is a yeast-based sweet bread recipe. Which means you’re going to do a lot of waiting. 2 hours for the first rise. It should roughly double in size.

Step 6: Make the buns. First you’re going to pull the dough out of the mixing bowl, and then work it a little bit more to compress the air. Pull out slightly-larger-than-golf-ball sized bits and let them form into mounds on a greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper). Keep them about 2 inches apart.

Step 7: Wait again. That’s right, there’s a second rise in this recipe. Another 30-40 minutes should do.

Step 9: Give them a wash: Have you ever used an egg wash? You should. It makes a really nice shiny finish on baked goods. Mix 1 egg with 1 tbs of Milk, then brush it lightly on top of the mounds of dough. Trust me, it’ll be good.

This is also the point where you’re going to want to decide to either score them to form the cross, or wait until after baking to hit them with some icing. I always do icing, but if you want them to be less sweet, then score them with a knife after the wash.

baked hot cross buns

Step 10: Bake ’em. At 400˚F for 10-12 minutes in the middle rack. You’re going to keep them in until slightly browned on top.

Step 11: Ice ’em. Make some icing with powdered sugar and milk. I never actually measure this part–but you want the icing to be relatively thick, and ensure that the buns are completely cooled before icing, otherwise you’ll get runny icing. Use a pastry bag, or a snipped sandwich bag to draw the cross–or horns–whatever you’re preference.

Step 11: Ice ’em. Make some icing with powdered sugar and milk. I never actually measure this part–but you want the icing to be relatively thick, and ensure that the buns are completely cooled before icing, otherwise you’ll get runny icing. Use a pastry bag, or a snipped sandwich bag to draw the cross–or horns–whatever you’re preference.

Step 12: EAT

hot cross buns with icing
Episode 1 is live!

Episode 1 is live!

Hot Cross Buns

It’s our first episode!

Feel free to listen on Google Music and Spotify too!

The Drink: Dom Perignon

This episode we got the chance to drink some Dom Perignon Champagne! It was Aimee’s first time drinking Dom, but Melissa ran us through the history of the beverage like the lush she is. We got into what designates a Champagne as “Champagne,” what creates those excellent bubbles, and how the drink has evolved over the centuries. Melissa even managed to work in some tidbits about the Shah of Iran, Princes Diana, and Marie Antoinette’s tits. We learned a lot.

The Dish: Hot Cross Buns

There’s approximately 50,000 recipes for hot cross buns out there. The oldest ones call for currants, but new recipes use ingredients ranging from raisins, to Citrons, to mashed potatoes. The basics are this: Hot Cross Buns are a sweet roll, made with yeast. Following generally any sweet roll recipe and adding in some chopped fruit is likely to get you a good result. And of course–don’t forget the cross! We’ve posted the recipe we chose here.

For the history of this dish, we got to explore all of the trappings of Catholicism. Despite the Dom, Aimee is pretty sure she got it mostly right! We talked about St. Alban’s Buns, the symbolism of buns baked on Good Friday, and even the pagan history of the dish too. We bounced around history from ancient Greece, to the middle ages, to Elizabethan England. We also learned of each host’s varying familiarity with the dish. Kate had never had one before! Please listen to the podcast to hear the full story!

Pics from our research for this episode are below!