I must have read Shoeless Joe sometime in grade school, no older than eight or nine. At the time, I loved baseball and everything about it. But even more than watching it or playing it, I enjoyed reading about the game. Between all my baseball books, W.P. Kinsella’s debut novel held a special place on my young bookshelf.
Of all the great writers, from James Thurber to Ring Lardner, to have tried their hand at a baseball story, none captured the magic and drama of the game like Shoeless Joe. And as wonderful as the book was, the movie adaptation was able to capture it all: the solemn mood, the sense of longing and belonging, and the need for fulfillment and redemption. Just as Shoeless Joe remains one of my favorite novels, Field of Dreams remains one of my favorite movies.
But not every adaptation is so seamless or successful. For every Field of Dreams there is a Bonfire of the Vanities. And for anyone following the reviews for the Spider-Man musical, there are some adaptations that are indescribable disasters, ideas that should have never been more than a passing thought.
Somewhere between Field of Dreams and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark there are my lemon ricotta waffles. When I made my lemon ricotta pancakes, I marveled at their lightness and their ability to meld the sharp citrus and cheese flavors into a sweet pancake. Adapted into waffle form, something was lost in the translation. The taste was still largely there, but the waffles lacked that light and airy quality that had made them delightful that time before.
Some adaptations, it seems, are not always meant to be.
Lemon Ricotta Waffles
Recipe from the Four Seasons Hotel.
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 5 minutes per batch
YIELD: 6 Waffles
WHAT TO GRAB:
6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat your waffle iron.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture.
3. In yet another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Fold a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the batter, then fold the rest of the egg whites in, until just combined. The beaten egg whites will lighten the batter substantially.
4. Pour the batter onto the center of the lower grid, and spread it evenly to the edges. The entire lower grid should be filled. Flip the lid, and cook until ready. Drizzle with syrup or confectioners’ sugar, and serve warm!