Here is a fact you cannot argue with me about: Nickelodeon’s programming in the 1990’s was stellar. Doug, Hey Arnold, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Aaahhh! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life… magic. I was a pre-teen with two younger siblings and this was television that spoke to us. Shows about weirdos, outsiders, misfits and dorks. They were low-budget, kind of bizarre, and chock full of fart jokes – and leading the way with fart jokes and awkward casting was Salute Your Shorts, a short-lived pre-teen comedy about a bunch of kids from all walks of life, spending their summer at Camp Anawanna.
Yesterday I happened to notice that TeenNick is running a Salute Your Shorts marathon this weekend I pretty much freaked out. My husband is a little older than me, and was what you might call “an outside kid,” unlike me, so he had no idea what was wrong with me as I marched around the house singing, “Camp Anawanna, we hold you in our hearts. And when we think about you, it makes me want to fart!”
This, of course, transitioned directly to me chanting “Awful waffle! Awful waffle!” while stomping around the kitchen. I knew I had to create an Awful Waffle in honor of one of my happiest childhood memories – what what could it be? (Time out. If you don’t know what an Awful Waffle is, please read this excellent article about the most memorable Salute Your Shorts moments.)
Well, the show was about camp so my mind went to s’mores right away. S’mores waffles would be delicious, but I feel like a quick Google search would land you about 75,000 recipes for that. I thought back to my Girl Scouts days, and to the ONE time I ever went camping. What did we eat? Instant eggs… but that’s too awful. What else? What else? All I could remember eating – twice a day, in fact – was hot dogs. A hot dog waffle? Is that something that should exist? Yes. It must exist.
So here’s the thing… if I was a Salute Your Shorts character, I would absolutely hands-down be Bobby Budnick. I would hope this comes as no surprise to any of you. Played by Danny Cooksey (Sam from Diff’rent Stokes,) Bobby Budnick was an asshole with a heart of gold. His interests include Megadeth, Zeke the Plumber, and fellow camper Dina. He had a red mullet and I’m not sure any of his shirts had sleeves and he was perfect. Bobby Budnick is me. I am Bobby Budnick. And like Bobby, I am not a nature lover. I am a city kid through and through. I like video games and rock n’ roll, and if I’m going to eat a hot dog, it ain’t gonna be off a stick. It’s going to be Chicago style or someone’s getting roasted, toasted, and burned to a crisp.
So here it is, world. The Awful Waffle. My ode to camp counselor Ug Lee, to Donkey Lips, and to you, Bobby Budnick, wherever you are.
For the waffles you will need:
- 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened, unflavored nondairy milk
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- a handful of poppy seeds
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- pinch salt
You’ll also need:
- vegan hot dogs
- tomato, cut into wedges
- celery salt
- yellow mustard
Warm up your waffle maker. I recommend also warming your oven to about 200 degrees so you can keep the finished waffles warm while you work on the toppings.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, oil and Liquid smoke. Stir in the relish and onion. Then, add the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, poppy seeds and salt. Stir until just mixed. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter into your greased waffle maker, and cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Mine took 3-5 minutes.
I sliced my veggie dogs first, and then cooked them on a hot griddle. You should cook yours whatever way you prefer, then slice them up. Top your waffles with hot dogs, tomato wedges, celery salt, yellow mustard and of course, a Kosher pickle on the side.
“Budnick, why don’t you just go swim in the lake?”
“Because fish fart in it!”