Yes, the mystery object is a waffle maker! (It can also make sandwiches, Manisha; it has a couple of flat plates you can insert for that.) I believe it's from the '40s; another of Nana's kitchen legacies.
I use the "Joy of Cooking" recipe: 1 3/4 cups flour, sifted, then sifted again with two teaspoons baking powder, a half teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Then you mix together three beaten egg yolks, 1 1/2 cups milk and 2-7 tablespoons melted butter. Make a well in the flour and "with a few swift strokes" mix in the wet ingredients until you have a pebbly mixture. (I always feel like I'm overstirring, but the waffles come out fine.) If you want fluffy waffles, you can then beat the egg whites until they're fluffy and fold them in, too, or save them for meringues.
Here's a good post on using extra egg whites from David Lebovitz, author of "The Perfect Scoop."
I also tossed in some fresh raspberries from you-know-where. Add bacon, maple syrup, butter and juice and you have a nice Saturday morning brunch. (Actually, today's Friday, but it's my Saturday.)