Beer and Waffles

I didn’t really know what Belgium was famous for (apart from chocolate) before I went there last week, but I had one of those “Duh! Of course I knew!” moments when I got there and was surrounded by large amounts of beer and Belgian waffles when we walked around the towns.

I’ve never been a big consumer of either, but when my daughter, Paris, suggested booking us in for a “Beer Tasting and Waffle Making Workshop” in Bruges, it just sounded like a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. 

I wasn’t wrong. 

Our host for the workshop was a guy called Piet (pronounced Pete), who was a jovial, retired guy who got bored when he gave up work and decided to keep busy in his autumn years educating tourists about two of the three main Belgian food groups. 

We started with the beer tasting, where he gave us a little bit of history about three local beers - a cherry beer, a peach beer, and some sort of fake monk beer (I was a bit tipsy when we got to that one and I can’t remember the story very well…monks were involved but someone copied their recipe…) 

I successfully managed to embarrass my kids by getting extremely jolly on three thimbles-full of beer, but they are grown-ups now not mardy teenagers, so were able to ride the cringe-storm without disowning me!

We all had a great time. 

It felt so good to do something I’d never done before, and the end result was absolutely delicious, even though it looked like Willy Wonka Roadkill. 

In the picture, you’ll see what a beautifully executed waffle looks like (which is Paris’ waffle on the left) and what an equally delicious, badly executed waffle looks like (three thimbles deep in fake monk booze I was a little heavy handed on the squirty cream and chocolate sauce).

I remembered to take the photo after I’d started eating it - but don’t worry, it looked just as bad - if not worse - before I took a chunk out of it. 

Why do I feel so pleased with myself about this waffle?

Well, a few weeks ago when I was with my coach and reviewing my last quarter, he asked me what I’d done that was new in the previous 12 weeks. 

That question really made me stop and think, because I realised I’d been on a bit of a treadmill that quarter, not really doing anything new.

Of course, most of our lives involve a lot of repetition, and that’s OK, but trying new things keeps life interesting and fun!

We all need a little bit of variety, and trying new activities is one way to add things to the mix. 

I made it a goal this quarter to try at least two new activities, and this particular one felt like a huge success even though it was very simple and not very well done. 

When we grow up, we forget to play like kids do - doing things for the sake of doing things rather than trying to be good at them, making mistakes and getting messy. 

When’s the last time you really played? 

The author 

Vicki LaBouchardiere