It seems like whenever the Overlords of Holiday Creations don’t know what occasion to celebrate on a certain day, they just call it a Waffle Day. It’s actually a pretty good strategy because who is going to be upset with more waffles? Still, when you are on a trudge to celebrate a year of these days, you realize that you are watching a rerun. Although today I suppose was different because it was International Waffle Day. National Waffle Day was back in August, right when I started this adventure. On that day, I made some waffles from banana bread and then also made some regular waffles in the waffle iron. I guess celebrating the waffle at the international level is a testament to their deliciousness and far reaching appeal.
I kind of backed into this day. There were a few other holidays that were being celebrated today. It was National Medal of Honor Day, but I don’t know any Medal of Honor recipients so I couldn’t really do anything with that. It was also National Tolkien Reading Day and I can always get behind some Tolkien. I thought about following Lola around the house all day reading her excerpts from the Lord of the Rings, maybe even serenading her with one of the lengthy songs in the text that Samwise would sing to soothe Frodo. However, I didn’t see that ending well, so not the best way to celebrate. Finally it was also National Lobster Newburg Day. Lobster Newburg is a seafood dish made with lobster, butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs and cayenne pepper. That would have been a nice dinner that I could have made for Lola or at least sought it out at one of the local restaurants. I’m not much of a lobster fan, but I would have taken one for the team and tried it. But, I was traveling today and I wasn’t going to be around for dinner. It seemed like too much effort to put in for something I couldn’t even enjoy. I don’t know much about Lobster Newburg, but it doesn’t seem like a eat-over-the-sink kind of meal. I felt if I were to make it, I would have to take the time to enjoy it. Maybe even sit down at the table for it. No, with my schedule today, Lobster Newburg was not going to work. That’s when I realized waffles were the answer.
I probably should have opted for Belgian Waffles today in honor of the international part of the day. Belgian waffles are always so intriguing when you see them and I guess that’s really just that desire to have something that you already enjoy but bigger. There’s not much difference between a regular and Belgian waffle other than a small difference in the batter and a bigger waffle iron that gets you thicker waffles with bigger indentations. I however decided to go old school and just opt for your standard store-bought frozen waffles. I know this sounds like an easy way out, but these are actually the waffles I remember from my youth. They were always served to me as a treat, especially on Friday nights during Lent when we were not eating meat. My brother and sister would be happy with fish sticks, but not me. I didn’t much care for those. I’d get waffles. My mom would throw two in the toaster and within five minutes, I’d have a delicious plate in front of me, topped with syrup and butter. That was waffle eating to me. Since then I have learned the joys of the waffle iron and how easy it is to actually make fresh waffles. Fresh waffles taste better too. But I really do like frozen waffles, plus the clean up is much easier. Cleaning a waffle iron is never fun. Frozen waffles however are a delicious convenience and the perfect answer to my International Waffle Day Celebration.
I happened to have a box of Eggo brand waffles in the freezer and so when lunch came around, I loaded up the toaster oven and got the syrup ready. An actual toaster is a much better frozen waffle cooker than a toaster oven. The toaster cooks it more evenly. The toaster oven holds more, but to get it right, you kind of have to rotate the waffles as they are cooking. In my stack, some were cooked just right, while others were a little underdone. Still, they were delicious. The frozen waffle gives you a much more crunchier outside of the waffle than a waffle iron does and that crunch is enjoyable. Inside they are still doughy and warm. The indentation on a waffle are the prefect holders for syrup, so it stays on the waffle more so than it would on a pancake. You’ve enjoyed waffles before so not much I can tell you about them that you didn’t already know. Still, on this International Day of Waffles, I enjoyed a delicious stack for a delightful lunch.
I was traveling to New Hampshire this afternoon to join some old friends for our annual fantasy baseball draft. That’s my official excuse for eating waffles today and not Lobster Newburg. We were having the draft at a local restaurant and I held out hope that they would have Lobster Newburg on the menu so I could feel better about my celebrating choices, but they did not. In retrospect, that would not have been the best meal to pair with fantasy sports. That’s more of a wing and nacho crowd. I believe this is the seventeenth year of the league. I joined in year two and about two years ago, I retired. At that point, I wasn’t giving my team the concentration it deserved and I felt my presence was hurting the league. So I bowed out. Earlier this year, they were looking for someone to fill an empty spot in their fantasy basketball league, and they asked me if I was interested. There was something in me that missed it – the roster setting, the daily competition, the trash talk. So I filled the open spot. True to my fantasy sport legacy, I finished in second to last place. That’s just how I do. But, when baseball season rolled around, they had an open spot in that league and they offered me the opportunity. I opted in. That’s why I was heading up to New Hampshire on a Saturday afternoon.
I’m not good at fantasy sports. In the fifteen or sixteen years I played, I never won a season. Not in baseball. Not in football. Definitely not in basketball. I made the championship game a few times, but never pulled off the win. I’m definitely not known for knowing all the stats and intricacies about players, teams and scoring. Nope, I’m there more for comic relief. I may have made ridiculous trades over the years and some awful roster moves, but I have also created some good league polls and league stories too, and that kept me safe from being booted from the league. It felt good to be back. I hadn’t seen most of the guys in over a year and even though we all got right down to drafting business, you get to have some laughs over the three or four hours it takes to pick a team. It was good to be back.
I can say that if you are in for a night of drafting, a belly full of waffles is a good way to prepare. I guess a belly full of waffles is a good way to get ready for anything. Even though I have celebrated the delight of the waffle before, today’s celebration reminded me of the simple pleasures of the frozen waffle. It took me back to a time in our family den, eating a freshly toasted waffle on a tv tray while watching Happy Days. That’s a good memory to have. Sure it’s not the same delight as feasting on a fine Lobster Newburg in a fancy restaurant, but a waffle is more my style any way. Yeah, waffles are one food that definitely deserve to be celebrated throughout the world. And if they keep having days to honor the joy of waffles, I’m happy to do my part. And if I win the league this year, I’ll owe it all to the waffle.
Next up: National Spinach Day