I've been taking a tiny break from The Resolved Cook.
Don't worry, this resolution is still in full swing. I've just been in Brussels this week for a Decker program with Levi Straus. There has been plenty of eating, but no cooking.
I love international groups. We had participants from Poland, Russia, Germany, France, UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Italy. My colleague and I had a wonderful time with those in the class, our incredible client partners and each other.
And how could you not have fun with a group of people who made jeans into a desk?
This picture doesn't do it justice. This reception area was so cool.
A bit of Brussels
With two days in Brussels, I only had about 5 free hours. Luckily, our beautiful hotel was in the city center and within walking distance to many sites.
I saw the Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) and learned about the 200 year history of the saxophone. It's a marvelous museum (thanks for the recommendation, J. Lee!).
I went into full tourist mode.
I also did a walking tour of the Grand'Place, Royal Palace, Jardin Mont des Arts and more. Look at that sunny, perfect day.
At dinner that evening, I ordered a delicious Belgian blonde and let our waiter keep thinking Americans are big flirts:)
It was a great day.
A Traditional Meal
Jaak and Erna have been longtime friends of my parents and our family. Though connected initially by Dad and Jaak's careers, there is a great friendship between the two couples that has lasted for 25 years. I fondly remember the two years they lived in Topeka, Kansas. We spent many dinners, parties and holidays together as families.
I hadn't seen Jaak or Erna in more than 16 years, yet knowing they lived near Brussels I made sure to reach out. We were all so excited to get to connect after so long.
Erna prepared a traditional Belgian meal for us, an absolute feast of wonderful dishes:
- White fish dip on toasts with sparkling wine
- Stuffed tomatoes with grey shrimp on salad
- White asparagus with salmon, white potatoes and hollandaise
- Belgian chocolate cake with raspberry cream filling
I can't describe how fantastic every part was. I felt so very loved and so very full.
Jaak and Erna told many stories about their time in Topeka, adventures with my parents and even pulled out old photo books with pictures of our two families all together. The night was full of laughter.
Now, as an adult, I can see the incredible friendship the two couples forged. I'm so thankful to have been a part of it all!
I returned to the hotel with a sleepy smile on my face, slept a few hours and now am typing this post from the airport. But it really was two perfect days in Brussels.
One last croissant and then I'm off to the States. I have a feeling there will be nothing but sleep on the flight ahead:)
Here's to great Belgian meals and some more cooking soon!