A Cone of Fries, a Glass of Beer, and Lace

I’m just checking in briefly from Bruges, where I’m vacationing with my husband through Saturday. A person could spend years making a study of the frieten (Belgian fries — so melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious, thanks to double frying in beef fat) …

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the beer (abbey, trappist, lambic, dobbel, trippel, yumbo) …

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All that beer can make things go a bit sideways. Here, a kriek I enjoyed with dinner a few nights ago. (Someday I’ll master this tablet!)

… and the chocolate, good gracious, the chocolate. My daily allotment includes a lavender and a violet praline. Vacation has been good.

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I haven’t even mentioned the lace, the exquisite, intricate Bruges lace. I went to the Kantcentrum yesterday and spent some time watching the crazy-fast clicking of the wooden bobbins as they were twisted and repositioned in groups of four by women who could even carry on involved conversations as they worked.

Here’s a short video that shows the speed at which proficient lace makers can manipulated the bobbins:

Here’s another video that shows a better look at what’s actually taking place. The crafter has a color-coded chart to refer to, as well as a pattern onto which the lace is made and pinned to shape.

I spoke with one hobbyist who — get this! — finds knitting fussy and difficult. She and her three friends come to the Centrum twice a week to craft and chat. I told her about the group I belong to who knits at the pub every now and then, and I joked that there was no way that her group would be able to combine beer drinking with lace making.

She assured me that it is more than possible.

Watching the women work and looking at the antique examples of lace in the museum make my fingers itch to try a new hobby.

Someone pass me a beer and talk me out of it.

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