A friend of my dad’s, and a regular deli customer, was reminiscing a few weeks ago over his son’s breakfast order of lemon buttermilk waffles. Beezy’s father was born just before the war, and consequently missed out on a whole chunk of childhood. As he grew older and had his own children, he took every opportunity he could to behave in as childlike a manner as possible. Beezy remembers regular waffle eating contests, where he, his dad and all his brothers would compete. The rules were simple: you had to eat your waffle without using your hands or any utensils. First to finish was the winner. Grounds for disqualification: vomiting. The prize: you guessed it! A waffle.
And so, with a little waffle making forethought, and a lot of texting backwards and forwards, this last Sunday Beezy’s 1st Annual Kassia & Figg Waffle Eating Contest (henceforth BAK&FWEC ) made the transition from conception to reality.
At 4pm (an hour early) we closed the front doors and put up an explanatory sign: Closed for Waffle Eating Contest. Well, it seemed perfect at the time.
For the next half an hour the contestants arrived in a steady stream through the side gate and into the courtyard where the contest was to be staged. The spectacular sea views and mountain vista were largely ignored as they sized each other up, reserved their spaces at the table, planned last minute strategies and in my nephew’s case, warmed up by wolfing down 5 or 6 pre-contest cookies.
Behind the scenes organisers were hard at work, churning out freshly made waffles from our sole waffle iron, checking and re-checking the ice cream stock, and upending bottles of syrup for easy pouring. A quick judges confab at the last minute outlawed our organic Kassia & Figg cinnamon sugar as overkill, some final advice was dispensed regarding using your chin to spread the icecream, and the competition was on.
It became immediately apparent that the contestants all had very different styles. Some bolted straight out of the gates, only to flag at the halfway mark, others paced themselves, slow and steady. But it was Milena’s strategy of eating the ice cream first, leaving a clear run at the waffle, that proved to be victorious.
In a post event interview, the exhausted but elated winner said she didn’t really want her victory waffle, but some more ice cream would be happily accepted. Beezy graciously allowed her to reserve her well earned prize for another day.
The stress and tension leading up to the contest now a distant memory, participants happily tucked into more waffles and those old fashioned glass bottles of coke so essential to a seaside cafe. Perhaps we should have given a prize for the most waffles consumed as well. Jasper managed 4 or 5 I believe.
Click here for our delicious lemon zest buttermilk waffle recipe and check out our Kassia & Figg site for more pics of the BAK&FWEC .