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Member Since 25 Nov 2011
Offline Last Active Jan 21 2012 10:04 AM

Topics I've Started

Photography Topic

06 December 2011 - 06:47 AM

Today is a typical december weather in the Netherlands: dark all day, gloomy and stormy. Upside to this is that it can produce great pics. I shot this one today from our living room window:

Posted Image

Can A Moderator Fix Something For Me Please?

06 December 2011 - 04:00 AM

In the last two days I've started 2 new topics, both get the same error in the title. If you type something like "I'm happy" in the title, including the quotation marks, the I shows up as i and the next words start with a capital instead. Can a mod fix this for me please? It looks like a grammar error now.

The 2 topics are:


The "I'm Not So Happy Today"- Topic

06 December 2011 - 01:55 AM

We're looking for another house to rent, and this morning confirmed why we should move quickly :( I woke up to the sound of someone shouting and crying kids... again... for the 3rd time since the start of the month. We've lived here for nearly 4 years and never really had problems with the neighbours, but the last year they've been getting very noisy. Shouting to someone else on the other side of the house, shrieking kids, bickering parents when dad's at home. We live in a very old flat building with noise insulation that's infamous in our town. Normally you'd try to talk to the neighbours and your landlord. We tried to invite them for coffee 3 times, but they never showed up so it appears they don't want to talk about it. Next stop should be landlord, but they have bought their apartment and we rent it. The police also has enough on their hands, they don't think it's worth the effort. (As a renter you have fewer rights than a home-owner, so it's easier to just move than to take it to court.)

Because of our low incomes we need to find a house with a social rent corporation, they have cheap houses. One problem is that 400 families in our city have the same plans, so it's basically playing the lottery. There are houses on their website and you can subscribe to one. At the end of the week they draw lots to decide who has the first right to the house. With the way this is going, it could take months... I don't want to spend Christmas in someone else's fights... :(

The "I'm Happy Today" Topic

05 December 2011 - 06:23 AM

This idea is form a Dutch coeliac forum that I also visit. It's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face anytime.
Right, let me start off.

I'm happy today because it's Sinterklaas, a traditional Dutch holiday. When I arrived at work today Sinterklaas was at the factory gates, together with a lot of Pieten. Every worker got a present, it was a wind-up flashlight which can be used without batteries. Very handy for emergencies or camping trips. Thank you Sinterklaas! We also got a chocolate initial, which luckily was gluten-free.
This weekend I have baked kruidnoten, tiny spiced cookies which are traditional at Sinterklaas. My co-workers loved them and said they never expected a diet-food product to taste this good. It may be food intended for a medical diet, but it shouldn't have to taste that way ;) Tonight there are friends coming over for dinner. I've bought them each a small present and dressed those up like Sint and Piet.

Going Dutch

01 December 2011 - 02:09 AM

The Dutch kitchen is a simple but hearty kitchen with lots of fresh ingredients and oriental spices. A lot of foods are slow-cooked and need to simmer for hours. Imagine the smells in your house when a pot of beef stew is on. Yum! The oriental spices were introduced to our kitchen in the 1600s when the spice trade with Indonesia was started. When Indonesia became independent in 1945 a lot of people moved to the Netherlands, adding even more of their exciting exotic kitchen to our plain farmers' fare. Nowadays Indonesian dishes are so popular that they're fully integrated into the Dutch kitchen. A delicious bridge between east and west :)

Popular ingredients in the Dutch kitchen are:

Fresh vegetables - Cabbages, beans, root vegetables, leeks and onions are often used. In summer leaf vegetables and soft vegetables like tomatoes and zucchini are popular.
Fruits - apples and pears are very popular, even in warm dishes
Dairy - everything you can imagine and more: cheeses, milk, butter and our national pride: vla. This is a very thin custard available in all possible flavours: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel and still a lot more.
Potatoes - ah yes, even artists have captured the Dutch love for these in their paintings
Beef - beef is eaten in various forms, but mincemeat and beef stews are very popular
Pork - especially winter meals are often based on pork, such as the:
Rookworst - smoked sausage, taste is comparable to bacon
Fish: eaten a lot, especially in the sea-bordering provinces. Even after the construction of the Afsluitdijk only 2 out of 12 provinces don't border on the sea or the large IJsselmeer which used to be a sea.
Oriental spices: absolute must in the Dutch kitchen, to bring a little flavour to it all. The Dutch kitchen would be very boring without them. Most popular: pepper, nutmeg, ginger, coriander, cumin and cloves.

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