Monday, May 29, 2006

Oranje fever

Here is my lovely family getting into the world cup spirit, perhaps a little coerced by the package Douwe sent into supporting the Netherlands, however the Australians do owe a lot to Guus.
On the weekend I did a little home-sick cooking: what is that? Passion fruit Melting moments, from the Australian women's weekly cookbook.

Also roasted capsicums filled with goat's cheese, basil, pesto & tomato- divine! Ate them all, and forgot to take a picture.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Wildlife in the Nijmegen Countyside involves planting these bison-like creatures in recreational areas. I heard yesterday that there are designer shoes using real goat hooves as the (high) heel.


Yesterday was also pasta day....we had a sweat kitchen going to make the egg pasta (1 egg per 100g plain strong flour (preferable durum pasta flour but we didn't have that)
(with my new Aldi-bought pasta roller- I am a proud Aldi/Lidl fan- I would join the fan club if they had one.)
two sorts of fillings: blue cheese and chicken, sage & pine nuts with spinach sauce (Both were Delicious- blue cheese is a wonderfood, and the combi of the second filling was subtle, with the texture of the semi-crushed nuts and black truffle oil fragrance)

accompanied by olive and thyme bread.















I"m having trouble putting the captions in the right places for the photos (HTML idiot) so I'll just skip the (obvious) captions now (e.g. making the ravioli, eating the ravioli).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

This is cool...

Look what I made (with free-ware)...click on 2x to zoom in...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Weekendje weg (males only)

Douwe & friends' weekend in the Ardennes, Belgium: a region known for beer, forests and relaxation.



Monday, May 15, 2006

Naked, nudie, bloot, unclad, au naturel, starkers

This entry has no pictures, and you'll understand why soon. I am a slowly converting nudist. Actually I don't know how far this conversion will go, I may have reached my equilibrium already. Begin in Malaysia, where as far as nudism goes, it's taboo- Douwe was confused when after sweating in out in a an indoor footbal hall in tropical KL, there was no friendly communal shower afterwards, instead everyone just marinaded in their own sweat, eating satay, pizza and beer- aromatic wafting breeze. In Australia, in boarding school, I learned that it's ok to be transiently naked in the presence of other people. And now in the Netherlands.........one summer's day in the early 21st century, Douwe and I accidentally stumbled onto the nudist section of a large lake (it was an accident). It also happened to be the more peaceful and beautiful part, so we thought why not, and joined in for the day. Rowing, picnicking, swimming, reading, it was fun. And last saturday I went to a Sauna (various saunas and spa baths and pools in a garden/resort setting) with a bunch of girls and mixed it up with many other naked men and women. I'm trying to get over my provincial attitude, but from my mind here are a collection of thoughts, "There goes a penis." "That one looks strrraange." "Smooth. Hmm." "Do you have to sit like that?" "You're not shy with towel drying." I knew it was mixed sexes inside, so I don't know why I was a little flummoxed that the changing rooms and showers were also mixed. I think I imagined it to be like the doctors office when they leave the room while you get naked.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ways

Why I love Spring









The flowers in the fields- I was a bit late with this photo (last week, it was full of yellow flowers, now it's full of dandelions), the herbs and vegetables in the garden (with exotic newcomers this year- chillies, okra, thai basil- I also want Lemongrass- anyone know where I can get that?), eating outside in the evenings by fire and candlelight, and new shoes.












Douwe's been very handy with tools and making the garden beds, hanging up and putting together things that I have brought home, and I have discovered baking...Khak, Iraqian bread rings spiced with roasted cumin and coriander. Here's my effort at food styling.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dagjeuit


Welcome to Keukenhof, the largest flower garden in the world* (*not confirmed fact)
We had a dagje uit (little day trip) to the east of the Netherlands, involving lots of traffic jams but finally reached the grand gardens with an average visitor's age of 70. I notice a lot of public sculptures are sometimes subtly titillating, this one got straight to the point, I appreciate that.

The park was so large, see us consulting the map? Douwe and I are planning to travel in Portugal in September with a car and a map. This is practising. We are definitely NOT a navigational unit yet, but there is hope.





Note old lady (in background) in traditional clothing, not Douwe posing like a flower


That's Renee in the other shoe, we know what it's really like to stand in one another's shoes (roll eyes) as she's also Australian, married with Dutch Martijn.

Afterwards we relazed (new word) at Zandfoort: being very cool at a beach bar. Douwe finds it too boring to be cool all day, it involves a lot of sitting and sleeping. I can. Finally we can wear one layer (+ underwear) and let the tepid breeze brush over skin- I love spring!



Yet more pictures of flowers:



Douwe's Dolle Dwaze Dart Toernooi

Douwe celebrated his 28th birthday by hosting a dart tournament (and secretly wanting to win). He had to present the glorious golden trophy to Daan, the ultimate winner. next time...next time. The women's league was played on a magnetic felt board version, seen below in the golf course version of darts.

Mini Pre Holiday Break in Terschelling

End March 2006, we escaped to the wild north, Terschelling Island, for a few days. At home it was grey, wet and cold and miraculously on the islands in the Wadden Sea it was sunny, dry and still cold, and very windy.

We saw sea lions (at a [far] distance), many beautiful birds in nesting season and let the wind blow out all the crinkles.





Honeymoon in Malaysia, with Family!


Big Durians! The honeymoon (dec 2005) was eventful and filled with family and food...I didn't know we had a long lost aunty in the Highlands that cooked the best sweet and sour pork in the known world, and I don't make jokes about food.