Local Heart, Global Soul

October 4, 2019

Also Called “Drop Scones” …

My New Zealand Grandma always said: “You are either a Cook or Baker“. She was beyond doubt a Baker. Her meals were fine in a “meat and three veg” sort of style, but nothing adventurous. She probably did roast lamb dinners when her children were at home but even making the easy roast at home got ditched as “not worth it for just two people” (Grandma!!!… have you never heard of awesome Cottage Pie with leftover roast beef or lamb?). If they wanted a roast dinner then there were enough family style restaurants around with it on the menu and they would “treat ourselves”, as she would put it.

I’m definitely a Cook. This was confirmed rather painfully after visiting our Canadian friends. “F” had made amazing scones. Light, fantastically risen, beautiful, delicious, mouth-watering scones. She said they were mega easy and gave me the recipe. I was so confident that I printed it out on paper and laminated it, as I do for my recipes that see regular use. I should have remembered a certain line about Pride, and falls. I’m good at falls. Regular readers know that only too well.

So… I followed the recipe to the letter. To the last full-stop. I crossed the “t’s and dotted the “i’s”. I measured precisely. The oven was perfectly pre-heated, I adjusted the racks, laid out the scone dough exactly as “F” had instructed. I even set timers. And I surprised myself.

Sadly it wasn’t the good surprise I had been expecting. The first photograph is not a “before” baking photo, it is regrettably the “after”. Delicious tall, light scones? Nope, these are more in the “decorative brick” category. In fact I think that LEGO probably has bricks less tough than this. They didn’t even cook completely though. My beautiful laminated sheet with its “perfect picture” of scones and the recipe, sits in my kitchen drawer (with another non-baking recipe that I DO use on the back.) It’s either taunting or haunting me… or both.

Maybe they shouldn’t be called “Drop Scones” for a reason? I am declaring defeat. This is an indisputable: “Fail“. Needless to say. no-one ever asks me to bake scones for them. People have common sense, like their teeth intact, don’t want their jaws wired, and do not wish to purposefully insult their taste buds. I’m definitely a Cook. Whenever I announce that I intend to Bake something, people should be afraid, …very afraid.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 10, 2019

A Cuppa With Long John Silver!

I’ve been sitting in the car, sharing my DSLR camera with Little Mr as he and I took photographs of our early Saturday morning tour of the fire stations dotted around the massive port of Rotterdam. Now it’s time to get out and stretch our legs for a little bit, and enjoy a cuppa at the beach cafe at the end of the public road in the Maasvlakte. Called “Smickel Inn” it’s an informal take-a-way/cafe place in what looks like a large shed.

The people running it are very friendly indeed, and the fries and drink that we ordered were delicious too. We sat in one of the booths facing the water and I saw afterwards that all of the booths on that side make up the shape of along ship, with the ‘bow” to our right. Standing next to this “bow” we even had our very own pirate! He’s not real of course but I bet he enchants kids when they come here. Not every day that I have a cup of tea with Long John Silver!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 2, 2019

BBQ Meat With…

Our Armenian friend’s traditional BBQ is usually stacked to the brim and overflowing with meat. Whilst admitting that it certainly was delicious, it was also rather heavy going. The Armenian BBQ menu offered far less in the way of salad but this was a double Birthday party in the Netherlands and so salads were more prevalent. Watermelons grow in abundance in Armenia too so it’s little surprise that melon of one variety or another was a firm favourite on a warm summer day, plus a home-made Armenian Birthday cake and Baklava.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 6, 2019

Eating Warm Whilst It’s Warm, Cold Whilst It’s Cold…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in 2017 I went for a long day-trip/short weekendto Garderen, in the Dutch province of Gelderland.

I stayed in the Bilderberg Résidence Groot Heideborgh on the Friday evening, Himself having dropped me off in the afternoon.

After a nap I was ready for dinner, but didn’t fancy eating alone downstairs so ordered room service.

Salmon and salad were lovely but the biggest downside of room service was the desert arrived at the same time as my main course and it’s hard to choose between eating salmon and fries whilst they are warm and ice-cream whilst it’s cold, on a hot day when the ice-cream is starting to melt all too quickly.

I ended up eating them kind-of alternately, which was maybe not the best of combinations.

That aside my meal tasted good, but if I had to choose on food alone then the “other” Bilderberg Garderen (Bilderberg Hotel ’t Speulderbos) would have won hands down.

I was due for an early start the next morning and tired, so organized a wake-up call and to the breakfast also via room service for the next morning before turning in. The next morning breakfast arrived on time and I ate with one eye on the weather report and the other on my bag that needed to be packed before I went. Breakfast was lovely, absolutely no complaints and before I knew it I had my bag downstairs ready to be stored until later and the complimentary van from the hotel van taking me for a complimentary ride to the Sand Sculpture exhibition.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below:) Then Breakfast the next morning…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 23, 2019

Laughingly Taking The Piss Out Of Your Pit Stop…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As with any large outdoor public gathering, the organisers of the event have to provide suitable restroom facilities.

In the case of the 2017 Food Truck festival in the Hague, the solution was the best I have ever seen.

Unbeknownst to me I had first contact with a member of this group was earlier at one of the food stands.

I spied a young lady in a sort of washer-woman costume, with curlers in her hair which was also wrapped up with a scarf and a sort of  long apron/over-all kind of caricature of the manner of 1930’s.

I asked if  I could take some photographs of her and she gladly obliged.

Later I noticed a large truck that had doors on the sides, these folded outwards to reveal a small passageway on one side of the truck and a row of toilet cubicles on the other.

It was like a cross between a series of upmarket port-a-loos, and normal toilet block.  Outside by the queue was  table where two ladies sat, and it turns out that the younger one of the two is the engagingly attired lady I had encountered earlier.

Together they were taking turns to organize the queue and keep the lavatories clean. I didn’t end up getting photographs of the large truck because there were too many parents taking young children to the toilet and with all of the comings and goings, I couldn’t satisfactorily edit them out of the shots.

I did however manage to take photograph of their company car.

This delightful vehicle was as ingenious as their attire:  nicknamed the “pleemobiel”  this is a kind of pun referencing the children’s toy brand of “Playmobile” (even the font is similar) but the “plee” part that the have changed is a cute/ funny nickname for pee, or urine.

The phrase “U plassie is ons passie” translates as “Your pee-pee is our passion” and the van is decorated with two ladies (Beb & Toos)decked out in the same attire as the younger and older lady at the table.

Their sense of humour carries on in the price cards on the table: for instance the one for Gents reads: “Beb & Toos (“Bezet” means “engaged/occupied”), Gentlemens Prices (tariffs): Is your “tokus” (slang for penis) shorter than 8cm ? Price: Euro 0.50 cents. (Is your tokus) longer … Price Euro 1.00

I showed Himself this and he laughed and said “Yes of course it’s meant to make men pay more because of pride and that they want people to think they have a big penis, but don’t forget, these men are also Dutch so I bet they will all go for the Euro 0.50 cent option simply because its cheaper an they want to save money“.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think he’s probably right, but hey, can’t fault them for trying!

The other sign was more conventional: you could get a token for a “losse plas’, basically one single use of the toilets for 1/2 of  1 munt, or Euro 0.50 cents.

(The “munt’ = being the special tickets that are the ‘currency” of this event and which needed to be purchased at a separate counter in order to buy food and drinks at all of the food trucks participating at the festival.)

You could also purchase a “plas bandje”  (a wrist band) for 1 Munt or Euro 2.00, entitling one person to unlimited use of the facilities for the whole day.

The last alternative would be to buy for 2  Munt or Euro 4.00 the “Voordeel Plasskart” which turns out to be “10 x piddle/pee-pee/take a leak/ spend a penny etc  for the (whole?) Club”  I’m not certain how this works but somehow you are paying for use of the loos for 10 occasions … just not certain how the “group’ element fits into this arrangement!

I have to admit that I may also be confused because I think this is dialect Dutch: for instance in the Gents sign: the “usual’ spelling of the word ‘kleiner” (smaller) is spelled here as “kleinert” , and the word “groter” (larger) here as “grotert”

Since this event is also an evening event, with bar stalls that only started to open up later in the afternoon / early evening, and music areas that were largely unoccupied during our visit, but clearly being set up, it’s a definite bet that as the family crowd fade away for children’s bedtimes after a day of dinning and playing, the adult party crowd come in to take their place.

Once the booze starts flowing it would be safe to assume that the need to use the privy, and therefore the W.C.’s here could create quite a demand.. maybe these ladies, busy with everyone’s ablutions, can not only provide a needed service to the event but also end up creating a thriving business in the process… so that they end up going home rather flush! … And all of this whilst laughingly taking the piss out of your pit stop!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

General prices…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Prices for Gents…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…And if you have read this far you may have noticed how many “Pee” and “Toilet” puns or nicknames I managed to squeeze into this post!

April 22, 2019

The Making Of A Stroopwafel: A Step By Step Procedure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the best discoveries that visitors to the Netherlands can find is: Stroopwafels!

I know that supermarket ones are novelty enough if you have never tried these before, I mean, a wafer thin biscuit (cookie) with caramel syrup (“stroop”) in the middle, what’s not to like?

Yes, these are good, but in fact you haven’t lived until you have had a freshly made stroopwafel.

I was lucky enough during the 2017 Food Truck festival in the Hague to see one of these stands, and have the owner not mind at all if I took step by step photographs.

Basically the dough is divided up into small balls, and put into a press which cooks both sides.

Then, whilst it is still hot it is removed, sliced horizontally in half, the “stroop” caramel syrup is spread on to one of the sides and before it cools completely the other side is added, sandwiching the stroop in the center.

It’s then served warm-ish to the waiting customer. This particular stall also had mini stroopwafels in red and white paper cones for people to buy as well, and did freshly made waffles as well that he served warm with a slathering of Nutella on the top. Waffles and Nutella are not personally my thing at all but the stroopwafels appeal every now and again if I am in the mood for them (which is less often than most people I know because I find them a tad on the too sweet side). My kids on the other hand are down for stroopwafels any time of the day and these cookies have a habit of disappearing from the panty cupboard with speed if they are on our grocery list. A Dutch national favourite it is without surprise that this booth was busy immediately after I caught him setting up the stand.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 20, 2019

Cats Wearing Glasses? …OK, Why Not!?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back during the Food truck festival of 2017, I found that not only were the foodie vans in full swing, so were various other vendors.

Some were the same stall holders that can found on the Lange Voorhout every summer, antiques, bric-a-brac, books, and the like but some I have never seen before.

Amongst those were two stalls that made me stop and look closer…

The first was a lady selling Tee-shirts and card with copies of her own painted artworks, the subject of which was what made me smile.

Dogs, cats, pigs and all sorts of animals were depicted wearing hats, glasses and other paraphernalia.

Although not to kind of thing that I would wear personally, they were wonderful pieces of art.

The second was a lady selling some of the most unusual jewelry I have ever seen, incorporating amongst others, (I assume plastic) mice, lizards, spiders and crabs. Talk about a “statement piece” of jewelry! These make one of the biggest statements and most eye-catching pieces I have ever seen! Again, not really anything I  could pull off, but definitely for someone bolder out there to love and enjoy. I’m just not certain what happens if you walk into the room wearing all these mice around your neck and encounter someone who is scared of mice: would they leap into the nearest chair? or does that only count for real rats and mice? Not having any fear of mice I wouldn’t know how that would work. Both of these are quirky, unusual, colourful, delightful, and artistic. Neither suit my taste but hey, the world would be a very boring place if we all liked the same thing…  and the idea of cats in sunnies? (sunglasses) …What’s not to like?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 19, 2019

The Cutest, Most Determined Perseverance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I usually try not to post photographs of children but since almost every photo I took of this little girl does not show her face, (and the one that did, I edited), I decided to break my rule.

The other reason for posting this is because I took the photos back in 2017, so this child is no longer in nappies, will have grown a heap and would be rather hard to recognise from just these photos of her back.

I’m guessing her age in these photos to be between two and a half and three years old, and she demonstrates a serious determination, and a perseverance that I am sure will mean that she will grow up to be someone who chases her goals and dreams with a vengeance.

Without interruption, intervention or verbal encouragement that I heard from any adult or other child, she repeatedly attempted to put to the ball into the lowest hole “goal” on this adapted truck. This was part of the entertainment at the 2017 Food Truck festival, where there were quite a few entertainment possibilities, making this also a family friendly festival. I was very impressed with her tenacity, the fact that even though the first goes failed she kept trying. Without having the co-ordination to aim the ball and throw, her efforts were never going to pay off. I was torn between going to help and not interfering,  not seeing who the parents were and expecting that they would probably intervene any moment holding me back. Luckily her father stepped in to help eventually and she scored her ‘goal” with a big celebration afterwards. I was proud of her and her efforts, loving how she determined she was. You Go girl,  you are fabulous!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 18, 2019

A Continental Cuisine Tour…

It’s brilliant that in the space of a few hundred metres on the Lange Voorhout, visitors to the 2017 Food Truck festival can provide food varieties from all over the world. It’s a fast track cuisine tour where you can try something new or stick to a tried and tested favourite.  I have now found out that this has become a yearly event in the city of the Hague so I’m going to try and watch out for it this summer. Yum, this one yearly treat that it would be good not to miss.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below): These two volunteers at the First Aid tent were wonderfully friendly…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 17, 2019

Slow-Motion In Stills…

The 2017 Food Truck festival did not just cater to adults. The idea was that this would be a fun family outing and that there would be something for everyone. Several things for smaller children like a Bouncy Castle. One of the things or older kids and adults was a set of trampolines that had a series of sort of elastic “ropes”. The system can take four jumping participants at a time. One little girl was very skilled in doing backflips, so I took photographs of her from an angle where she can not be easily identified. Piecing together photos from several “flips” I manage to get a sort of “continuous” series that show the backflip in a sort of slow-motion in still photographs. this cool kid really had this done pat… wonderful!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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