Local Heart, Global Soul

January 31, 2014

A Very Palatial Art Exhibition…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another post detailing our travels and adventures during the summer of 2012.

Regular readers will know that as usual we are packing in as many new experiences as we can manage… new places, new sights, cultural and culinary experiences, what’s not to like?

For privacy reasons I never advertise on my blog when I’m away from home…

…and of course sorting the thousands of photographs I take and then doing research for various topics afterwards takes time so I have to confess I currently have at least two years worth of blog material on my hard drive.

I hope you settle into your most comfortable chair and join me for the journey ahead.

Although I try and make the annual sculpture exhibition in the Lange Voorhout every year, it  isn’t  actually the only reason I have bought our visiting friend “Velvetine” to  this address. She doesn’t know it yet, but there is a building at the corner of this “L” shaped street  that is my next surprise destination for her.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve just called this address a “building” but in fact it’s rather more than that: it’s an art gallery that’s housed in a former Palace, one that was once upon a time  the winter palace home to  the Queen Mother Emma of the Netherlands.

The exhibition we have come to see is one that’s on permanent display, and for good reason: this is Lange Voorhour 74,  home of  Maurits Cornelis Escher, also known as M.C. Escher collection, called “Escher in Het Paleis” (Escher in the Palace).

Now it’s time to take a detailed look at more of this work and find out more about the man, and Queen Mother Emma’s former winter Palace that the collection of his works is housed in.

I’ll start with a few of the details of the rooms themselves: naturally since this is now primarily a public art gallery most of the furniture has been removed, but in places they have projected old photographic images onto the walls to show what the room looked like in days gone by.

I previously wrote about wanting to visit this exhibition:  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/new-462/  and Escher also featured on my blog when he was one of the chosen artists who had works displayed as a detailed sandcastle  piece here:  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/new-304/.

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

escher outside inside 2l (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.escherinhetpaleis.nl/

February 28, 2010

It’s snowing snow photos! … the final segment for February.

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

More snow photo’s…  just  because they didn’t all fit in my last post.

I’ve been having fun whilst the snow falls and snapping photos left and right.

Dutch skaters are disappointed  that it wasn’t colder  or at least colder for longer, so that the canal skating could have continued.

The weather forcaster said the other day that there might still be possibilities of  more sub zero temps before the winter is out, but I’m secretly hoping that any weather predictions of that nature are twarted by balmy breezes from any direction other than the frozen North.

I’m a tomato type of person at heart and prefer the warm… or at least I prefer my snow from the comfort of looking out of the window, cosily bundled up with the heater on full and no appointments  to rush out to. Will you find me hopping around from one cold foot to another on the side of a canal whilst watching people skate? Well, I would for my kids… but I have my limits and I’m thankful that both kids are fairly wimpy like their Mama and Papa when it comes to playing in ice or snow. None of us last long and the first mention of a  nice warm house back home is seized upon with gusto.  Yeah! kids after my own heart …genetics are wonderful sometimes eh?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 27, 2010

Winter in the Netherlands, Feburary more or less snow filled!

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This Winter in the Netherlands has been one of the coldest for years.

Small canals have frozen and we have seen more snow than has been on offer for a good many years. I only got photos of the “light” stuff, since we were away during the hardest snowstorms.

Those harder snowfalls (18 cm in the Hague) bought public transport to a halt for a few days and make getting around a big hassle. This stuff  in recent weeks isn’t very thick but the danger is that there is often ice under it so it can be nasty for cars to negotiate.

Of course parts of the USA, Canada and other areas of Europe routinely get LOTS more snow, but it’s getting to be a scarce commodity here in the Netherlands, so for that reason alone I am making a record of that fact that this has been one of the coldest February’s for a long long time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird footprints on my balcony…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this field along-side the motorway, there was less snow cover and literally hundreds of birds on the ground…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here is the Marliveld, near the centre of Den Haag (The Hague)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 9, 2010

Traditional Dutch Winter Erwtensoup = the Best Pea Soup Ever!

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When the temperatures fall to freezing and comfort food is warm and welcoming, the Dutch turn to a traditional favourite: Pea Soup! In the Netherlands we call this ” Erwtensoup”  and we make it with celeriac.

If the winter is cold enough and the ice on the Dutch canals is solid enough to skate on then, you can bet your skating boots that many dutch adults and children will be out on the ice enjoying some skating close to home. Often there will be a basket that contains a thermos flask or two close by on the bank, one thermos with coffee and the other with soup… Erwtensoup of course!

In a few parks in the Hague they will make temporary ice-rinks where many people can come and skate and often there will be a little wagon there with someone selling piping hot soup to wrap your chilly hand around. ..  .. which soup? …Erwtensoup of course!

On the morning of the 1st day of January each year  it’s traditional to hold the “polar bear dip” where people run into the North Sea (  for fun, buy many do it to raise money for charity) The event is sponsored by a major Dutch food company… and amongst their products they make soups.

Three guesses: Cans of which soup are handed out to swimmers to take home after the event? Erwtensoup of course!

Celeriac looks a little but like a turnip with a knobbly root at the bottom, and has a taste all of it’s own… and believe me, celeriac gives this soup an extra dimension! it increases the flavour and makes it wonderful.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yes, I do have my own Dutch family recipe for Erwtensoup, but I tried a fellow Recipezaar member’s recipe ( she is also Dutch) and have to admit: Pets’R’us… your recipe is better than mine!

Here is her recipe for you to also enjoy, I have added some step-by-step photos to show you just how easy this is.
SERVES 4 -8

Write a Review! if you like this recipe as much as I do, please write Pet’s a review, you will find her page here:

http://www.recipezaar.com/Erwtensoep-Dutch-Pea-Soup-44497

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups dried split green peas
3 liters water
1 lb spareribs
1/2 lb bacon, one thick slice, cubed
2 leeks, washed and chopped, also use the green part
1 medium celeriac, diced (celery root or bulb) or 3 cups of chopped celery (but the flavor will be weaker)
1 smoked dutch sausage, left whole or cut up in slices or 3-4 thick frankfurters, left whole or cut up in slices
salt and pepper
bouillon cube (optional)
chopped celery or fresh parsley leaves

Directions

Wash the peas and soak them overnight in the amount of water given. Next day bring them to the boil together with the spareribs and the bacon; simmer on very low heat for approx 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the leeks and the celeriac; cook for another hour or until the soup becomes thick. Lift out the spareribs, remove the meat from the bones, and return the meat to the pan.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add the sausage, let it warm through and season the soup to taste and maybe add bouillion cube(s) , add the chopped celery leaves and parsley just before serving.

As you can see, I make mine both on the stove top and in the crockpot… both are good!

Pet’s Mama  must have been speaking to my Oma… both  correctly say that if this  soup is made right, then when cold you can cut it into slabs or slices.. and Oh…yes you can!

My Oma would have added that you can also stand your spoon straight up in it and that it ” fills every gap on a winter’s day”. So very true. I like mine with extra Rookworst ( Dutch smoked sausage), slice it thinly and mix it in for a very hearty meal in a bowl.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 4, 2010

“I ” bags” the bag!”… kid cuddle cosy bag for winter, that is…

Filed under: Craft — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our kids like to curl up  on the sofa in the morning and wake up slowly  in their pajamas in front of children’s TV,  whilst they eat breakfast until it is time for dressing, teeth brushing, school bag packing and out the door.

I will already be at work whilst all this activity is taking place so this is the routine that my husband likes too, can handle and orchestrate relatively smoothly in my absence.

It’s easy enough in the warmer months but when it’s cooler or downright cold, the gas heater takes a little while to get the chill of the room and the kids will often be fighting for a favoured super-soft blanket (of which we only have the one) and like as not the one who ” bags” it first will not always be willing to share.

Time for a solution… and no, giving away one of the kids is not the solution… but on some days when they are at their most squabblesome (like most  parents I suspect) I might consider it  … for a nano second.

What is needed is something that they can climb into, very soft and very warm for that snuggle time when they first get up and just before they go to bed.

Something that they will be totally comfortable in, roomy and soft… a cuddle cosy bag,

I also can’t be bothered to try and find a pattern or follow one,  because life is just too busy and tiring at the moment so decide to just improvise and see if I can make a quick, easy, lazy version.

I have detailed step-by-step photos using some paper cut-outs to represent the pattern because my fabric was dark and the stitch lines don’t show up well enough.

First I took a square piece of fabric that measured a decent length longer then  the kids feet at the bottom when the top of the fabric was level with their shoulders, and double the width of them ( with a baggy look, very roughly measured)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then I folded the fabric  in half and cut it vertically down the middle (so each of the two places are wider than the kid and slightly longer.. in this pattern ” baggy” is good !)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now cut two squares off the top, these will be the sleeves.  NOTE:   Small glitch solved: Next time I make one of these I will make them more square rather than rectangular, because this gives a bigger opening into the sleeve and when I made the rectangular ones for my four year old the sleeves turned out about two times longer than his arms! That was less problem with my eight year old  because she has long arms anyway.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now cut a little semi-circle into the top of both of the long rectangle ” body” pieces. DO use one of your kids tee-shirts to measure roughly  the size it will probably be smaller than you think !  You can adjust these easily enough later if you need to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now do a zig-zag around all the edges you have so far. Beware this soft fabric is easy to sew but it will leave a trail of fabric fluff as you handle it, so wear some old clothes when you sew this up (my clothes took several washes to get all the fibers off.)

Now…  you have all your pieces and they have been edged so that they won’t fray.  Take the two ” body” pieces and join the two shoulder lines together, stopping at the neck.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Where I have drawn the dotted lines on the photo above, turn the fabric over on the line and sew a small tunnel for some elastic later. Do this on both ends, making sure that you tuck the fabric over so that the extra fabric is on the ” wrong” side of the fabric.

Now  take  the sleeves and also sew a  “tunnel”  in the ends (the shorter ends if you have a kid with longer arms as their “sleeve” pieces will be more rectangular than square)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now place the shoulder pieces next to the body pieces, pin on the long side and sew ONLY along the line where the body and sleeve meet ( we will sew the rest closed later)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now, with all the seams on the inside, fold the whole ensemble over at the shoulder points and it should look like this:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now ( turn inside out so that the ” right sides are together)  pin and sew: starting at the a wrist of one of the sleeves, sew towards the arm pit, then tun and sew down to the hem at the bottom. Repeat  for the other side.

Now all that needs to be done is to insert some elastic into the sleeves and into the hem and adjust the neckline ( only if needed) once you have tried it out on the child. Keep the elastic loose at the bottom because the child needs to be able to slip this over their head to get into it, and then can draw the elastic tighter once they are in it to keep their feet warm.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My kids love to cuddle up with these over their pyjamas…. and they are really warm !

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