Holidays

FOAM Easter brunch (Or: A mix of savory and sweet)

This year’s Easter brunch by FOAM was delicious, not that we expect anything different by now. Both photos were taken by Marco, who has a better eye for food photos it seems.

Let’s see. Some of the savory items include: a scone with salted butter and chia jam, an avocado sandwich, a mini spinach quiche and a scrambled tofu sandwich. (Note: that seems to be the only way I like tofu. So tiny it tastes and looks like scrambled eggs. Although oddly I also only eat eggs every 2-3 years, so who knows.)

Some of the sweet items included a coffee hazelnut milkshake, a huge chocolate chip cookie, banana bread, and a fresh fruit salad. My favorite was the chocolate chip cookie (of course) but the banana bread was a close second.

See also the 2020 edition for FOAM’s Easter brunch. That was one of the first FOAM meals we had in corona – pre-FOAM@home on Fridays. I can’t believe it’s been a year already!

Categories: Food, Holidays | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Happy Easter (Or: A drawing from Marco)

Happy Easter everyone!

In the Netherlands Easter Monday is also an official holiday. Unfortunately it is back to work for us tomorrow…

On that note, check out this Easter bunny that Marco drew:

This was for an Easter card that we sent to Marco’s dad. It also included a rhyming poem (not pictured). Not bad considering he wrote the poem and drew the rabbit during a (very) short 7 minute tram ride!

Categories: Holidays | Tags: | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day box from FOAM (Or: Two roses)

Marco ordered the Valentine’s Day box from FOAM for the two of us. How cute!

The two extra roses were a nice touch. The box contained fruit salad, an avocado and smoked almond sandwich and a beetroot wrap with black pepper cream cheese, tempeh bacon and cress. On the sweet side we had French toast, banana bread and a chocolate/coffee cupcake. Oh, and juice made of beet/apple/ginger/blueberry. Yum yum. The only thing that I personally didn’t like as much was the black pepper cream cheese, perhaps because I didn’t know the cream cheese had black pepper in it to begin with. It was an interesting flavor either way! The unexpected star of the dish was definitely the fresh toast.

Marco likes to take the artistic photos. I benefit from getting to post them on my blog!

After half a day of rain, the snow and ice has begun to melt. Tomorrow we’re looking at highs of 10C/50F and the weekend might (if we are lucky) get up to 16C/60F. Oh course I read my parents back in the US are facing another snowstorm today… brrr.

Categories: Food, Holidays | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Just another Thursday (Or: Curfews and Easter eggs)

It looks like more Dutch parties are in favor of the curfew, as long as it starts a bit later. Last weekend the rumors were that it would last from 20:00-04:00, during the press conference on Wednesday we heard possibly 20:30-04:30 and now there is talk of it not starting until 21:00. This slight compromise seems to be the only way for the government to get a majority of parties to vote for the plan, although prime minister Mark Rutte mentioned that if it starts any later than 21:00 it would not have much effect.

MPs set to vote to bring in a curfew from 9pm after a full day’s debate from dutchnews.nl

The Dutch government revised the vaccination schedule slightly. See also this article at dutchnews.nl: When is it your turn to get vaccinated? The schedule so far (or the same list in Dutch from rijksoverheid.nl)

Did you know mid-January means Easter eggs are already arriving in stores? Het is januari, dus… zijn de eerste paaseitjes gespot in Den Haag from indebuurt.nl. The essential stores that are allowed to be open during this lockdown, at any rate. On the linked page the big picture on the bottom is of the Easter egg selection at Jamin, a Dutch candy store. The article says that some of the more unique flavors sold this year are wasabi, apple strudel and carrot cake. I’m also a big fan of the color coordination, though it makes me wonder what flavor is missing in the lower right in the article’s photo.

Speaking of Easter eggs, here is the selection at an Albert Heijn grocery store (somewhere in the Netherlands):

The tweet reads: “Every Easter I buy a large bag of Easter eggs and put them in a big vase on the table. Every January Albert Heijn reminds me that I still haven’t eaten all of them yet.”

Easter in January…

Categories: Holidays, News | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Anyone up for some satay? (Or: Tasty Christmas gifts)

Roger gave Marco a recipe book for Christmas: Indostok (bol.com, in Dutch). The title combines two words, “indo” and “stok” (stok=stick). The book includes many, many different satay recipes from Vanja van der Leeden.

Another skillfully posed photo by Marco

Satay (or saté in Dutch) was one of the few Dutch meals we made in Chicago for relatives. We brought along spices to make the accompanying peanut sauce (pindasaus) and then cooked and skewered some chicken. We also brought along a small jar of acar (atjar in Dutch – I had to look up how to say it in English, even), which is a vegetable pickle dish.

For me, the sourer the atjar is, the better. Consider this: one of my favorite random side dishes is cucumber with white wine vinegar, a bit of lemon juice and hot sauce. My mouth is puckering just thinking about it…

Categories: Food, Holidays | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Or: Enjoying the Christmas gifts)

Marco received an awesome book for Christmas this year—The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian—from Roger.

Marco being Marco, he had to get the perfect photo. And what better way to do that than to use the reindeer and teddy bear he bought from Xenos as the “readers”?

If you look closely you’ll see some chocolate in the lower right. That is dark chocolate marzipan from Albert Heijn, a joke of sorts between Marco, Roger and I. A few years ago Roger “stole” some dark chocolate marzipan we had in our Christmas candy dish, so Marco bought some and wrapped it up as a Christmas gift that year for Roger so he wouldn’t have to “steal” ours. But Roger also bought some and wrapped it up as a gift for Marco, so there was lots of marzipan going around.

This year we each gifted one to another (three packs in total). The tradition lives on…

Categories: Friends&Family, Holidays | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Is it a dance party? (Or: Is it a demonstration?)

Keep in mind the last mayor of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, was forced to resign after the the damning report of the Scheveningen “fire rain” bonfires on New Year’s Eve 2018-19 and after corruption allegations into two city alderman (see this dutchnews.nl article in English).

This New Year’s Eve there was a demonstration in Duindorp. Duindorp and Scheveningen are right next to each other, each competing against the other to make the highest bonfire. That is until the 2018-19 accident when bonfires were banned. They were also banned on New Year’s 2019-20 because the safety permits couldn’t be obtained. Fast forward to this year when they were banned due to the corona measures.

On New Year’s Eve this year there was a demonstration in Duindorp, filled with hundreds of people dancing and singing in the afternoon:

Reports on Twitter suggested that this was not a demonstration at all but a party. The city investigated this claim (Gemeente Den Haag onderzoekt demonstratie met dansend publiek Duindorp – from nos.nl in Dutch), but the mayor denied this and said it was a demonstration.

Yesterday a report dropped on OmroepWest (a local Dutch news station) that the current mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, not only knew that it was not a true demonstration but also that the city council paid €10,000 for festival lighting, with money “allocated for an ‘alternative programme’ to the regular New Year celebration”. Here is an article in English from DutchNews.nl:

Interesting. Though if it were true, it could be seen as attempt by the mayor and the city to prevent worse rioting and to distract the masses, as it were. Which in itself isn’t a bad thing, if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic at the moment.

Categories: Holidays | Tags: | Leave a comment

Good start to the New Year (Or: Homemade oliebollen)

Happy New Year! Yesterday morning Marco and I made oliebollen (Wikipedia) to bring Roger’s. Plain oliebollen for me and oliebollen with raisins for Marco and Roger. Yummy!

Thanks to the fireworks ban in the Netherlands, New Year’s Eve was a bit quieter than normal, although there were still a a lot of fireworks right before midnight and for a half hour or so afterwards. Most likely people had an old stash lying around that they hadn’t used last year – or they bought fireworks illegally.

There were still some issues, of course. In nearby Rijswijk, someone set a camper on fire. The only problem? There were gas tanks inside. Several people catch fire after blowing up a caravan from nltimes.nl. (On the one hand, warning: you will see people on fire. On the other hand, no one turned up in the hospital and the victims were long gone by the time the police arrived, so it seems their injuries were minor. If you can call being on fire minor.)

Firework ban widely ignored, but police report fewer incidents during New Year festivities from dutchnews.nl.

However, the Dutch Health ministry did report two thirds less dust or particles in the air last night compared with last year so most people obeyed the ban on fireworks. See also this article from nos.nl in Dutch. Local hospitals were also thankful that the evening was relatively calm: Ziekenhuizen dankbaar voor rustige jaarwisseling: ‘Hele andere nacht’ (from omroepwest.nl in Dutch).

Categories: Food, Friends&Family, Holidays | Tags: , | Leave a comment

But where did the fireworks go? (Or: Happy New Year!)

As mentioned earlier, fireworks are banned this year to try and keep the number of hospital visits down. And this is not without good reason: Dozens of hospitals struggling to provide urgent care (from nltimes.nl). Part of the problem is that more and more health workers are out sick during this wave.

Police and firefighters are prepared for “all scenarios” on New Year’s Eve, also from nltimes.nl. Unfortunately this means cancelling all scheduled leave for them to increase the the number of forces out on the streets. For the most part the number one goal is to protect medical workers, with a secondary goal being to enforce the corona measures.

But – The Hague is currently breaking records for the most fireworks turned in! Since you can’t purchase fireworks this year, and you aren’t allowed to legally store it anywhere, a lot of Dutch cities came up with the idea of a few days where citizens could safely turn in their fireworks – even the highly illegal kind – without fear of punishment. At the end of the second day, 600 kilo (1,322 pounds) had been turned in. Ruim 600 kilo vuurwerk ingeleverd bij inzamelactie in Den Haag (nos.nl, article in Dutch).

Above: fireworks from last year.

Random news: I read on indebuurt.nl that a new donut shop was closing before I even got a chance to try it: Deze zaken in Den Haag gaan niet meer open in het nieuwe jaar (article in Dutch). It’s on page 8 of the article. The name was Daddy Donuts Churros Cartel. Donuts and churros – what more could you ask for, really?

Finally, if you have no idea what to do today you can check out Goodbye 2020, a free online streaming event that will last from tomorrow afternoon through the night, with about 40 Dutch artists. Free online festival to entertain youth on New Year’s Eve, from nltimes.nl. The Dutch government donated 1 million euros to the cause with the hopes of keeping youth off the streets tomorrow night, and instead at home watching the various streams. We’ll see if it works. (However, I’m not entirely sure if you can access the streams from outside the Netherlands.)

Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: | Leave a comment

Christmas lights at the Grote Markt (Or: 2020 edition)

Take a look at the Christmas lights at the Grote Markt (denhaag.com in English). Grote Markt is usually a popular bar/club hangout with an active nightlife. Things are of course pretty quiet these days, although the restaurants are still open for takeout or delivery.

The church tower in the background is the Grote Kerk (Wikipedia).

I also took a different shot to try and avoid the trucks on the right side. The bonus of the second shot was that it showed off the Haagse Harry statue:

In other news – take a peek in the mayor of The Hague’s office, courtesy of indebuurt.nl, a news website. The article is in Dutch. Or take a look at the Coronawacht, a satirical version of the Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (Wikipedia). Note: the artist admitted that he wasn’t the most skilled, and it was a very quick job, so keep that in mind. The little details are good though – like Irma Sluis making the sign for “hamsteren” in the middle behind the Dutch prime minister, or the doctors rushing past, or the markers on the ground denoting 1 and a half meters distance, or the then minister of Medical Care collapsing during a corona debate back in March (bbc.com) and resigning a day later.

Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.