Earlier this week I was at Albert Heijn and idly looking at the focaccia breads on sale. My eye was immediately drawn to a focaccia that looked almost burnt, next to a pale one that looked okay.
I suspect I’d probably buy the lighter version if I really wanted it, but I can’t say that the darker version didn’t look tasty as well. Just… slightly burnt. (You can also see some dark exemplars in the back, so it seems like there was just a difference in the batches.)
Today is kind of a weird day, probably a day when I should stay away from checking the news. A few days ago we were at 2,700 infections, then yesterday 3,600, and now today 4,600. Last week’s winter weather could be a culprit, since a lot of testing areas were closed. There were also closures this past Monday when rain came while temperatures were still around freezing. Still, I think it is a sign I should read less news, to avoid feeling frustrated.
For a crazy-but-very-interesting story, check out: People are rescuing thousands of ‘cold-stunned’ sea turtles in Texas from theguardian.com. The cold-blooded sea turtles became paralyzed due to the temperature of the water. At this point over 3,500 sea turtles have been brought in. They will be released once the water warms up, but that will take some time as another cold front is expected in the coming days.
Today is the first day of the recently announced curfew in the Netherlands. The curfew is from 21:00 to 04:30 every day until at least 9 February. If you are outside without a valid reason and official form then you face a €95 fine. You can download the official form at rijksoverheid.nl, with the form currently available in Dutch, Frisian and English. See also: What you need to know about curfew in the Netherlands from nltimes.nl.
This of course means that grocery stores and late-night convenience stores need to closer earlier:
Here is another breakfast item Marco bought at the local supermarket, Albert Heijn:
We decided to be funny and bake some bacon as well. That way they would have a scarf to keep their necks warm. What do you think? This bread was not that much different from the bread shaped like a Christmas tree we had earlier in the week. (Which, if I must admit, was a bit tastier. These weren’t bad, though.)
And yay, I have a day off tomorrow! I am quite looking forward to sleeping in. And later in the day Marco and I will be going to Roger’s for New Year’s Eve. It is hard to believe I haven’t been to his place since March (!).
On the second day of Christmas (December 26), Marco and I had a Christmas tree for breakfast:
A Christmas tree made of bread, that is! Marco found it at Albert Heijn, one of the local grocery stores. We ate it with the usual hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and speculoos paste.
In other news: you can legally turn in fireworks today and tomorrow in The Hague (omroepwest.nl, article in Dutch). Today 207 kilos (457 pounds) was turned in. You can turn in up to 25 kilos of fireworks, even fireworks that are usually in the ‘illegal category’, without being fined.
The reason the city is organizing this is because it is illegal to possess fireworks outside of the few days around the New Year’s Eve holiday (those are also the only days you can legally possess fireworks). This year The Hague said that setting off fireworks would be illegal to keep hospital visits low.
You don’t legally have a reason to have them in your house and you can’t legally set them off, so unless you want to illegally store them for a year, turning them in now is your best option.
For the first time in my life (at least, that I can remember) it was useful to pay attention to the safety notice sent out by the local grocery store, Albert Heijn. In this case the notice was about the sesame bagels they sell. I first heard about the issue on Tuesday when they sent customers an email about it.
I’ll admit I had no idea what “gewasbeschermingsmiddelen” was, but Marco explained it was basically pesticides – during a routine safety check they noticed that the amount of pesticides left over on the sesame seeds was too high. After the email I didn’t think too much about it for two reason. First, because the original dates listed didn’t match the date on our package and second because we already ate two of the four bagels over a week ago and didn’t get sick. (These are bagels which you finish baking at home with expiration dates 6-8 weeks in the future. They are also packaged in two groups of two, which is always handy when there’s only two of you.)
So on the one hand I’m thinking “Okay, different batch, and we didn’t get sick from what we already ate… let’s keep it.” and on the other hand I’m thinking “Hmm. I’ve seen this happen before. Let’s keep the remaining bagels, but not eat them right away. Just in case they change their mind.” Which they did on the following day, as you might be able to read in my screenshot. Now it says that they are removing all sesame bagels from the store shelves as a precautionary measure. So into the trash our poor remaining bagels go. Thud. We never even got the chance to invite you over for breakfast…
Helaas. Or as Dutch kids like to say because it rhymes: Helaas, pindakaas. Which translates to “Unfortunately. Peanut butter.” Which isn’t as cool as it is in Dutch, I know.
The name of the work is As Slow As Possible (ORGAN/ASLSP) and it started playing in 2001. According to the Wikipedia article, there have been 14 chord changes to date, with the previous chord lasting 6 years and 11 months. Chords are changed by adding or removing organ pipes.
The performance is scheduled to end on September 5, 2640… It’s hard to imagine that.
Marco spotted some kruidnoten (Wikipedia) by the local Albert Heijn today. If you’re keeping track, today is 31 August. Traditionally they appear in the grocery stories by 1 September, although we spotted them on 23 August back in 2018. So we seem to be on track this year.
Marco was sweet and bought some gevulde speculaas(Albert Heijn recipe) for us. It is speculaas cookies filled with almond paste. Yum yum yum.
Of course you can’t blame anyone for wanting to skip to Christmas (and New Year’s, and 2021…) in these crazy times. Give me a shout when you put up your Christmas tree. Good riddance to 2020, I say!
Today I noticed a miniature shopping cart by the local Albert Heijn. It reminded me of the toy-sized groceries Albert Heijn was giving out with a valid purchase some years back. They were called keukenmini’s or kitchen miniatures.
Not much else here to say today, beyond this: have a lovely weekend and stay safe! And if you’re in the Netherlands, avoid those weekend raindrops.