The reference in the title is from the movie A ChristmasStory where the main character finally gets a decoder ring and can finally decode this week’s secret message – and it turns out to be as boring as “Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine.” That’s a childhood shattered…
For the past few months The Hague and other Dutch cities have been inundated with lots and lots of advertisements for an oat drink called Oatly It is supposed to be a replacement for milk. I haven’t tried it yet.
But I did get a cool picture last month of a building-high advertisement for their product. One thing the company is known for is their catchy advertisements. For instance there’s a similarly large one elsewhere in The Netherlands with the line “Only the best oat drink ads get to hang out on this corner”. It feels like most of the advertisements are unique, as there are many different ones to spot throughout the city.
Another smart thing they did? Advertisement everywhere in the city for a few weeks and then go on discount at the local supermarkt to get everyone to try it. It’ll be interesting to see if the product sticks around.
Spotted at the local Albert Heijn a few weeks back:
Neither Marco nor I wanted to try the flavor, as it does sound a bit weird. But I always enjoy taking photos of the weird drink flavors companies up with (or weird potato chip flavors, in the case of Lay’s).
Last week was Marco’s birthday. He decided to celebrate it at Little V, a Vietnamese restaurant in The Hague. I have blogged about them once or twice… or more.
This time I decided to try something new: sea bass. It came with a delicious ginger fish sauce on the side.
I’ve had fish before, but only since I moved to the Netherlands (as I don’t think fish sticks count!). It’s been a slow process: first salmon, then pangasius, then tilapia and tuna fish. I’ve also had a small bit of eel once, but that was more of a reluctant choice. It wasn’t bad, but it’s not something I could eat often. Maybe that will change some day.
On the other hand, I was pretty happy to see that I had a personal discount this week at the local grocery store (Albert Heijn) for pangasius filet. It definitely helps to bring a bit more variety into dinner.
But a Little V blog post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of some of the drinks we had:
On the left is my ‘Flavor of the moment’ drink. For the life of me I can’t remember what the flavor was, but it was good. On the right is Roger’s ‘Buddha smile’. That drink is made of rum, lemon grass, ginger and lemon leaf. He definitely liked it.
Yesterday we celebrated Marco’s birthday at Little V, a Vietnamese restaurant. This was our first time going to Little V for lunch and it did not disappoint. I ordered an ‘eenpansgerecht’ or ‘let’s throw everything into one dish for ya’, with beef and chicken.
My drink was an awesome looking (and tasting) lemonade made of rose water.
And as a blog post bonus… a week ago I made lemon cookies! That is of note because I don’t really do the baking in the house. But this time I chose the recipe, did most of the work, and Marco was my assistant! (For the first time ever.)
The recipe was really good and I followed it exactly. Next time I would probably use less sugar, but I don’t have the sweet tooth I used to have so there is that. They were awesomely chewy (honest to goodness chewy!) and the lemon favor shined through perfectly.
A few weeks ago Marco and I went to Kelly’s expat store for eggnog. This is a traditional drink which is served in Canada and the United States during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It’s a milk drink with egg mixed in. You also have some types with alcohol mixed in as well.
We actually picked up this carton for one of my friends, my “taalcoach” (language coach) from SamenSpraak. I’m actually not a fan of eggnog but maybe he will be!
Friday night was the annual summer party at work. Like last year, it was held at a beach restaurant in Scheveningen (about 20 minutes by tram from the city center). Coincidentally summer arrived this week with the pastures consistently higher. Some days were around 33-34C (90F+). Perfect beach weather to sit in the sun for a few hours and work on your tan…
A few days ago I was at the Albert Heijn looking at the rather small export section that they have (a few American or American-ish things, like yellow mustard and Skippy peanut butter, etc). What always amuses me at Dutch stores is their tendency to use American-sounding brand names or packaging with American flags to label the product as AMERICAN PRODUCT BUY ME NOW.
This time I noticed the Stars and Stripes root beer, which does at least seem to be an American item, though I think they went with this brand versus the more popular and well-known root beer brands like A&W because the name was American sounding.
I’m actually not a big fan of root beer (maybe one can every 3 or 4 years?). Which is a shame, because a root beer float (root beer soda + vanilla ice cream) sounds delicious.
At work a coworker offered me mint tea. With fresh leaves! It is the first time I have ever had it. It seems to be really popular in this country – not something I had seen before in America though I probably didn’t go to the right places.
The wedding stuff is going along well for Marco and I, although the stress has started to hit with trying to make the invitations out and get them sent to the printer. But it’s almost done…