Tippin' the Scales

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Birth Of A Nation…

Tachtigjarigeoorlog-1579On Saturday we celebrated again part of our 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This time it was held in Maastricht with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their guests King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri and his wife Grand Duchess Marie Teresa of Luxembourg and the President of Germany, Mr Gauck and his partner.

The Netherlands were once one country with Belgium and Luxembourg, and even from that time Germany was our biggest export country.

Our nation as such started long before 1813…

The Union of Utrecht (Unie van Utrecht) was a treaty signed on 23 January 1579 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, unifying the northern provinces of the Netherlands, until then under the control of Habsburg Spain.

The Union of Utrecht is regarded as the foundation of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, which was not recognized by the Spanish Empire until the Twelve Years’ Truce in 1609.

The treaty was signed on 23 January by Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht (but not all of Utrecht) and the province (but not the city) of Groningen. The treaty was a reaction of the Protestant provinces to the 1579 Union of Arras (in Dutch: Unie van Atrecht), in which the southern provinces declared their support for Roman Catholic Spain.

During the following months of 1579, other states signed the treaty as well, such as Ghent, cities from Friesland, as well as three of the quarters of Guelders. In the summer of 1579, Amersfoort from the province of Utrecht also joined, together with Ypres, Antwerp, Breda and Brussels. In February 1580, Lier, Bruges and the surrounding area also signed the Union. The city of Groningen shifted in favor under influence of the stadtholder for Friesland, George van Rennenberg, and also signed the treaty. Later on, Zutphen also signed so Guelders (of which Zutphen is one of the quarters) supported the Union completely. This happened in April 1580, as did the signing of Overijssel and Drenthe.

So in all the County of Holland, Zeeland, Drenthe, Flanders, but also the Lordship of Utrecht, Groningen, Friesland, Overijssel, Duchy of Brabant and the cities of Tournai and Valenciennes signed the treaty which started our nation.

Flanders was almost entirely conquered by the Spanish troops, as was half of Brabant. The United Provinces still recognized Spanish rule after the Union of Utrecht. However, the Union contributed to the deterioration in the relationship between the provinces and their lord, and in 1581 the United Provinces declared their independence of the king in the Act of Abjuration.

The Twelve Years’ Truce of 1609 essentially marked the end of the Dutch struggle for independence and a pause in one of history’s longest running conflicts, the Eighty Years’ War. As Pieter Geyl puts it, the truce marked “an astonishing victory for the Dutch.” They gave up no land and did not agree to halt their attacks on Spanish colonies and the Spanish trade empire. In return the Spanish granted the United Provinces de facto independence by describing them as “Free lands, provinces and states against who they make no claim” for the duration of the truce.

And here’s the link to our King, he’s a decendant from William I, Prince of Orange (24 April 1533 – 10 July 1584), also widely known as William the Silent, or more commonly known as William of Orange he was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years’ War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands.

Click on the map for a larger format.

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TMI – Happy Birthday !

Capricorn21. Do you enjoy celebrating your birthday (forgetting about the getting older part)?
It’s a yearly occurance, its part of life. When you have done something special for humanity it can happen they even celebrate it after you’ve been dead for some time.
2. What’s your sign and is it accurate?
I’m a Capricorn, I like… reliability, professionalism, discussions, a solid base, usefulness and goals.
But I hate… wild plans, fantasies, jobs that lead nowhere, infamy, being mocked.
3. What’s your Chinese zodiac sign and is it accurate?
I’m a goat or a… capricorn / ibex, so I think that’s accurate too.
4. Do you celebrate your pet’s Birthday?
Don’t have a pet, but I do send cards to people with pets on Animal Day (October 4)
birthday-cake5. What was your best birthday?
I don’t know
6. What was your worst birthday?
I do know, but I don’t want to talk about that one.
7. What has been your best age so far?
The present one.
8. Birthday cake? Candles?
Cake yes, candles no! They wouldn’t fit on the cake anymore.

Is birthday sex expected, a present or a rarity?
It’s a rarity, never had that in all my years on this planet.
Do you get spanked?
One gets only spanked when one is naughty…

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The Fat One…

61d310702a9727274565332a21b4fa36You know we Dutch are a bit strange. With the “Fat One” I mean the book: Van Dale’s Great Dictionary of the Dutch Language. Also know as, in the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium, as “De Dikke van Dale”. (Fat van Dale)

It was first published in 1874 and celebrates this weekend its 150 year anniversary.

The dictionary is usually updated every 7–8 years, and the 14th edition was published in 2005, with 4500 pages. Today there are compilations, pocket editions, electronic editions on CD-ROM and an online edition on the Van Dale website. The latter includes a free version for more common words and a subscription-based* professional version which gives access to the full 90,000 word dictionary, which makes *that one the largest dictionary in the world. The written version is 36 volumes thick.

Like English and German, Dutch is a Germanic language. It is spoken by 23 million people and is one of the 23 official languages of the European Union.

Within Europe, Dutch is an official language in the Netherlands and Belgium. In South America it is an official language in Surinam, as well as on the Caribbean Islands of Aruba, Curaçao and St Martin.

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Summer Time #10 – Zucchini

summertime Zucchini Boats

Makes 4 servings

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 400 gr or 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 slice white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 30 gr or ¼ cup bacon bits
  • 8 gr or 1 tablespoon minced black olives
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 25 gr or 3 tablespoons diced green chile peppers
  • 40 gr or ¼ cup minced onion
  • 45 gr or ¼ cup chopped tomato
  • 50 gr or 6 tablespoons shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 gr or 1 pinch dried basil
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

courgette-largeTO MAKE:

  1. Prepare the grill for indirect heat.
  2. Place the zucchini in a pot with enough water to cover.
  3. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Drain, cool, and cut in half lengthwise.
  5. Scoop out the pulp to about ¼ inch from the skin.
  6. Chop pulp.
  7. In a bowl, mix the zucchini pulp, bread pieces, bacon bits, olives, jalapeno, green chile peppers, onion, tomato, and Cheddar cheese.
  8. Season with basil, seasoned salt, and freshly ground pepper.
  9. Stuff the zucchini halves with the pulp mixture
  10. Seal each stuffed half in aluminum foil.
  11. Place foil packets on the prepared grill over indirect heat.
  12. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  13. Serve.

Note 1: With their high water content, zucchini are more flavorful and less mushy if the boiling step is eliminated. Just start with raw zucchini then slice, scoop, chop, fill and grill.
Note 2: Make small foil boats and cook the zucchini with the top exposed. This will make them crunchy and tasty on the top.
Note 3: You can also use a leftover (cooked) burger patty instead of bacon.


Amount Per Serving Main recipe.
Calories: 120
Total Fat: 6.3g
Cholesterol: 18mg
Sodium: 502mg
Total Carbohydrates: 9g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Protein: 8.2g

Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve and Lap-band [WLS] persons can eat only a serving max !

PDF of this recipe: 20140828-ST10-Zucchini-Boats


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