Tippin' the Scales


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From The Valleys To The Cities…

After the scattering of my Mom’s ashes we drove towards Aubel in French Belgium. Here we had a late lunch and we phoned the hotel we would come in later then first expected. In Kerkrade we stayed in Rolduc Abbey. Part of the abbey is a hotel and conference center, but also still a boarding school and seminary. It’s the largest abbey of its kind in the Benelux. After a short rest, I wrote the previous post on my I-pod, we went down for dinner. No-one had to drive a car so we all had a few glasses of wine with our meal. By 10.30 we were back in our rooms and ready to go to bed, or I was.

aachenerstrasseThe next morning we had breakfast at nine and by 9.30 we were on our way again. My younger sister commented on this building (photo from StreetView), because it’s a bit odd, vehicles drive on the round-about and have to go under the ‘decoration’ of the support beams. The center of the round-about is no-mans land, the building and its support is in Germany, the rest of the road is in the Netherlands. Even here the lampposts will tell you in which country you are. Down Aachener Strasse you’ll see Dutch ones on the right and German ones on the left.

water-carafWe were on our way towards Aachen, one of those places my parents loved so much to go shopping when they were in the Southern part of the country. Here you’ll still find shops where time stood still, window displays included. Dad and I had coffee at Nobis on Münster Platz, that’s just behind the Dom and former chapel of the ‘Father of Europe’, Charlemain. Meanwhile my sisters parked their cars and went shopping. My Dad got worried when we hadn’t heard from them after 20 minutes. When I said they probably were emptying the Peter Hahn outlet near the Elisenbrunnen he went to look for them. I just stayed enjoying the sun. An hour later all three came back with shopping bags. I didn’t need clothing, the ones I’ve got fit still better. :wink:

But I knew around the corner of a side street is a WMF-store, so I made my purchase there, a water caraf that fits in my fridge door. Next stop before we would return to Amsterdam was ‘Gut Entenpfuhl’ a restaurant in the middle of the Aachener Forest. Over the years our parents brought us here one by one, this was the first time we came here as a family. Mom looking over our shoulders from a sunny and cloudless sky. My sisters stuck with salads for lunch, Dad and I asked for a senior portion of our meal, I just wonder how big a normal portion would be, because this smaller one was humongous! On our way back we would stop for cheap wine, which we forgot to do, and to buy ‘Limbourgh’s Gold’ or white asparagus, which sis and I did, we only have to peel them for a great meal. Just before six we were back in town, our own home, our own bed. We all had two great days, even when the circumstances were not jolly. But… that’s life!


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Down Memory Lane…

imageWe’re bringing Mom home today. After she passed away on November 1, and the pain and sorrow of her loss has ebbed away a bit, it’s time to bring her home. With home we mean the southern part of Dutch Limbourgh, there’s also a Belgian and German Limbourgh.

We left Amsterdam around 9.30 this morning, my younger sister picked me up and Big Sis took in Dad. Just past Eindhoven we met each other for coffee and talked about where we would scatter her remains. We all had places in mind but the one my Dad choose would be the final resting place.

Further south we went, meanwhile remembering things that had happened on those many trips south towards Heerlen, her place of birth in 1920. About the way things had changed, the walking trips Gramps loved to make or sitting under the big oak tree looking over the valley or walking down the hill, crossing a countryroad towards Welten and its watermill. The tree is still there but now has a bench and wastepaper basket, the hill and valley is still there but the countryroad has changed in a highway and Welten can only be reached from a different direction. Not all change is good.

Then we toured the countryside towards Slenaken and Teuven which is just across the border of Belgium. Going up and down through the hills on very curvy roads, the only way to know if you’re in the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany is… the lampposts. My Dad was looking for that special spot they both loved so much, her final resting place, looking out over the valleys…

That’s where we scattered her ashes, back in her beloved Limbourgh, we only don’t know if she’s on Belgian or Dutch soil. (no lampposts in the middle of the woods).

We’re staying the night in an abbey on the border of the Netherlands and Germany, and tomorrow we go down furter on Memory Lane.

 

 


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Good Mood Food #08 – Beets

GMFoodBeet Pierogies

Makes 24 pierogies or 6 servings

Prep: 60 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 200 gr or 1½ cups peeled, chopped beets
  • 40 gr or ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 9 gr or 2 teaspoons margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 120 ml or ½ cup water
  • 250 gr or 2 cups all-purpose flour

TO MAKE:

  1. Place the beets and onion into a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add about 120 ml or ½ cup of water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer until the beets are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the water from the vegetables, and place into the work bowl of a food processor.
  5. Add the margarine, start the machine, and pulse several times to finely chop the beets.
  6. Whisk together the egg and water until thoroughly mixed, then mix in the flour.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes.
  8. Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a ball.
  9. Roll out a ball until it’s 4 mm or ⅛ inch thick or less.
  10. Using a cup or cookie cutter, cut out dough circles.
  11. Repeat with remaining dough.
  12. To fill, place a dough circle into the palm of your hand, and stretch the dough out slightly.
  13. Place about 1 tablespoon of the beet filling in the center of the dough, and fold the dough over the filling.
  14. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal completely, and use your index finger to make small crimped indentations all around the sealed edges.
  15. Dust the completed pierogi with flour.
  16. Fill a large pot with water, and bring to a boil.
  17. Drop the pierogies into the water, 1 or 2 at a time, and stir to prevent them from sticking.
  18. Reduce heat to a gentle boil, and cook until the pierogies float to the top, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  19. Drain and serve.

bieten-largeNote 1: Roll out the dough thin enough, to thick and they become a little chewy. Otherwise run it through a pasta roller to get them thinner.

Note 2: Use other chopped and cooked vegetables too, or mix them with cheeses or mushrooms.

Note 3: To freeze, place pierogies onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet that has been dusted with flour; pierogies shouldn’t touch their neighbors or they will stick together, and then they are impossible to separate. Once all the pierogies are made, slide the sheet into the freezer. Once frozen, the pierogies can all be bagged together without worry of them sticking together.

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving Main recipe.

Calories: 192
Total Fat: 2.6g
Cholesterol: 35mg
Sodium: 55mg
Total Carbohydrates: 35.8g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2g
Protein: 6g

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

PDF of this recipe: 20150409-GMF-Beet-Pierogies


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The Day After…

11150293_368122626718574_1053545641733442304_nHaving heard Monique Krüs sing (Lucia di Lammermoor) is something totally different than hearing the composition she wrote for the youth opera ‘Anna & Zef’. Next to the invited guests several school classes were invited, it’s their age group (12 to 15) this opera is written for. Even the age difference of seventy years between someone who died in 1945 or 2015 didn’t matter, in heaven you keep your own age. (good to know)  The Dutch-Iranian soprano Lilian Farahani (24) gave a wonderful performance, so did Dutch baritone Benjamin de Wilde (20). It’s so good to hear not everyone who can sing wants to do it in a band or musical. Photo: Jan Swinkels (from Facebook)

Left to right: Conductor David Niemann, composer Monique Krüs, baritone Benjamin de Wilde, soprano Lilian Farahani.

15 minutes before the opera started the AMC hospital called, and we did the trial talk by phone. It saved me to travel to the outskirts of the South-East region of the city and I still could see and talk to my brother before he went back home after his Easter visit. No nap was taken before the final event of the day.

At eight it was Showtime!, the final Siorée Frivolette hosted by Luna Lunettes @ café ‘t Mandje on Zeedijk. With “Want Not Waist Not” in mind she distributed left over chocolate easter eggs. I’m not sure that’s a good combination with a glass of wine or beer, so I (with my chocolate addiction) stayed away from that.

It was a pity not many people turned up to see the final show, but even with a small audience we had a great night out, or was it because we all know each other that well? Okay, I could catch the last ferry home and fell asleep in front of the telly, waking up at six. Next stop the shower and after being dressed a trip to the supermarket to get some milk and other stuff. I have a lunch meeting with Luna.


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A Full Day Ahead…

special-music-keySometimes life takes us in different directions. A few weeks ago I met a woman in a bar, we got talking about living in Amsterdam and other things. We talked about what we did for a living and how we spend our off time. After that evening we kept in touch via email and Facebook. You should have seen my surprise when I got an invitation to her latest project.

Later this morning I’m going to listen and see the World Premiere of ‘Anne and Zef’ a youth opera, based on the diaries of Anne Frank. The music is written by the woman I met at the bar, Monique Krüs.

In ‘Anne en Zef’ 10 musicians and 2 singers/actors are involved. The opera is based on the successful play ‘Anne en Zef’ by Dutchman Ad de Bont, who used parts of Anne Frank’s diary as a starting point. The story in short: Everybody knows the story of Anne Frank and knows how her life ended. Zef is an Albanian boy, victim of a feud between two families. Anne and Zef meet in heaven and find out they have a lot in common.

After the opera I hope I have some time to congratulate Monique with “the birth of her latest project”, knowing two other projects are already set in motion for 2016.

Next stop, AMC hospital! Nothing is wrong with me or my feet. A new trial will start in a few weeks and my specialists Tessa and Sicco thought I was a good ‘specimen’ to contribute to it. So first we have the talks before the trials really start. Afterwards home for a short nap, the day isn’t over yet.

In Café ‘t Mandje, the same bar I met Monique, is the final episode of Siorée Frivolette by Luna Lunettes at eight. It all started two years ago and time has gone by very fast. I got to learn, and met, a lot of people because of that show, making my world a bit bigger than the four walls of my home I normally was working in.

 


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Good Mood Food #07 – Almonds

GMFoodAlmond Mandarin Salad

Makes 8 servings Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 10 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 225 gr or ½ pound bacon
  • 30 ml or 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 45 ml or 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 gr or ½ teaspoon dry hot mustard
  • 2 gr or ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 gr or ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • 60 ml or ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can 425 gr or 15 ounce mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 bunch green onion, diced
  • 105 gr or ¾ cup slivered almonds

amandel-largeTO MAKE:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until evenly brown.
  2. Drain, cool, and crumble.
  3. To make the dressing, thoroughly blend the vinegar, honey, dry mustard, celery salt, paprika, and olive oil.
  4. Place lettuce, oranges, green onion, bacon, and almonds in a serving bowl.
  5. Toss with dressing and serve.

Note 1: Use a teaspoon of real Dijon mustard instead of dry hot mustard.

Note 2: Make more of a ‘meal’ out of this by adding grilled chicken breast.

Note 3: Do NOT save this salad as leftovers! You won’t be able to eat it. If something is left… make everyone have seconds!

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving Main recipe.
Calories: 247
Total Fat: 17.6g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 327mg
Total Carbohydrates: 17.5g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2g
Protein: 7.7g

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

PDF of this recipe: 20150402-GMF-Almond-Mandarin-Salad

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