The sound my (on loan) mobility scooter was making lately, got worse and worse. So yesterday I called the service department and told them what was going on, and also asked if they had heard back from Social Services (WMO) about a new scooter. Of the latter they didn’t know and they would call me back. On the complain they could act swiftly, for a change, the next day.

NOT-my-burnt-mobility-scooterEarly this morning a service technician arrived, he thought he knew what was wrong with the scooter and opened it up… he noticed immediately something was wrong, very wrong. The fuse had burnt a hole through the outer skin of the battery, and the three of us, the battery, scooter and I could have gone up in smoke and burnt meat. I’m not a big fan of barbecued meat especially if its me, myself and I, or to eat. But in my mind’s eye I could see the fun of it.

Now the scooter is parked in the downstairs hallway, sans batteries. I just hope to hear from the service department soon when new batteries will be available, so I can be on my way again.

No wheels means not that I stay at home, tonight I’m going to hear the Messiah sung by the GALA choir (Gay And Lesbian Amsterdam) at Old Lutheran Church (Oude Lutherse) on Singel, and tomorrow evening my “ship comes in…” (You have to wait for that story).

American Cookbook #12 – Pie

American-Cookbook2 Blackberry and Blueberry Pie

Makes a 23 cm or 9-inch pie, about 8 servings

Prep: 30 minutes
Cool: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes

Shopping List:
Pie Crust:

  • 135 gr or ⅔ cup shortening, chilled
  • 250 gr or 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 gr or 1 teaspoon salt
  • 75 ml or 5 tablespoons cold water


  • 150 gr or ¾ cup white sugar
  • 40 gr or ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 gr or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 580 gr or 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 215 gr or 1½ cups fresh blackberries
  • 15 ml or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 30 gr or 2 tablespoons butter

blackberries-blueberriesTO MAKE:

  1. Cut shortening into 250 gr or 2 cups flour and salt until the shortening is the size of small peas.
  2. Sprinkle in water 1 tablespoon at a time until flour is moistened.
  3. Gather into a ball, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough in half and roll out half on a lightly floured board.
  5. Line a 23 cm or 9-inch pie dish with the pastry.
  6. Roll out the top crust and set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 220° C or 425 degrees F.
  8. Mix sugar, ⅓ cup flour, and cinnamon.
  9. Stir in berries to coat.
  10. Pour the filling into the pastry-lined pan.
  11. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter.
  12. Cover with top crust; cut slits in the top to vent the steam.
  13. Seal the crust and flute the edges.
  14. Cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent over-browning.
  15. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes.
  16. Remove foil during the last 12 minutes of baking.

Note 1: If you use frozen berries, you’ll need to increase the baking time. Bake as directed, and then reduce the heat to 175° C or 350 degrees F. Bake until the juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes more.

Note 2: Or thaw the berries first and drain them before using. For the rest follow the recipe.

Note 3: Serve each slice warmed with a big scoop of (homemade) vanilla ice cream


Amount Per Serving
Calories: 436
Total Fat: 20.7g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Sodium: 313mg
Total Carbohydrates: 59.9g
Dietary Fiber: 4.2g
Protein: 4.7g

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

PDF of this recipe: 20151008-AC-12-Blackberry-Blueberry-Pie

American Cookbook #11 – Patties

American-Cookbook2 Juicy Lucy Burgers

Makes 4 servings

A favorite of Minnesotans! The famous Juicy Lucy! You must use American cheese on this to achieve the juiciness in the middle!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 680 gr or 1½ pounds ground beef
  • 15 ml or 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 gr or ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 gr or 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, split

hamburger-pattiesTO MAKE:

  1. Combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Form 8, thin patties from the beef.
  4. Each patty should be slightly larger than a slice of cheese.
  5. Cut each slice of American cheese into 4 equal pieces; stack the pieces.
  6. Sandwich one stack of cheese between 2 ground beef patties.
  7. Tightly pinch edges together to tightly seal the cheese within the meat.
  8. Repeat with the remaining cheese and patties.
  9. Preheat a cast-iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  10. Cook burgers until well browned, about 4 minutes.
  11. It is common for burgers to puff up due to steam from the melting cheese.
  12. Turn burgers and prick the top of each to allow steam to escape.
  13. Cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 4 minutes.
  14. Serve on hamburger buns.

Note 1: For the juiciest burgers, be sure your ground beef is at least 20% fat.

Note 2: Did you make a tight seal? I hope so, because it needs to be TIGHT to avoid a cheesy eruption as the cheese melts, it creates steam, and tries to find its way out.

Note 3: Don’t forget the toppings like, slaw, tomato, sautéed red onion rings or sautéed mushrooms. That way you make your own Juicy Lucy.


Amount Per Serving Without the topping!
Calories: 593
Total Fat: 37.5g
Cholesterol: 131mg
Sodium: 1143mg
Total Carbohydrates: 23.4g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3g
Protein: 38.1g

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

PDF of this recipe: 20151001-AC-11-Juicy-Lucy-Burgers

“We Never Go Places…”

Famous words by our friend Adrie, and she ends the sentence with “We Always Stay Home!”

Just like last Saturday… It all started a little while ago, on August 3, during the opening of the photo exhibition of our friend Jan van Breda. One hall was decked out with photos of Kotomisi.  We came back on September 4 to see the expo in more detail, something we couldn’t do on opening day. We had a blast after seeing the photos again with the Surinam woman. They invited us to visit them on the groups 5 year jubilee.

This happened last Saturday. All three of us stuck out, as white as we are, but we felt like we had fallen in a warm bath, the way we were welcomed and put at ease, but also the talks, the food, drink and the music were wonderful. Below is an impression of our time at the museum, on September 4th, but also of September 26, with the headdress in copper bowls or just a plain platter, the women dancing with those said copper bowls, and NO I wasn’t dressed up as a Kotomisi but instead they asked me to dance… something I haven’t done in public for eons. Just enjoy, just as we did.

Photos by Nicky, Adrie and me. Klick on a photo and it opens in a new window.

The next day “We Never Go Places, We Always Stay Home…” was at the ‘Belly of Amsterdam’ or the Central Food Market, just to see what kind of different foods are sold around the city. Okay, we tasted some of it too. :wink:

And He’s A Jolly Good Fellow…

One year later, and my Dad is again in Southampton, this time day two of his vacation, but also his birthday, his 92nd one. Last year we both celebrated it with fish and chips at West Quay mall. This year I’m at home and he’s sailing the Seven Sea’s on HAL’s Rotterdam.

Congrats Dad! Enjoy your time on and off-board!


Photo taken early June at a fish restaurant in IJmuiden.

Celebrating 200 Years of Monarchy… But Nobody Noticed

Today is the last day of the 2 year celebration of 200 years Dutch Monarchy, but until now nobody noticed we were celebrating. Let’s go back in time, not 2 years when it started (November 30) but 200 years.

Coat of arms of the Netherlands

Coat of arms of the Netherlands

The Dutch monarchy is still relatively young. She began in 1806 when Louis Napoleon was appointed King of Holland by his brother Napoleon Bonaparte. They continued in 1813 when Willem Frederik from the house of Orange-Nassau, a son of stadtholder William V, accepted the title sovereign prince of the United Netherlands. Previously, the former Netherlands was briefly a vassal state of the First French Empire and before that a republic after in 1581 the monarchy of the lords of the house of Habsburg was abandoned.

The Monarchy of the Netherlands is constitutional and as such, the role and position of the monarch are defined and limited by the constitution of the Netherlands. Consequently, a fairly large portion of the Dutch constitution is devoted to the monarch; roughly a third of the constitution describes the succession, mechanisms of accession and abdication to the throne, the roles and responsibilities of the monarch and the formalities of communication between the States-General of the Netherlands and the role of the monarch in the creation of laws.

Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Belgium

Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Belgium

In 1815 the United Netherlands consisted of the, as they’re known now, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The Belgian monarchy was formed in 1831 when Belgium, fought for independence of the Netherlands, and formed their own kingdom. The royal title was meant to play Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which – became King of the Belgians – the idea of the people’s monarchy. After him ruled Leopold II, Albert I, Leopold III, Baudouin, Albert II and Philippe. With the exception of Leopold I, who remained Lutheran, the Belgian monarchs are Roman Catholic.

Coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Luxembourg has been a grand duchy since March 15, 1815, when it was elevated from a duchy, and was in personal union with the Netherlands until 1890. Since 1815, there have been nine monarchs of Luxembourg, including the incumbent, Henri.

American Cookbook #10 – Zucchini

American-Cookbook2 Zucchini Patties

Makes 4 servings (12 patties)

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 225 gr or 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 40 gr or ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 60 gr or ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 40 gr or ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 55 gr or ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper to taste
  • a clove of crushed garlic to taste
  • 30 ml or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

courgette-largeTO MAKE:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, freshly ground black pepper and crushed garlic.
  2. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonful, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.

Note 1: You can substitute instant mashed potato flakes for the flour.

Note 2: Throw in some chopped mushrooms since they go so well with zucchini.


Amount Per Serving Main recipe.
Calories: 245
Total Fat: 14.7g
Cholesterol: 111mg
Sodium: 282mg
Total Carbohydrates: 15.7g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2g
Protein: 12.8g

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

PDF of this recipe: 20150924-AC-10-Zucchini-Patties