Monthly Archives: December 2009

Somewhere it’s New Years Day already…

That somewhere is Kiritimati aka Christmas Island. It is the first inhabited place on Earth to experience the New Year each year. Despite being 2,460 km [1,530 miles] east of the 180 meridian, a 1995 realignment of the International Dateline by the Republic of Kiribati “moved” Kiritimati to west of the dateline.

The time this post goes online is 11:01 on December 31, 2009 and it will be 00.01 in Kiritimati on January 1, 2010.

I hope the New Year will bring you Health, Success & Prosperity!


Chic & Simple New Year #2

A Dutch treat for the New Year, or all those other 364 special days

Appelflap or Apple Triangles

Makes 12 servings

Shopping List:

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 apples peeled and grated tart apple, like Granny Smith
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons raisins
  • 6 tablespoons water [or rum]
  • Flour for rolling out pastry
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar like Demerara or turbinado [optional].


  1. In a pan on low heat combine the raisins and water [kids] or rum [adults], let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Let it cool.
  3. Heat oven to 190° C or 375° F. 
  4. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  5. In another bowl, mix apples, remaining granulated sugar, lemon juice and salt. Let sit 5 minutes, and drain, reserving juice.
  6. Add the soaked raisins and mix.
  7. On a floured work surface, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to a rectangle roughly 9 by 12 inches.
  8. Cut into 6 squares, and place 1 tablespoon apple filling in center of each.
  9. Lightly brush edges with reserved apple juice; fold into triangles, and seal edges by crimping with a fork.
  10. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and filling.
  11. Transfer turnovers to freezer, and freeze until firm, at least 15 minutes. Turnovers can be kept frozen in zipper-lock freezer bags up to 1 month.
  12. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick pan liners.
  13. Brush tops of frozen turnovers with apple juice, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and arrange on baking sheets. [If reserved apple juice is no longer available, use commercial juice or water.]
  14. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until well browned, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time.
  15. Let cool slightly before serving.

Note:  Serve it with a dollup of whipped cream



Before and during Christmas the city looked like this, on Boxing Day it all started to melt all thou at night the roads were still treacherous because of the ice. Yesterday all the ice, snow and sleet were finaly gone… only to find, it’s five in the morning, that all is back!

There goes my plans for the day. No trip to the city for some things I needed from China Town, no visiting friends before years end, no visit to the farmers market on “The Isles”.

When you’re wondering why I’m up this early… I went to bed at Julius Time*, read a funny story [all 60 pages], turned of the lights, fell asleep and woke around two. I missed the little snores under my bed, the soft barking in his sleep, the sighs. I got up, had something to drink and went to sleep again, only 2½ hours later I’m wide awake and see the white winter wonderland from the living room windows.


UPDATE: Seven hours later, just past noon, I did go to the city, did my shopping in China Town, visited my friends and even met a friend from way back when [she has to wait for a visit till the new year]. I didn’t visit the farmers market.

On my way back home, somewhere halfway on Keizersgracht, I got a flat front tyre. Knowing how difficult it is for handicapped transport to pick you up from one of the canals, I drove, with a flat tyre, almost all the way home. Only 3 km/ 2 miles from my final destination my battery went flat too. I was sitting out of the wind waiting for handicapped transport, they appeared 1 hour after I called them. Afterwards I was glad I left the house with a blanket around my legs and some extra layers of clothing, heath-pads I brought with me to put in my gloves and a wool cap.

Wraff, Good Bye !!!

ag00184_I had hoped to spent more time behind the computer but something came up. Peter did. All is well here at “Casa Pedro”, I had a lovely time here, slept allot, barked a bit more then usual and played with my toy rat.

Also the food was great, Peter knows what a dog loves, chicken, salmon, liver paté, only those ghastly brown pellets they call dog-food [Yuck!!]

Today my keepers return home and I’m going back to my own yard and street and all the familiar smells of that place. I hope I live long enough for another stretched visit to Peter. My eye sight is going down the hill, sometimes when I was on the leash I didn’t know where he was… only to find out he was standing only 2 meters away. Luckely there’s nothing wrong with my nose, I smell all the good stuff and my ears are good too, most of the time. I only can’t hear him when I don’t want to.

paw_juliusI better sign off before Peter awakes, hope to wroof to you all later!

New Netherland Project

Henry Hudson bobblehead? Check.

One-legged Peter Stuyvesant statuette? Yes.

A mirror emblazoned with the logo of New Amsterdam beer? Absolutely.

These are office knickknacks that only a true connoisseur of Dutch Americana could love. And there surely is no one who loves Dutch Americana more than Charles T. Gehring.

How else to describe a man who has spent the past 35 years painstakingly translating 17th-century records that provide groundbreaking insight and renewed appreciation for New Netherland, the colony whose embrace of tolerance and passion for commerce sowed the seeds for New York’s ascendance as one of the world’s great cities.

Toiling from a cramped office in the New York State Library here, Mr. Gehring, as much as anyone, has shed light on New York’s long-neglected Dutch roots, which have been celebrated this year, the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the river that bears his name.

Read the full article in the New York Times

Read more about the New Netherland Project

See maps of former New Netherland