On October 19, 2010 I moved from the US to The Netherlands. This is a love story many years in the making.

Exhaling

I’ve been in NL since Wednesday morning, doing simple things like sleeping a lot and eating regularly, getting the basics of my life here in order: tax papers, bank account, phone, health insurance. I’ve spent a lot of time simply marveling that I am actually here, that I pulled this off. I’ve been planning this move for so long…that I get to do it with someone I love is just so awesome and unexpected. He’s getting on fine with the dog, who seems to have actually thrown me over for a Dutch guy. The blooming love affair between them is a subject of marvel and mystery to me. I’ve been jilted for a blonde. Go figure.

We had more pancakes with bacon, using a different bacon this time, and it was much better. Crunchier, saltier…and goes really well with the stash of maple syrup I have. Now that my mugs are here I can have a properly sized cup of tea in the morning.

Carel has made me one of the staples of the Dutch diet, stamppot, which is a mash of potatoes, vegetables, and whatever else one feels like putting in it, and often served with a smoked sausage. We had Boerenkool stamppot, made with a heroic amount of kale, spiced and then fortified with a generous helping of salty savory bits of pork belly bacon fried slowly until crispy and intense in flavor. We had with it a smoked sausage that had been steamed along with the mash, and it was really good. Im sure it would be healthier to leave out the bacon bits but it would be so much less tasty…

He got me a chocolate letter, which is apparently a Dutch thing. During the time of Sinterklaas people give each other letters that generally correspond to their first names, so mine was an “A”.Β  Yum. This is an idea I approve of!

We’ve been going on lots of walks. Daisy is now a city dog and requires a trip to De Poopen Place at regular intervals. Im very lucky to have such a place to take my dog which is literally 2 minutes walk from our house.

She seems to be doing okay with this whole thing. She’s not appreciably nervous or fretful and she’s settled right in at the house where she’s being spoiled rotten by everyone in sight.

I told her that life would get much more interesting shortly, and that things would be better here, though it was beyond her understanding, but I was right. It is much more interesting for both of us. New things to see, touch, smell, taste. Having Carel around full time instead of 6000 km away. People to meet, friends to make. New places to go, and to photograph. New odd things to learn about the Dutch. Here’s one:

When it freezes hard and people go out on the canals to skate, food vendors pop up, predictably enough. What I didn’t see coming was what they sell.

…split pea soup.

To go, please.

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9 responses

  1. aimee

    Hey lady! I’ve been following your travels and landing on FB and on the blog. I’m so thrilled to see that you and puppy and settling in so wonderfully! The stamppot sounds and looks like the meal my husband makes with the Thanksgiving leftovers! A little of this, little of that, a pinch of bacon, swirl it all up… how bad can that be?!?

    October 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    • yetanotherfoodpr0nblog

      Thanks, Aimee. πŸ™‚ Is your husband of Scandi origins?

      October 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm

      • aimee

        No, he’s Polish. He’s just a fan of the “garbage plate,” which is the slightly derogatory name we call any delicious mash of lots of different stuffs all mashed together on one plate. πŸ˜‰

        October 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm

  2. Laura Atkins

    Split pea soup is DA BOMB.

    October 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    • yetanotherfoodpr0nblog

      Done right, it is wonderful. Ive had a lot of bad split pea soup, though πŸ™‚

      October 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

  3. You had me at “sausage”. I need me some of that stamppot.

    October 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    • yetanotherfoodpr0nblog

      It’s really easy to make, J. Or else get yourself and your wife on a plane and come visit!

      October 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

  4. Turns out I’ve been making something very similar to boerenkool stamppot without realizing it. Main difference with mine is that I start it off like a curry:

    1. heat oil or ghee (clarified butter)

    2. toss in a whole bunch of whole cumin seeds, a smaller bunch of whole fennel seeds, and some crushed red pepper

    3. after the spices start popping and jumping, add the onion

    4. once the onion becomes translucent, dump in more turmeric than you think is appropriate, plus maybe 1/4 tsp of asafoetida (also known as hing)

    5. let that cook for a while, then add a box of broth, potatoes, kale, and other stuff — pretty much exactly as described on that food.com link

    And of course, adjust everything to taste. *grin*

    October 26, 2010 at 12:05 am

    • yetanotherfoodpr0nblog

      Im taking notes, JD. That sounds really good!

      October 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm

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