Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Everyday, me go with Berry to her job. She is the chief editor of a professional magazine. She writes articles, helps with the website, makes sure everything is in its place when published.
It is fun. Me sits on the ground most of times, reading magazines and stuff. Sometimes me eat cookies or crackers. And when me is a good monster... me can sit in her chair and pretend to be the chief editor.
Although... me writing articles wouldn't be such a good idea... Me would write a lot about cookies.
One time Berry wrote about me in the magazine! That was really cool. It is in Dutch, but the picture says all, now doesn't it!
Me like to go along with Berry everyday. Sometimes we go for a walk when Berry has a break. That is nice too. Me is very proud to hop along! But it makes a small monster tired too! So byebye for now, until me next report!
Labels: At Work
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Last year, at the last month of the Dolfinarium season, Berry went to say goodbye to the Dolphins in Harderwijk for the winter and wishing them some great holidays and beautiful fireworks. Me tagged along, offcourse! Berry never goes to the dolphins without her trusty companion. Yes, me! After walking in the cold, we went for some hot chocolate and pancakes. We choose one with tomatoes and cheese. It was delicious!
Yes, in the Netherlands pancakes are very common too. Not like in the States, as a breakfastproduct. In the Netherlands the pancakes are thinner and bigger. You can eat them plain with syrup, fruity marmalade or sugar. But most Dutch like the sweet pancake combined with something salty, like bacon, or cheese. Or things you normally would see on top of your pizza. A lot of things are baked with the pancakedough in the pan. Not only salty-stuff. Also sweet foods, like apples, bananas, cherries, strawberries and raisins. Every kind of fruit combines with a pancake! Sometimes you can choose for icecream or whipped cream on the side. It is delicious.
As me said: we took a salty one with crispy cheese and sweet tomatoes. It was nice! Next time we will take a banana and chocolatesauce pancake. It is very mighty, but it tastes great!
Or me order one with chocolate chip cookies... mjam...
Bye bye for now!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Do you want some liqourice?
Me like to talk about this Dutch treat. It is candy. You can have it sweet, with anise or menthol or just loads of sugar on top, or salt. In English it is called liqourice, the Dutch talk about drop. It isn't that hard to pronounce. It is like a drop of water...
Although liqourice - Me will call it drop from now on - is a Dutch treat, the ingredients aren't that Dutch at all!
The typical flavour of a dropje is coming from an extract of the dried roots of the liqourice plant.This bush grows in subtropical areas such as Spain, Italy and China. The roots of the bush can only be harvested every four years, in october. When the roots are carefully dug out of the ground and untangled they are dried in the sun for a couple of days. After that, they go to a factory where the roots will be chopped, cleaned and made to some kind of thick porridge with water. This porridge, called pulp will be filtered and with some other ingredients, it will be made thicker. Then this mass is poured into blocks. This socalled ‘blokdrop’ (liqourice in the form of a square) is the main ingredient of drop.
To make a real nice and tasty, bendable piece of drop, people use Arabic gum. It is some kind of resin from the acaciatrees. These can be found in Sudan, Senegal and in the riversideareas of the Nile. Arabic gum gives drop its softness and chewability. The more gum is added, the softer the drop gets. During the oilcrises in 1973 there was a shortage of Arabic gum. The Dutch weren’t happy about that, so the Dutch dropindustrials started to find another ingredient, that worked the same. They found it in a modified starch. These days it is very common in drop and other candy. It is cheaper – and that is something Dutch people like – and it doesn’t interfere with the taste and flavour of the drop!
The biggest part of a piece of drop consists of sugar. The blokdrop is very bitter, because it is concentrated so much. With sugar or honey a sweeter taste is made. Without salt, you have sweet drop or honey drop. But, the Dutch love salt drop. They even like it double salted! Normal kitchensalt isn’t added though, but salmiak. It will not increase the bloodpressure, like normal salt can do.
Drop has a brown color and is a little transparant. To make drop black we need other ingredients. Like carbondioxide (what is used in Norit) or carmel. They will color the drop in a natural way.
To get different forms, the blokdrop is melted, then salmiak, sugar, honey or other ingredients are added. The melted goo will be 'dropped' in little forms, that are made in sandlike material. Then the drops dry, harden and voilá you have a nice treat!
Different flavours are achieved during the process, by adding mint or anise or other spices to the drop. A famous flavour – which is a bit spicey and acquires a acquired taste – is the laureldrop. Did you know: the Italian farmers used to put laurel leaves in between the pieces of blokdrop, so the pieces wouldn’t stick to each other. Blokdrop can be very sticking while it is drying. The flavour and scent of the laurel leaves are drawn into the drop. And so you have laurel drop! No sugar or arabic gum added though...
So next time you eat some drop or liqourice, you know where it came from. Have a nice snack! Mjamjamhammmmm... Ah! Delicious.
Later, me will tell about other Dutch treats. Byebye for now!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Last Friday me went with Berry and Keevie to Harderwijk to visit our Sea Friends. During the ride to Harderwijk me was awed with the view! In the Netherlands snow isn't that usual, and now the whole world was white! The fields, the roads, the trees... it was beautiful.
So was the Dolfinarium: everything was covered with snow. You can see some of those pictures on Keevie & Ik. Some animals liked the cold, snowy atmosphere. The sealions from Siberia were even sunbathing! The little seals not, they wanted to stay in the warmer water. One was playing with a rock though... And the sharks and rays were swimming in warmed water. That is necessary, because the water isn't deep and it can't be frozen.
Me went to the DolphinShow to. It was magnificent! Yes, Cookie knows some difficult words too. Me was sitting on Berries bag and me got splashed ALL wet by a beautiful salto of a Dolphin. Me did not mind. Me thought the Dolphins were great! Me clapped so hard me paws hurt!
Me liked it best downstairs. There you can watch the Dolphins swim under water and also the Walrusses. But me like the Dolphins. They are always so curious and friendly. Me wanted a picture taken in front of the window, hoping a Dolphin would swim past.
If you look closely, you can see a mother and her calf swim in the background. Me was so happy, but Berry told me to stay put, hoping a Dolphin would swim past the window.
And you know what! That happened. This little Dolphin came by the window. Me was even happier. Me thought the Dolphin would swim past, but no. He made a sharp turn at the end of the window and...
...came back to look at me!!!
It was so wonderful! He came back to greet me. Me even got a hug through the window.
And this is the last picture. It was too bad Berries film was full, because the Dolphin also curled around me to look at me again. And then he was gone and Berry and me decided this must be the best moment of the day!
So me made a new friend that day. Berry saw her own friend later, standing at the lake, big Beachie is hard to miss!
And that was the end of a wonderful, snowy day with beautiful animals... Ah, me can talk for hours about the Dolfinarium, but me won't. Cause then me have no other reports to write!
Hopefully my next report will be the first in a series about Dutch treats. But you never know... maybe me has to postpone it again!
Byebye for now.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Sometimes people say me is obsessed by Cookies. Me only want to eat cookies. Chocolat Chip, Macaroon, GingerBread... Me loves cookies, me will not make a secret of that. But that doesn't mean Cookie no not know about healthy foods! Just listen to me rap, and you'll know me know everything about healthy foods.
Me just like cookies better...
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Finally! Winter has come! Well, to the Netherlands that is. Today actually meterological Spring has begun... and in the Netherlands it is snowing. Just like last year.
Me like snow! It is white and soft and cold. Me can eat it when me is hungry and thirsty. Me like to walk outside, open me mouth and let the snow snow in! It is nice.
Because me didn't want to pose in the snow, me let Berry take picture in the window. You can see the snow outside of Berries office and me googly eyes in front of it. The picture is a bit dark... but you know what me is talkin' about!
Anyways. In the Netherlands they always dream of a white Christmas. They always wish for snow... and frozen lakes to skate on. But mostly, when everybody is tired of the winter, the real winter starts. It is beautiful! Me like it very much. Too bad it didn't last long today...
PS: Talking about wishful thinking! After a full afternoon of sunshine, the snow came down again, and again, and again... Berry & Keevie drove 30 kilometers per hour on the highway (!) to get home. Well... me just sat warm and comfy, wiping the windows, counting snowflakes... Me heard some thunder too. Maybe The Count was counting snowflakes too. Or, maybe, traffic jams. Ah well. It is a fairytale outside. And you know what is so nice? For every season, just is a reason, for eating cookie!!!! Mjam... just give me cinnamoncovered ones and a glass of tea...
Labels: Weather Report