Friday, June 27, 2014

G is for…

…groen (green). According to Kermit it is not easy being green. But Oscar from Sesame Street does not matter that he is green. He kinda loves it. You know what else is green? Groente (vegetables)! Well not all are green, some vegetables have different colors, like orange and red and purple. But in Dutch it is called groente. Well… what else starts with the letter G? (Oscar is groen)

Gember (ginger) starts with the letter G. Me like it, especially when it is put in to a cookie! Gemberkoekjes (ginger cookies) are very popular in the Netherlands. It goes really well with coffee or tea. Another favourite cookie of mine is the gevulde koek (filled cookie). Inside the soft exterior with a crunchy crust and an almond on top you find a soft almond paste filling… oh me mouth is watering already!

Gemberkoekjes / gevulde koek

Me need to talk about other Dutch words before me drool all over the computer keyboard. In the Netherlands we like the word ‘gezellig’ (cozy or this is nice being together). Especially when it is winter they like to make it extra cozy with candles and hot chocolate milk. Playing board games, like Ganzenbord (game of geese), or going out with the family is very cozy too. As long as friends or family are happy together it does not matter what you do. And a cup of coffee with a cookie is also gezellig.

Gezelligheid (or coziness): hanging with friends and Ganzenbord

Something that is gezellig to do is going to the zoo. Me went to GaiaZOO (Hey, a zoo that starts with the letter G!) this year with Berry where me met Snuffie. Me still sad it was not really him, but hey, it was nice to meet this ‘Snuffie’. Also me saw giraffes there. Did you know in Dutch this gorgeous long necked animal is also called a giraffe? You just write it differently: giraf.

Me & ‘Snuffie’ / giraf (both from GaiaZOO)

Last but not least me want to share a Dutch saying with 2 important G-words: Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg. In English we would say: Just act normal (gewoon), than you will act crazy (gek) enough (genoeg). The Dutch have a sober, down to earth attitude and you will not see them act all weird. If they do, others will point this out to them, calling them names, saying you have to grow up and stuff. If you are special or great at something, there are always others to put that down. They only time the whole nation is getting crazy is when the Dutch compete in major tournaments, like the FIFA World Cup.
My friend Berry always says that she is a little crazy and that is normal for her. Me is glad though… if she had been boring and normal and not willing to act a little crazy then me would not have a blog or seen all the things me has seen so far. We are funny crazies, like in the picture at the Maroon 5 concert.

Well bye bye for now! Next week it is time for the letter H and the Dutch tradition everyone else thinks to be a little gross…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Enjoying Tom Jones

O boy O boy! Last Saturday me had a blast at the Ziggodome in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Me went with the whole family to see Sir Tom Jones! O boy! Me was so excited. He is so good, me forgot to eat my cookie. No matter how old Sir Tom gets, his Voice is phenomenal. Me do not think he saw me, because we had seats at the back of the room, but me do not mind. Me loved it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

F is for...

…fietsen (riding a bike)! The Netherlands are a real bicycle country. All the students ride bikes, the moms, the dads, the kids, the grandparents, the office workers… almost everyone knows how to ride a bike. It is a great way of transportation in the city and on the countryside. It is cheap and it is great exercise. And it is safe, because there are special lanes for bikes to ride on. There are a lot of different bikes and sports with bikes. The Dutch even go on bicycle holidays! O boy, me can say the Dutch love their bikes! (fiets)

F is also for feest (party). Me love to party. There are snacks, cake and cookies at a party. And yummy drinks. And lots of music. You can have all kinds of parties. Like costume parties, barbecue parties and – of course – a birthday party. To make celebration complete you need feestversiering (party decorations). Right now the Dutch are celebrating the great FIFA World Cup 2014 results with orange party decorations. It looks so cool outside!

Feest / feestversiering (orange)

Last but not least me is concluding the letter F with some yummy Dutch words. Like fruit, that starts with a F in Dutch and English and means the same thing: fruit! Next to cookies fruit is one of my fave snacks! You can combine fruit very well with flensjes (thin pancakes, also known as crepes), like strawberry and cream… me mouth is watering already! Me also love friet (fries) with mayonnaise or applesauce… And maybe a frikandel. There is no English translation for it, it is that typical Dutch. It is a special kind of sausage and it is eaten with curry ketchup or ketchup with mayonnaise and diced onions. But you can also eat is with peanutsauce or just mayonnaise. It is a really popular snack.

Above: fruit / flensjes filled with strawberries and cream / friet and me

Well that was the letter F! Me hope you are enjoying my Alphabet. If you do feel free to leave a comment or share it on your Twitter or Facebook. If you do, please Tag me in it (@Cookie_Report on Twitter and cookiereport on Facebook). Me loves that.

Well bye bye for now! Me will see Sir Tom Jones tomorrow. Be ready for another blog soon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

E is for...

…Ernie! You know he is such a good friend. Me can always stay over, especially when Bert is out of town. Ernie may not be typical Dutch, but hey, it is me Alphabet! And Ernie has a favourite toy, a rubber duckie. And duck, well, that starts with an e in Dutch: eend. Clever huh. But that is not all, me have more E-words for you. (Ernie and his eendje)

Like ecobrug or ecoduct (wildlife crossing). It is a very special bridge especially for wildlife to cross the highways safely. Badgers, deers, foxes and egels (porcupines) can cross the road safely. It takes a while to build an ecoduct because the builders first need to know where the animals cross the roads. They map out all the trails and then build the bridges on the route of the trail. They discovered all kinds of ancient trails that way through the whole of Europe and the Netherlands. It is a very good project. And it looks really cool: a little forest on top of the freeway!

Ecobrug / egel

O and there is also food that starts with an e, like erwtensoup (pea soup, but different!). A Dutch winter specialty made with sausage, peas and special kind of turnip. And ei (egg) starts with an e. You can make all kinds of delicious things with eggs. Like eierkoek (egg biscuits). It is kind of a breadlike cookie. It is quite nice.

Erwtensoep / eierkoek

Last but not least there are some nice places in the Netherlands starting with an e that me have visited. To start with Ecomare on the island Texel. Ecomare is an educational (boy, hard word) centre with all kinds of cool stuff and information about the North Sea and Waddenzee. Also it is a hospital for seals and seabirds. Some seals live at Ecomare permanently (amongst other sea creatures). Me visited a long time ago. It was fun! Also you can walk in the dunes (duinen, me forgot that word last week). The other fun place me love to visit is the Efteling! Me love it there. Me can nibble at the witches house in the Fairytale Forest, go on a train ride, visit Little Red Riding Hood (hoping she will give me cookies) and go on a magical Arabic waterboat tour. And me loves Joki’s Pretneuzen Festival (Joki’s Funnoses Carnival), it is like Disney’s it’s a small world. Me feel like walking in a storybook all day! If you ever get the chance, just go. You will love it too. The park also has rollercoasters and a bit rocking ship for everyone who feels adventurous.

Ecomare / Efteling

Well letter E was fun and very divers. But me will like the yummy letter F too! O and if you want to read the other letters again, just click on the little images on the left!
See you next week.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Hugging a tiger

Hello everybody. Today me celebrated the second day of Pentecost - yes in the Netherlands they use two days for it - so it feels a little bit like Sunday today. And what is the best way to celebrate Sunday? Yes! Me went to the zoo. And me is glad me came, because now me could hug this gorgeous tiger. Too bad there was a bit of glass in between us. Me bet he is very soft...

Friday, June 06, 2014

D is for...

dansen (dancing)! Me was cheering in the stands for my little friend Thomas last Sunday. He just turned 6 years old and he really has some great moves! It was so much fun, me wanted to dance me self. Me loves going to disco (also starts with D) to have a good time (as long as me don’t lose cookie) and dance. But there are also other Dutch words that starts with D. Me will share some with you. (picture above: Cookie dancing in the disco)

Like draaiorgel (Dutch Street Organ). This instrument is very popular in the streets. You can also dance to the music. Most of the time the organ is accompanied by two men carrying little copper boxes to collect money. Me also post a little video in blog, so you can listen to the typical sounds of the Dutch Street Organ. Another thing you see a lot in the streets of the city are duiven (pigeons). They just like to be fed breadcrumbs but they will eat French fries too. Me thinks Bert will love it here too. He could ‘Do the pigeon’ all day long with the pigeons.

Draaiorgel / duif

Draaiorgel music – this movie does not belong to me, but me likes the tune it is playing!

The next things me will talk about are very Dutch. In the Netherlands there is a lot of water: rivers, oceans… you name it, they have it. The Dutch had loads of floods and water disasters in their past but they were smart and learned how to tame the water. With dijken (dykes) they captured the water or make sure it cannot flood through the streets. The most famous is a network of dykes called the Deltawerken (Deltaworks) in the province of Zeeland.

Dijk / Deltawerken

Also very Dutch is drop (liquorice). It’s black candy and you can get it in very different flavours. Like sweet, salt, extra salt, laurel, honey and even with mint. Not everyone is very fond of drop but me really likes it! Something everyone likes is Delfts Blauw (Delfts Blue)! This authentic blue colour is used to paint decorations on porcelain plates, bowls, cups, tiles and other accessories. It is very beautiful and is used for old and new designs.

Drop / Delfts Blauw

Last but not least me want to share my favorite pasttime that starts with a D! Me loves to visit the Dierentuin (zoo) to visit all the gorgeous animals. Like the lions and tigers, the elephants and chimps, the penguins and rhinos… and often me goes to the Dolfinarium where the lovely dolfijnen (dolphins) live. Aren’t they cute? Me thinks this one like me too! Me wish me could swim, me would love to cuddle.

Me at the Dierentuin / Me at the Dolfinarium

Well that were a lot of Dutch words that start with the letter D! Me hopes you like the alphabet. Tell your friends! And next week me is back with the letter E.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Bye Beautiful Natasja

Me have been a little blue this week. Not me normally fuzzy and blue state, but me was blue emotionally. Especially when me heard that Walrus Natasje from Dolfinarium here in Harderwijk in the Netherlands has passed away in her sleep. She reached the very very high age of 40 (me learned a Walrus can reach the age of 16 to 30). She had a great life with her family. She was very smart and me loved her mustache which was very very big! Bigger than the male Walrus Igor had! Me loved her and me will miss her. Me is very happy me have this gorgeous picture my friend Berry took last year. Bye bye Natasja. Me will miss you.