Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer party at the zoo

O boy O boy. After all those delicious cookies, me had a real blast at the summer party at the Dolfinarium here in the Netherlands. Me have been chilling in a hammock… me have been dancing with cute Caribbean dancers… o and me even have seen Jack Sparrow. It was great. Me love the summer parties. Especially when there are so many beautiful sea creatures around to admire. O and the dancing ladies… that was so awesome. There was a Limbo & Fire dance, that was really something. Me felt totally relaxed and on vacation. Even if it was just for a day…

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

International Tiger Day

Today, July 29th, is International Tiger Day. Me loves tigers, but me mostly have seen them at the zoo. Like these beautiful tigers at DierenPark Amersfoort. Did you know there are only 3200 tigers alive in the wild with all subspecies combined? That is not much. So today, let’s do something for the tigers. Check the WWF website and adopt an adorable tiger plushie. Me has one too!

Friday, July 25, 2014

K is for...

KOEKIE (cookie)! That good enough for me. Finally. Well… me is done with this letter. It is the best letter, cause K is like C in English. After koekje nothing else is important… Hey, me is not called Koekie Monster (Cookie Monster) for nothing…

O well. But only because me like me readers and there are more delicious Dutch words that start with the letter K. O boy me gonna have a field day with this letter!
(Koekie with a koekie)

Koekjes are yummy. Berry loves to have a koekje with her koffie (coffee). She loves kaneel (cinnamon) too. Did you know that is also delicious on a cookie? The Dutch put cinnamon in special cookie recipes and love to eat kaneelstok (cinnamon flavoured candy cane). It is an old Dutch treat.

Koffie / kaneel

Also very yummy is kandij (candy sugar). Jan Hagel cookies sometimes have kandij as a topping and some gingerbread (ontbijtkoek) too, it is called parel kandij (pearl candy) then. There are also special coffee cookies made with kandij. Some people like to use this sugar in the crystalized form as a substitute for normal white sugar in their coffee or tea. Also yummy is karamel (caramel). Sometimes you can eat it like fudge or they put it as a syrup form on coffee or ice cream sundae’s.

Kandij & parel kandij / karamel

A lovely Dutch dairy product is kwark (quark) The Dutch love to use it as the main ingredient of kwarktaart (cheesecake). Did you know they use crumbled cookies mixed with hot butter to make the base of the kwarktaart?

Kwark / kwarktaart met kiwi

Speaking of cheese, kaas (cheese) is a really Dutch food too. Just like the kroket (croquette). There is all kinds of cheese available, from Gouda to Old Amsterdam. The Dutch love their cheese. They even make kaaskoekjes (cheese cookies)! The kroket is a very special snackbar treat. It is a fried crunchy snack with soft, creamy ragout inside. Delicious with mustard or mayo on a sandwich or just like it is with some fries.

Kaas / kroket

You know what else goes well with fries? Fish! Especially baked or fried kabeljauw (cod). At the fish stand you can get these cod nuggets called kibbeling. They are very tasty!

Kabeljauw / kibbeling

And what about different kinds of liquorice that start with a K, like Kokindjes and Katjesdrop (cat shaped liquorice). Kat (cat) is also spelled with a K in Dutch.

Kokindjes / kat

Last but not least me need to get a little serious. Also starting with a K is klompen (wooden shoes). In spite of popular belief not all the Dutch people wear them. Farmers wear them a lot because the tough shoes are warm and protect their feet from the heavy farmers equipment. People do still dance on the shoes (klompendans) but more out of nostalgic and historical purposes than a trendy one. People who do wear wooden shoes often end up wearing the Swedish clogs. Another really Dutch word is Koningshuis (Royal house or family), just like the Koning and Koningin (King and Queen). The Dutch are very proud of their beautiful Royal family. Their portraits are everywhere, even on cookie jars.

Klompen / Koningshuis

Well me think this is the longest alphabet episode so far. Me hope you loved it as much as me did. Well… me deserve some cookies now… Until next time!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Me ♥ Rhino's

You all know me love to visit the zoo right? Well tomorrow this will be me destination again. Me is very happy, because me can say hi again to my Rhino friend. And ofcourse me will tell all about it in some nice blogs. So... talk to you soon. Me will be dreaming of Rhino's (and other animals) tonight.

Friday, July 18, 2014

J is for…

…Jan Hagel! It is a delicious cookie with almond shavings on top and sometimes little pieces of candy sugar. Me loves it. It is crunchy and spicey and made with a special mix of cookie spices. It goes really well with cinnamon tea, a latte coffee or just a delicious big glass of cold milk. But that is not the only Dutch specialty starting with the letter J! (Jan Hagel cookies)

But first: remember when me talked about Ecomare? Me have seen a beautiful seabird there called Jan van Gent (gannet). It was there because he was injured and the people of Ecomare kindly nursed it back to health. The Jan van Gent birds live around the North Sea and around the Dutch island of Texel. On this island they have a specialty called ‘Juttertje’, named after the strandjutters (beachcombers). It is a hearty liqueur you can compare with other herbal liqueurs, like Beerenburg and J├Ągermeister. Also other regions of the Netherlands have herbal liqueurs. It is not for little blue monsters though. Just like the Dutch Jonge Jenever (young gin).

Juttertje / Jenever
Above: Jan van Gent

Me rather talk about food though. The Dutch love to put a little jus (gravy) on their dinner. Especially when they eat stews like hutspot. They make a little pit in the middle of their food and fill it up with gravy. Another sauce that is very Dutch is joppiesaus (joppie sauce) and it is used on snacks like fries and such. It is some special kind of yummy mayonnaise.

Jus in a ‘kuiltje’ (pit) / Joppiesaus

Well that concludes the letter J. Me cannot wait for next week. O boy O boy O boy what a week that will be!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Monkeying around

Remember, me told ya me would talk about the apes and monkeys that live in Ouwehands Dierenpark. They have a lot of cute ones, scary ones and gorgeous ones. They have some different kinds living at the zoo. Me loved that. Me like monkeys, so me went on a tour des apes with a cheeky bunch of Orang-Utans… still me is wondering if they had driver’s license or were just monkeying around. A well… let’s go!

First stop: the Lar Gibbons. This family lives near a large patio and restaurant, with water and lots of trees and stuff to play in. They just had some veggies to eat. And while they ate lunch, they checked out all the people eating theirs. That was kind of funny! Then they took me to see the Barbary Macaques. Gorgeous little devils who were sleeping in the sun, searching for flees in others coats, or this little fella (or girl) who was a tad sad because the drum he hoisted up was empty… you can see him hugging the drum. Me thinks they get food in it, so they have something to do.

Lar Gibbon & Barbary Macaque

Next up me went on a visit with the Orang-Utans. They are so gorgeous. Me love their orange coats. And just the whole way that they are. Me saw this beautiful male in the Orang-Utan house and the little acrobat was playing outside. He was really adventurous crossing the ropes with ease high in the sky! Me had to look up to keep track!


The end of the monkey tour they took me to see some real heavyweights, like this friendly plant eating Gorilla. And this colourful Mandrill. The first one looked really gentle, minding his own business, eating some leafs from twigs, while the Mandrill scared me just a bit. Okay, the blue on his nose is gorgeous, but me thinks it is a tough cookie to crack, so me left him alone.

Gorilla & Mandrill

Well, needless to say the cheeky Orang-Utans were very nice. They did not even charge for the tour! Me was glad, because me had only a cookie to give away and to be honest… me thinks cookies aren’t that good for monkeys and apes!

Well, until next time… Me is going to eat some bananabread…

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cuddling Bears

One of me favourite past times is visiting the zoo. The Netherlands have a lot of zoos for such a small country. Every zoo has its own specialty, like Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen. They are specialized in taking care of bears. The bears live in their own forest. They all came from different places, like circuses and from bear-dog-fights. Most bears are rescued from horrible places. But these bears are very happy now. Living their lives in peace.

Like this bear, having fun in the water, cleaning his paws, minding his own business. Me loved to see that. Other bears were snoozing in the shade of a tree or eating carrots and lettuce, chasing of the two wolves who they share the forest with. It was really beautiful.

Me even got the chance to get really really close to the bears… Me was really in awe!

Gotcha! This is a 3D painting, the bears are not real, but they looked like it! Cool huh!

At Rhenen they have a family of polar bears. This is the male polar bear (you may recognize him from Friday’s Alphabet featuring the letter i. First he was sleeping on the rocks, next he was bathing and when me went back much later he was sleeping again. Must be nice to chill like that!

Me have seen much more that day. Me will talk about the apes and monkeys later. Because me is still recovering from my Orang-Utan encounter…

Bye bye for now!