Monday, July 28, 2008

Cooking Rice

Tonight I am going to give you a lesson on how to cook rice (with dutch cooking instructions). You will first see the Dutch and then the English translation. Both are confusing, neither were delicious :-(

1. Verhit wat boter in een pan (Dutch)
1. hot what butter in a pan (English)

1st I had to find some "hot what" butter, but what do i do when its in the pan?

2. roer de risottorijst erdoor (Dutch)
2. rudder the risottorijst by it (English)

2nd I had to rudder the risottorijst by it. Thanks for using pronouns, and where do I get a rudder from?

3. voeg per 100 g rijst 180 ml warme bouillon toe en breng het geheel aan de kook (Dutch)
3. joint by 100 g rises 180 to ml warm soup and deals whole to cooks (English)

At least the numbers translated correctly. neither of them useful since I have no idea what a gram or a milliliter is!!!

4. met gesloten deksel 12 min zachtjes laten doorkoken (Dutch)
4. with closed lid 12 to minus softly let cook through (English)

Finally one I think I can handle, only if I make it this far...

5. haal de pan van de warmtebron en roer de rijst even door. afgieten is niet nodig
5. the rijst deletes the pan of the warmth source and rudder just as. is not pour off necessary

Apparently the rice is supposed to do all the work. All that mine did was stick to the bottom of the pan, leaving a mess for whoever does the dishes..... ME!!!!

6. laat de rijst nog 5 min nagaren (Dutch)
6. the rijst leaves still 5 minus nagaren (English)

I didnt even care anymore at this point. I poured tons of teriyaki sauce on it and added my chicken and peppers.

Tune in next time for recycling and gardening tips!!!



Nick and I went to Amsterdam for the weekend. Here's the summary: tried the Jamie Oliver restaurant, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank huis, shopping on PC Hooftstraat, Indonesian rijsttafel at Kantjil and de Tijger, Boom Chicago comedy show, lots of walking.

When I visited Amsterdam 5 years ago, I started a rubber duck collection, inspired by a camo rubber duck (made in New York incidentally.) Alas, the collection was not carted over to The Netherlands, so imagine my joy at the continued rubber duck supply! We picked up the angel in Maastricht a few weeks ago, and picked up the devil at a store in the gay area called Dom that specialized in rubber and mirrored objects (you do the math on that one folks, and don't ask why we were there because that's a lazy joke on your part):

Breakdancers on the Leidseplein:

Yea, ok, fuck the police. I'm not sure if the bathtub is a happy accident or is some artsy emphasis to the graffiti:

I get the impression that the Dutch are cat people more than dog people. A famous cheese shop had a cat sitting right in the front window on a huge wheel of cheese, the glare of the window made for a bad picture. We had lunch outside at a little sandwich place, and cat had this great tendency to lie on the table on the other side of the window and put his paws on the window- we got a photo while he was taking a break from reflective surfaces:

Car by a house boat, I think these people didn't drive often, but isn't it cute?!:
little car


Saint Aubin le Monial, France

A coworker and I headed to France for work last week. In general it was a nice trip, but one really can't expect to go to a middle of nowhere town in France without encountering significant delays and significantly deranged men. We took a cab to Liege, then a train to Paris, then a cab to a different station in Paris, then a train to small town which stopped for 40 min. because it hit a car, then another cab, etc. etc. We were waiting at Paris Lyon for our train to Moulins, when Natasja noticed a man following us. My purse had one strap hanging down, so I stopped to secure my stuff. I turned and looked this guy in the eye, gave him a warning glare so he knew I was on to his purse-snatching game. He looked familiar to me, like Dax Shepard, dax so I wasn't immediately creeped out despite the fact that it wasn't really Dax Shepard. Just one more sad side effect of our culture's celebrity obsessions, I guess. He continued to follow us to the stairs, we thought we'd lost him and had a good laugh, but he was behind us again, we ducked into a store and he followed- he was only about 10 feet away and just stared blankly with no understanding of the social awkwardness that he should've been feeling, we left a different door, he followed us all the way to the track. That night at the hotel, I thought he would jump out of the dark at me, because we hadn't been very elusive on our way to the middle of nowhere.

Right by our lunch spot:
st aubin

Random church:

Sunflower field:


Saturday, July 12, 2008


Today I picked up my drycleaning- a couple of dresses and a sweater for the bargain price of $110. That will teach me to throw my clothes on the floor.

Here is the conversion from your US drycleaning bill to Dutch drycleaning bill:
What would you pay in the US?
Multiply by 2
Multiply by the Fx to Euro (currently 1.59)


Is it bad to take your vitamins with beer?

Today we drove to Antwerp, Belgium (1 hr.) the diamond capital of the world. We went to the Diamond Museum and wandered a little bit. Overall, the town and diamond district was disappointing. It was a little seedy, didn't smell the best, and we didn't stay long before turning around to go home.

Today's diet was shameful- we started out with a waffle for breakfast. I've become particularly addicted to these things. I was never one to order waffles in the US, but this is different: it's crispy on the outside, doughy inside, syrup embedded in the dough. In contrast, Nick is happy with only one. We found the best place and order plain with powdered sugar or chocolate filled with powdered sugar.
In Antwerp, we had fries with mayo for lunch. Then, back in Maastricht, we had the "Mafia special" of fried junk from a snackbar, followed up with another waffle for dessert. We're clearly in the honeymoon phase.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Germany driving tour: Rhine area

Before our trip, I bought about 25 tour guides, one of which is Frommer's Best-Loved Driving Tours of Germany. Because of the adorable obligation known as Batman, we tried to fit a 2 day tour into 1 day. Ultimately, we weren't successful and had to skip some places, but it was still a nice drive.

1) Aachen, Germany- here we saw the Dom (cathedral with Charlemagne's throne)

2) Bruhl, Germany- stopped to see Schloss Augustusburg, aka Nick's first castle!
Nick's first castle

Schloss Augustusburg in Bruhl, Germany

3) Bonn, Germany- former capital of West Germany for what it's worth, we visited the Beethoven museum, had all you can eat sushi for only 10 euro each and drove around hopelessly lost for a bit

Nick, Erica, and Ludwig
With Ludwig

4) Bad Godesburg- we stopped here because Good Godesburg was full. HA HA ha. ha.... actually Bad means "bath" and refers to the old bathhouses in the town. There is a ruin on the hill that has an amazing view. We climbed billions of stairs just to find that the restaurant on top of the hill was reserved for a wedding. Oh well- the tower was still accessible- it was very narrow and was tiring to climb, but it was well worth the visit.
Bad Goedesburg


I like this picture, but Nick didn't get it either... Irish pub surrounded by German signs is my type of humor:
pub in germany

We had to skip about 4 towns because it got too late, but we will definitely be trying more driving tours!