Friday, 27 April 2012

Making chocolate cakes

Lately, it is not unusual to see Paul as shown in the picture. With few pots and random tools, he is mixing water with other "ingredients". Luckily, I have managed to convince him that it is better to do whatever he does outside.

When being asked "What are you doing?", he just replied cooly: "I am making chocolate cakes". Of course. So I continued: "Oh, nice, so we can eat chocolate cake after you are finished!". Paul looked at me, probably being concerned about my mental health. "No, mama, these are not for eating, these are just for playing!". Oooohhhh... children are smarter than we think!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

What is Nederland?

Will our children remain familiar with the Netherlands if we continue living abroad for long? Are they going to have a clear picture of who-is-who in their family?

My husband had the idea to make a big poster about the Netherlands. We simply used one of our removal carton boxes and opened it flat. Then it is all a matter of drawing together few things (mo matter if they are really beautiful or not), gluing some others and printing some family pictures. Of course, all in an orange background.

The result is not particularly impressive, but it helps the children to talk about their home country. Even if they are only 2 and 4 years old, they talk about it to visitors and friends, like: "Look, this is my opa (grandpa) and he is reading books for me". And that is already worth the effort!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cooking a traditional "cocido"

I guess the longer you are abroad, the more you feel attached to simple things from your home culture. And one of the things expats seem to miss the most is their home country food. So, having some chorizo left from my mother´s last visit, and since I recently found where to buy chick peas, I decided to give it a try and cook some traditional "cocido".
Here comes the recipe: Ingredients: - 1/2 kg chick peas - Some cabbage - 2 potatoes - 1 carrot - 1 onion - A piece of chorizo - A piece of pork meat - A piece of chicken - 2 big meat balls Really, the quantities and proportions depend on what you want to eat, and for how many people you want to cook this dish. There is no really a golden rule! What to do: - Soak the chick peas the night before in water (if they are dry chick peas) - Boil the chick peas and the meat together until the chick peas are tender. - Add the peeled vegetables. I let it boil for half an hour in a pressure cooker, you will need more time in a normal pot. - When everything is ready, you can use the water for making a soup with small pasta as a starter. - Then serve the rest in a tray (without the cooking water), so that everybody can take the parts they like. - Season with olive oil. The result was delicious! And really, cooking this dish is really easy, it just takes some time.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Picnic in Lake Muhazi

A couple of weeks ago we went to Lake Muhazi to have a picnic in the afternoon. A friend of us wanted to show her plot of land where she plans to build a leisure center, maybe including a camping or bungalows for families to stay over.

The place is beautiful! We just spent few hours in the area, and it is a good place for small children to entertain themselves for a while. At the Muhazi Water Sports, you can buy some drinks and simple food (we ordered roasted chicken and bananas). Of course, it is always good to carry some crayons or small toys! A ball was not a good idea, since it was easily rolling into the water.
For directions, check the website of Muhazi Water Sports, the way is well described. I recommend it for a lazy weekend afternoon!


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