Archive for the 'lekker' Category

Padma Parvati Lakshmi

So I decided to bring back the Mooi Vrouwen section. I might as well herald it’s return with a shout out to the brainy and stunning Padma Lakshmi. What’s more perversely cute than a stick thin supermodel who can cook? Answer: Nothing.

Although we may never know why she married Salman Rushdie (yeah, yeah, brilliant writer, yeah, yeah, knighthood, yeah, yeah) but we all make mistakes. I just can’t wait for a new season of Top Chef. You can also (occaisionally) see her on Globe Trekker on PBS.

Old People’s Home

So I found out where I’m living next year while I study at Leiden. It is on Kaarsenmakersstraat (yeah, pronounced as it looks) and it appears to be a cute little place. Tons of rooms, multiple kitchens on each floor and a beautiful garden with a small canal in the back.

So you might wonder: why this student building is so tranquil and accommodating? Well, here’s why:

The building is owned by Accommodate (SLS Wonen). It dates from 1827 and was designed by the municipal master builder Salomon van de Pauw. It is a former old people’s home, also called the ‘Minnehuis’, and used to be owned by the Reformed Church’s social welfare organisation.

Yup. That’s right: I’m at the Dutch version of the Springfield Retirement Castle. Love it. I’m something of a grouchy/fussy old lady at heart, so this is perfect for me. I think I’m going to enjoy this.

It’s not right…

…but it’s OK.
Heineken hot tubs might be useful if you like your beer boiled to perfection. Different strokes. But it does make a fun first impression.

Joseph O’Neill: He’s alright!

I went to a reading of (aforementioned) Netherland at McNally-Robinson tonight. I’m a quarter through the book, and I love it. O’Neill signed it, and we commiserated about the DMV (read the book and find out). So far, I absolutely love this novel, particularly this little patch of writing right here:

…Later that night, she said, “Talk to me in Dutch,” and I did. Lekker stuk van me, I growled. “On second thoughts,” she said, “don’t talk to me in Dutch.”

Continue reading ‘Joseph O’Neill: He’s alright!’

Moord op de dansvloer.

So, this is my current setup. I just got my Denon turntable (little guy at left) and I’m super excited. My desk is officially dominated by audio equipment. (Good thing I virtually live in the computer lab when I do work.) I had some technical difficulty at first, but after a bit, I got used to it. I won’t be up and scratching anytime soon, this will take a lot of practice and experimentation. And Vitamin Water. But I can’t wait to learn.

Tomorrow: Impressions of some fresh nedderap I just got. Oh dear.

Christmas time… is here…

Haha, no it isn’t. But, since you asked, one of these will do:

They’re quite beautiful. They’re not my ultimate objects of headphone lust, though, which are these:

But these are decadently pricey. It’s so scary. Actually, there’s a chance I might have gotten the Technics by December. Hopefully. Just get me a small, drooling pug to fuss over.

Keep it gangsta’, Holland, keep it gangsta’.

Netherlands fined for too much milk

Thursday 18 October 2007

The Netherlands has been fined almost €9m by the European Commission for producing too much milk in the 2006/07 season.

Dutch farmers broke their official milk quota by 0.3%. Italy got the heaviest fine of €176m for a 6% over-production.

The fines were introduced to reduce the European milk lakes, but there is now a worldwide shortage of milk, news agency ANP says.

Mmm…

Dutch Word of the Day
het hunkeren:
a craving
Ik hebt het sterke hunkeren naar salm en komkommer.
I have a strong craving for salmon and cucumbers.

I’m really missing Sanday’s Bakery in Amsterdam something fierce. There really is nothing like it here. I love my prepackaged sandwiches. It was nothing like the ones at Subway or anything; they use regular bread instead of that fluffy French/Italian kind. Albert Heijn offered comparable knockoffs as well. Salmon and cucumber versions not only includes 2 out of 3 of my favorite foods (the 3rd is scrambled eggs), but they’re also pure and decadent perfection.
But loved getting the Sanday’s ones near Leidseplein before going to Vondelpark. It’s just wonderful. Someone needs to bring it stateside.

I ran so far

They won’t let me post the video, so click here.

I’ve been showing this SNL Digital Short to everyone I know. It’s kind of amazing. Mahmoud and Andy, good luck.

Damn, it feels good to be Wil Graanstra

Dutch Word of the Day
frites: the Dutch take on french fries
Mag ik de kliene frites met mayonaisse hebben, alstublief?
May I have the small fries with mayo, please?

That’s one sentence I’ll miss saying. The mayo they have here is not like the one we have in the states, and it tastes amazing on fries. The best frites I’ve had so far have been from Wil Graanstra’s stand near the Westermarkt. They aren’t too think, like some of the Moaz one’s can be, and the sauce is alright, unlike the kind Dutch McDonalds sells. That and the dude who sells them is hilarious. The stand closes at 6:00. I guess got there at 6:05, cause:

Me: Could I have the small frites with mayo please?
WG: Nope.
Me: Why not???
WG: The day’s over. I’m going home. Goodbye!
Me: (looking sad)
WG: Sorry. (shrugs) Or you could preorder them, pay now, and I’ll have them for you tomorrow if you want.
Me: It’s OK. I’ll be back.
WG (“Arh-nold” Schwarzenegger voice):I’ll be back!

See what I put up with? Dutch people can be sarcastic in two languages. It’s kind of scary. But of course, I did come back.

He’s in a great location, right by the Anne Frank Huis and the Westermarkt. The guy’s probably making bank everyday. (Or just sick of giving confused tourists directions to the Anne Frank Huis. “It’s right around the corner. You’re not far at all.”) If I was here for a year rather than a semester, my frites purchases alone could send his kids to college. Not even affordable euro- college. I’m talking over priced American college.

If I need to be rolled back to America, blame him.

More like "Heineken BOO-ery!"


Dutch Word of the Day
druk: busy, crowded
De Heineken Brouwerij was veel druk.
The Heineken Brewery was very busy.

Sorry it took me so long to back to this. I don’t know why, cause I’ve been meaning to hate on this place all week.

So my brother Martin (aka Martlock, cause he’s a lawyer now) came to visit me this past weekend. It was Pentecost and everything was closed so it made it difficult to get around, but we managed. We went to to Pancake Bakery first, which was amazing as usual despite some sloooooow service. Then we decided to go to Heineken Brewery.

I thought the Anne Frank line was serious. Nope, the Brewery was even more special. But with the 11 euro entry you get three beers and a free gift (which you, thankfully, won’t get at the Anne Frank Huis). So we waited and eventually got in. It’s a very Disney looking place, all things considered. There were brightly colored displays and exhibits, and something that looked like a scene from the Haunted Castle, except involving the scientist who helped develop some kind of yeast. Basically, it’s for beer nerds.

Things were going great until we got sucked into this inexplicably long line. It was supposed to be a quick five room walk through showing the different elements that go into beer, but it was packed. We stood on it for what felt like a half hour. Turns out that there were two lines: One for the rest of the exhibit, and the other for a “ride.” Since we stayed on the line for long enough, someone (Martin) suggested that we might as well go on the ride.

OK. So this ride was supposed to mimic what it feels like to be a bottle of beer in the factory. We had to stand in a small movie theater looking room, hold some bars for safety and watch a screen, while the thing we were standing on rocked, simulating the movement of a bottle on the conveyor belts.

I was angry within seconds of getting on this “ride.” This was embarrassingly bad. This terrible music was playing in the background and none of the shots were even trying to be continuous. My brother and I just laughed the entire time. It ends with you, the “bottle”, getting put into a box and shipped somewhere. That box is then opened in a bar, and the tune “Celebrate Good Times” by Kool and the Gang plays. That’s when we really lost it.

At least we got beers at the end. But honestly, if they wanted to make us feel like bottles of beer, they should have filled us with alcohol first.

Pancakes and Broken Glass


Dutch Word of the Day
pannenkoeken: pancakes
Pannenkoek avond was een succes. Pancake night was a success.

It was a ton of fun. There was a ton of toppings for the pancakes (including cracktella, whipped cream and fruit) and bad pop music abound. Then we went to Dansen bij Jansen, a student dance club near the Jordaan. The DJ has a great sense of timing, but bad taste in music. It was a really manic set. And there was barely and ventilation and a ton of cigarette smoke because this isn’t New York. There was a lot of broken glass. I’ve never been out at bars or clubs in the states, but there was so much broken glass here I couldn’t believe it. Every couple of minutes, someone would drop a glass.

Other than that it was fun. It’s hard to find good places in Amsterdam cause it’s so small. When something gets good, it gets too popular. Or costs 10-15 euro to get in.

And I think to myself…what a wonderful world…

Dutch Word of the Day
leuk: nice, cute
Dat was veel leuk!
That was so cute!

This is in reference to my Dutch Social Policy class’ visit to a school/community center in De Pijp, a neighborhood outside of the center. I got very lost on the way there, but I’m glad that I found it.

The kids were making us dinner. They have a cooking club and were quite busy taking our orders and putting drinks together. They were very serious and very, very adorable. I didn’t understand what they were saying because they don’t speak English yet, but they were patient with my rudimentary Dutch. And the food was quite good! There was even tiramisu for dessert.

(I know, right? Damn!)

They really should have cooking programs like this in the US, especially with our childhood obesity problem. Once people learn that it is more fun, healthy, and cheap too cook instead of doing takeout/fast food all the time, it’ll change everything. But we can only dream.

One of the kids mixing the drinks actually looked like a very young picture of my brother. I was like, “Mini-Mart? No? OK….”

The More You Know: Everything you own in a gracht to the left

Dutch Word of the Day
het bocht: the trash
Het is tijd uit het bocht nemen!
It’s time to take out the trash!

Grachten (city canals in Amsterdam) can become quite filthy. They aren’t safe to swim in at all, except for the ducks, and it’s really quite nice to see them moving in pairs in the springtime. I can’t wait until we get some ducklings on the scene. That’ll be too adorable.

They’ll drag the grachten a few times a year and find hundreds of rusting bicycles below the surface. I was musing on the canal related suicide/murder rate before, but I still haven’t asked around. (I’ll ask my Dutch professor later.) Once in a while, I’ll forget to take out the garbarge and I’m very tempted to hurl it in the gracht. But there are houseboats around and I’d feel bad about polluting someone’s home.

However, there are certain things worthy of a gracht burial that can’t wait for garbage day.

Last night, I was having a nice thorough room clean when I stumbled upon a ring from a rather undesirable ex. (Cue violins? Kazoos? I dunno.) How it made it from America to here, Lord only knows. Could’ve sworn I left it at home. I didn’t want the thing lingering in my garbage can until Thursday because I had already took out the trash for Sunday night. What’s an American in Holland to do?

So I put on my jacket, took a little walk and flicked it into Leliegracht that’s around the corner from me. There aren’t any houseboats there, and I’m sure the ducks were asleep somewhere else.

I recommend this very cathartic activity to anyone with small, irritating objects that they can’t seem to shake. (Except for objects such as whiny children and bitchy cats. Well, maybe those, too.) It’ll make you feel great.

Maybe I’ll ask him about how much jewelry’s in there, too.

In like a lion, out like a kicking screaming son of a bitch

Dutch Word of the Day
weten: to know
Ik weet het niet.
I don’t know.

You’d think March in Amsterdam would be hell, yes? It was nice for the first half, but for the past two days it decided to get special, so I suppose that adds to the March-like capriciousness.

It hasn’t been raining/snowing as much as showering painful, chunks of ice like shards of glass without warning. I tried to go to the filmmuseum by Vondelpark today. It was sunny until I got to the Anne Frank house (not that far from me at all) and this ominous cloud appeared and nature’s shards of glass were in my face. It was terrifying. People were running for shelter. At one point today I went into the Rijksmuseum just for warmth. Good thing I got in free with my museum pass.

In other news: Pancakes and Booze and Bad Pop Music on the Prinsegracht next Thursday. I’m planning a whole array of dessert pancakes. Think Powdered Sugar, Jam, Syrup, and Cracktella (!!!) I’m very excited for this.

For those of you in Amherst, fear not. I will bring this party back to the States.


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