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You Always Take The Weather…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-9-2010

The Children all seemed to enjoy telling me this morning that the weather people are predicting a large dump of snow this weekend.

I’m not proud. Right now, I loathe sticking any part of my body outside of our house, and there are a few rooms in our house ( our big bathroom and our bedroom, which have no heat) which find me muttering like a sailor, under my breath, as I pass through the door. In fact, I curse so roundly that I can almost imagine the ghost of my dear, departed mother following me with a bar of soap.

In the newspapers, they actually recommend that couples sleep in the raw- if you know what I mean- because nothing is warmer than …flesh upon flesh.

Yesterday, at the grocery store, I was chatting with one of *the girls* ( I really have to stop thinking of them as *girls*, for they must both be pushing 40..) and said, oh well, I guess that I have lived in The Netherlands long enough that I have learned to complain about the weather. An elderly woman came up behind me and started laughing, saying that indeed, the dutch always complain about the weather, or, in a pinch, always talk about the weather.

Tonight at dinner we all agreed that the best part of this bitter road is the food. Gone the blanched vegetables, the salads, we want.. grease. Fats. Meat.

The Father announced that he wanted a goulash once again ( uh…). The Baby wants me to make pancakes ( more like crepes than american pancakes) with apples once more.

Yes, yes, Winter Food.

I suppose that most people associate Van Gogh with the South of France. Well, he grew up here in Brabant, not very far away at all from Casa Kitchen. That painting, The Potato Eaters ( is that the correct translation ? ), is smack dab correct : how they love their potatoes here, all mushed up like baby food with some member of the cabbage family mushed together with the spuds ( I myself am also fond of the kale and potato mush..). Winter food.

As well as the family scarfing them down, I am rather fond of making these uber Brabant…or Dutch.. dishes. Not anything that one would ever find in a restaurant, but in a way a bit of folk history.

A while ago, I changed the meat that I use for making soups and Dutch dishes. Apparently, I was using a cut of beef from the shoulder ( ugh, brings back memories of dissection in Biology). Now, I am very fond of stringy beef that has to cook for 3 years, I like pot roast, I kid you not. So the shoulder cut was fine for me.

And then one day, at our very fine butcher shop ( he still makes his own pate, smokes his own salmon, makes his own lunch meats, uses only free range pigs… you get the idea..) I saw a different cut of meat which cost the same as the meat I always bought for soup and sundries. It just looked interesting, that * dikke lende* did. I now think that in English it is called heart of rump, but my, what a tasty meat. What a fine structure. ( Brown for flavor, brown for flavor…)

Today in the local newspaper I found a recipe that I simply have to try. Yes, I have tried recipes from the local paper and many have found their way into our favorites. But this sounds so very Dutch that we must indeed try it.

It includes meat that must cook for a cooties age, carrots, leek, thyme, laurel, and a large dollop of apple syrup (?). But what makes it so very Dutch is that once everything has been browned or sautéed, simmering away one spreads 1 or 2 tablespoons of mustard on two thin slices of gingerbread ( ok, Dutch gingerbread is not as overwhelming as the gingerbread in The States..) and places that on top of everything.

Somehow I know that this whole gingerbread business is a very old Dutch way to thicken soups. Stews. And I am very curious to try this.

Winter Food.

Always look at the bright side of life…

de dumm….

  1. Karan Said,

    Please report back and take pictures! I am intrigued.

  2. Mummy Dearest Said,

    Oh Karan, I make no pretenses about being a good cook.

    And what I really wanted for Christmas was a new camera. Instead, I received a pile of new clothes. Chosen by our fashion consultant, The Girl. Nice clothes, but an awful lot of wool ( atchoo!) and while she and I wear about the same size, she prefers skin tight clothing while I go for the baggy look.

    But I must admit that I am very curious about the whole gingerbread business.

    And I liked your post about L. After 30 years, I often feel that same burst of emotion.

    So. Down to the nitty gritty : are you the crocodile or the alligator ?

  3. Mary Said,

    With your Massachusetts blood, one might think you’d adjust to the cold a bit easier than others!!!!! While on the subject, what brought you to Brabant???

  4. Mummy Dearest Said,

    Mary, I am actually from no where, I simply chose Massachusetts because we once lived there as well and it suited me. Excepting Brabant, the longest that I ever lived in one place for consecutive years was in Thailand. Uh, that will not work. I also lived for a grand total of 8 years in Germany.

    Get the idea = I have lived here, there and everywhere. Woody Guthrie would love me.

    Love brought me to Brabant. Well, actually, someone who liked me back ! But after 28 or 30 years, depending upon where one starts from, it seems to have worked out fine.

    Raw flesh and all…

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