Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Wonderful 2010 !!

The pie on the photo is called Torta Alla Gianduia or simply Nutella Pie. The recipe can be found on Nigella Lawsons's "How to be a Domestic goddess". It is just out the oven and we are going to have it tonight. I think it is a pretty image to wish you all who have been following my blog a great 2010 !!

The blog has reached 50 followers today - and that warms up my heart A LOT.

It has not always been easy to blog. Maybe next year I will be blogging less frequently, twice a month or something like that. (January will be tough or impossible). Anyway, I have met wonderful people in the blogland. Some, due to distance, will remain virtual companions. Others, fortunatelly, I have met personally - in Holland and in Brazil. When I started blogging I thought some friends in Brazil and my closest family would be following the posts. Plus maybe some friends and colleagues in Holland. But soon I realized it was been followed by people everywhere and that's great !! Thank you all and once more: a healthy 2010 for us all !! I hope finally we will have a healthier economic system, alternative efficient forms of cancer prevention and access to a non-polluting, free energy.

Gente, obrigada por tudo esse ano. Impossivel seguir todos os blogs que eu gostaria de seguir. Computador moribundo e agonizante, sempre trabalhei 4 dias por semana e agora meus estudos. Mais os pimpolhos... Conheci pessoas doces e interessantes esse ano, atraves da bloglandia. Monica e sua mae Maria Lucia no Rio, mais a Jane a Mara e a Faby em SP. Alguns blogueiros em Amsterdam com os quais ainda mantenho contato. E outras pessoas que infelizmente devido a distancia vao permanecer virtuais... De qualquer forma desejo a todos voces MUITA saude em 2010. Talvez eu blogue bem menos mas vou sempre passar por aqui. Beijocas para todos !!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hell is a Very Cold Place

Son: - Mom, may I check what you are seeing in your computer ?
Mommy: - Of course ! Look: a little film about very driven ice skaters. Beautiful isn't it ?
Son: - Yeah. It is so frozen. And with cracks, such as Ice Age. Is it dangerous ?
Mommy - Of course !
Son: - So... why are they doing that ?
Mommy: - Ah, my son. I do not know. You have a house with good warming, you have food on table and still you decide to ice skate for a whole day untill you hallucinate from hunger and your eyes freeze.
Son: - But... is it fun ?
Mommy: - Also. Sure ! Honey !! Help !!

Hubby: - Ah, boys will always look for adventures, won't they ?
Son: - A-hum.
Mommy: - Some girls also. Look: one of the four heroes in this movie - it's a brave girl.
Son: - Can I then watch that ?
Mommy: - Only when you are 12. We bring you now together with your sister to opa and oma. Daddy and mommy are going to Purmerend to watch it.
Purmerend is a big modern city with lots of attractions. I enjoy going there for occasional shopping or for the fun - like today (but I prefer to live in an authentic Dutch village).

We went for "De Hel van '63" . The Dutch press has been giving 3 - sometimes 4 - stars to this film. Great photography and beautiful special effects but no complicated plot: during the winter of 1963 in the provincie Friesland (northern Netherlands) it freezes -19 °C. Therefore the organization comitee of the longest ice skating marathon in the world (200km) approves the Elfstedentocht for the following day: 18th January 1963 at 6 a.m.. Almost 10 thousand participants go for the challenge of covering a tour along 11 Frisian villages- but only 69 reach the finish line. We are going to follow soldier Henk, farmer's son Sjoerd, unemployed Kees and nurse Annemiek overcome exhaustion, hunger, woundings, snowstorms and personnal disappointments in order to get a little medal - before midnight. All of them have very special reasons to take part in the marathon.

In real life Reinier Paping arrived first during the legendary marathon of '63. He made it within 11h - most of which he was completely alone. As prize he got a silver cigarette box and two tickets for icerink in Deventer to be used during the following two years. And an unknown man put 10 guilders in his hand.
I have to say: I found the film great fun !!
It is going to freeze next week in the Netherlands. My husband has just checked his iceskates and decided he needs new ones. My son son is also making wild plans.

Ah, boys will always look for adventures.

Some girls also.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Tree [Kerstboom] (Arvore de Natal)

Old South, Amsterdam.
Christmas trees in all sizes and prices.

Follow me home...

This way...

That's my Christmas tree.

I'd like to have posted it before but I've had some problems with my computer. Tomorrow I'll be celebrating Christmas at my sister-in-law in Purmerend. Today I have been pretty busy in the kitchen (preparing tiramisu and creme brullee) and calling some people in Brazil. I wish you all readers top celebrations !!
Gente, eu to meio lenta com o blog porque o computador ja deu o que tinha que dar. Mas "vamo que vamo". Amanha passo o Natal com minha cunhada e hoje estou o tempo todo na cozinha, preparando as sobremesas para amanha e outros detalhes. Desejo a todos voces otimos festejos !!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

During the last days in Holland there has been a LOT of snow.
I'd like to share with you some photos of my village I have taken today.
Let's see some aspects of a Dutch white winter in a village, shall we ?
Somewhere in North Holland you can find...

Pretty Christmas features in the gardens...

and "frozen" statues. (bevroren beeldjes)

Some houses in my village. It is full of canals and islands.

You do not see such type of houses (all in wood) frequently.

My village is pretty rich in birds:
ducks, storks, herons, swans, water hens, geese...

Special duck, isn't it ?

They are everywhere in the canals

This is a fake one guys ! (De reiger)

Some birdhouses (vogelhuisjes)

Many frozen ways...
Frozen waterway # 2

Frozen waterway # 3
Bootjes ...

Yes!! Sneeuwpoppen !!

Snowman # 1

Snowman # 2

Snowman # 3

Snowman # 4

Snowman #5

Snowman # 6
Snowman # 7
I am happy I do not have to drive the next two weeks.
Snow can be very charming but may also mean trouble.
Holland is absolutely stunning now.
Have a lovely week you all !!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lazy Saturday [Doce de Leite, mmm]

At the moment I have some vacations from the Dutch course. I have had a lazy Saturday and spare time to do something lekkers in the kitchen. It has always amazed me that most Dutch do nothing about condensed milk. They use it for the coffee and that's it. While in Brazil it can be used for zillion of puddings, pies, cake fillings and sweets. But then I think it is a typical South American thing, this passion for doce-de-leite / dulce de leche.
Something sooo easy to try: get a can of condensed milk, remove the label and place it in a pressure cook pan (snelkookpan). Cover it with water. Cook it for exactly half an hour. Remove it from the pan and let it cool down before opening it. (If you do not have such a pan you may have to cook it for 1h. )
Spread it on your favourite cake, croissants or cookies. I personally love it with cake and pices of pineapple. The thickened condensed milk tastes super sweet and the pineapple adds some balance to it. But that's me. It goes also well with strawberries or you favourite fruit.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Amsterdam Scenes

I have been sick the last days, my kids as well. Last weekend I had a lot of home work to do. Once I had accomplished it all, we decided it was time to pick up the car and go to Amsterdam in order to move our legs in the Vondelpark - and also check some December sales. On Sundays, we always park in the fancy area of Old South (Oud Zuid) and never get tired of walking around.

This is a very chic furniture shop. I just loooove this shop window - lots of rats !

This is at P.C. Hoofdstraat. Some shops have already Christmas decorations - beautiful and boring. This Hermes was quite original. Chapeau !

We decided it was a good idea to check the shops in Leidsestraat. First, we reached Leidseplein. I just had to photograph this saying, it amuses me for more than one decade.

Homo sapiens non urinat in ventum. Freely translated it becomes:
A wise man doesn't urinate in the wind. Big truth. Big, big truth.

There is enough room in Leidseplein for ice skating.

Kids learn how to iceskate pushing a chair. I've never learned how to do it. My kids practice in the canal behind their grandparents house, in our village. Beautiful open fields, but also dangerous. They get scared with the sound of some "cracks", me too. Specially after they have see Ice Age and all those "cracking" sounds, brrrr!

And our kids asked to have olie bollen.
It is a deep fried dough with dried raisins, typical during winter season.
Walking along Leidsestraat one couldn't avoid noticing a beautiful classical song. Some tourists were looking down the bridge, into the canal. I decided to break my way among them and saw this amazing man playing along - and sailing. Some tourists screamed during a brief pause: "Arlequin !" and others "Hey, clown !" But the artist was quite serious about what he was doing, and asked the tourists their preferences. My son joined me, and I could make a pair of stunning photos from him on the bridge on the left side an the artist on the right side. The artist started playing Mendelhsson and we decided to leave.
I am so satisfied I could make these pics - the boat was moving quite fast and the tourists were squeezing me. (And after all, this blog is all about photos.) I am always concerned about somebody stealing my camera. Touristical places are for me a synonim of potential theft - pick pockets and so on. My anthenas are always working. You can take the girl out of Rio but you cannot take Rio inside of the girl...
To make a long story short: hubby found good offers at Sissy-Boy and Matinique shops. I was not inspired at all - I prefer to shop alone. We walked back to the car via the Museumplein. I think Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world - and I have quite seen the world. I always long for more of Amsterdam. I AMsterdam.