31 December 2010
24 December 2010
20 December 2010
18 December 2010
06 December 2010
If you're thinking apres-ski, you're in the right ball park. If you're like me, though, you're probably just thinking instead-of-ski. Heh, I went skiing once. It took me about 5 minutes to tear up my knee. That was my ski career. Whenever I see those amazing athletes barreling downhill, I head to the apres-ski zone toute de suite. Just watching them makes my knee hurt!
30 November 2010
26 November 2010
16 November 2010
11 November 2010
01 November 2010
When we go to someone's house, we normally bring chocolates. This past weekend, however, we were invited for dinner and we couldn't take chocolates--we were going to the home of our chocolatier! He certainly had enough of his own chocolates to satisfy him, and taking chocolates from a rival wouldn't have been very nice. So...what?
What's better than something from the kitchen? Pillsbury's jingle aside, there is (for me) something special about a gift from the kitchen. No, not wooden spoons...
16 October 2010
At the same time that we received this wonderful cheese, I found some lovely ground lamb. I wanted to make some lamb-burgers, and I was thinking of the wonderful spices in some of the Moroccan dishes we can find here. I wanted something a little hot, a little exotic. This buttery, salty cheese fit right in with what I had in mind.
03 October 2010
I love it that fruit and vegetables here have proper names. I used to just buy plums. What kind? Uh, purple ones. Here, we call them by their names. Reine Claude in French means Queen Claude. Don't ask me why you'd name a Queen Claude, but I guess someone did. In any case, she turned out to be agreeable enough that they named a lovely little green plum after her. I like the name Mirabelle better, I think. Not so royal but veryvery pretty. Like the plums themselves, tiny bundles of sunshine.
26 September 2010
I was talking to someone recently about the benefits and challenges of living in a country that you didn't grow up in. One of the challenges is that most people don't get your cultural references. I mean, imagine living in a place where nobody understands what you're talking about when you say, “Gee, Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore”. Or kemosabe-- doesn't everyone know what kemosabe means? No. Heigh-ho Silver? Nope. You're batting a thousand? Nope. You're in the right ballpark? Uh-uh. It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it? Sorry. I have to say, though, that when my students ask, “Kate, what does it mean—kemosabe?” they ask with such lovely French accents that I can forgive their not knowing.
25 August 2010
13 August 2010
02 August 2010
29 July 2010
21 July 2010
16 July 2010
08 July 2010
29 June 2010
21 June 2010
Well, that's not precisely true. I did have time to make a cake for our neighborhood barbecue on Sunday. I had promised to bring a dessert and when I saw this recipe I knew it was going to be the one. I changed it, of course.
11 June 2010
07 June 2010
04 June 2010
31 May 2010
Here in Belgium, Saturday was the commemoration of the end of WWII. As every year, we were invited to the ceremonies at the American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle, about 10 miles from our house. This is only one of the many cemeteries for Americans who died in the Allies' drive through northern Europe into Germany and in the Battle of the Bulge. There are bigger cemeteries at Liege and Bastogne, but this one is big enough—7992 Americans are buried here. 7992 sons and brothers, fathers and fiancés, comrades and friends. 7992 families not started, 7992 lives of hopes and dreams lost so that the people of Belgium could have their hopes and dreams. Here, in the Ardennes, where the battle raged, where the occupation crushed so many lives, people don't forget. Here, where people still remember seeing the GIs liberate their town or village, they don't forget. There are those still living who remember bringing the bodies to this hallowed ground. They looked at the faces of the fallen, those who had died to liberate them. They don't forget. Here, Memorial day doesn't mark the beginning of summer. It marks the end of hell.
28 May 2010
24 May 2010
20 May 2010
17 May 2010
14 May 2010
13 May 2010
12 May 2010
11 May 2010
10 May 2010
07 May 2010
06 May 2010
05 May 2010
04 May 2010
03 May 2010
01 May 2010
29 April 2010
27 April 2010
We met up with Oz, and Dan went off to his meeting. Oz and I found a cup of tea and began telling our life stories...
...and continued as we walked around snapping pictures.
Amsterdam to me is all about water and darling houses.
There was a kayak race on one of the canals.
And it wouldn’t be Amsterdam without the headshops. I love this photo of the family on the bicycle in front of the head shop. New shipments of ‘hemp’ had apparently been received, and business was brisk.
We took a walk through the narrow streets, heading for the Old Church. We passed some colorful shops, one of which specialized in ...ahem....protective appliances, shall we say. In all sizes. I don't want to think about how they measure for them...
LOL, there was a couple taking photos of the merchandise in the window and their daughter, about 3, asked “Mama, what’s that?” I wanted to stick around and hear the answer, but I didn’t.
...we ducked down a very narrow passage. It was full of shops, and they all had large windows. Most of the windows were covered with curtains, but in a few the curtains were opened, and there were women inside, wearing bikinis and, um, sort of dancing. One of the windows was open, and the woman was leaning out and, um, dancing, towards some guys. I was carrying my big honking Nikon, but I was holding it by the lens and my hand was up by my shoulder to make it clear I wasn’t using it. When the woman in the open window saw my camera, she shouted, “Oh NO. NO. NO CAMERAS. GET THAT OUT OF HERE.” I held it up over my head and shouted back, “NOT using it! NOT using it!”. We kept walking. So I’m sorry to say that there are no photos of the Amsterdam dancers. Ahem. Sorry.
At the old church there is a statue commemorating the working girls of Amsterdam.
There are narrow, charming streets. There are more darling houses.
And bicycles. Lots of bicycles. Everywhere.
There are interesting contrasts--here between the shop and the name of the alley...
There are tourist shops. This one was our favorite. He liked us too.
He promised low prices, although we know that the Euro didn’t exist in 1992, so that can’t be right...