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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

Tag Archives: cold

This morning I was surprised to find something I had not seen since my childhood.
A sight I only remember from early mornings after sleep-overs at my grandparents….

Everyone with central heating will probably not know what I am going on about.

Frozen florals...

Frozen florals…

Ice flowers…
or: IJsbloemen, as we call them in the Netherlands.

I haven’t found a similar name for it in the UK. Here it is simply called frost on the windows, or slightly more poetic ‘Frost ferns’.

Beautifully intricate crystal patterns are formed from the condensation, blooming gradually up onto the glass.. As the sun gently grew stronger, they slowly melted down onto the window sill…
The sight was so pretty I almost forgot how freezing my bedroom had gotten…
Brrrrrr and chattering of teeth.

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Wow, air… really?

I wish my nose would stop taking itself so seriously. 

When running, why not just stick to a gentle jog? There really is no need for this continuous mad dash…

The world is really not going to end today.

 

 

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Keep up…

I hope this drama will be done before Christmas… It would be sad to see everyone while making the most vile noises… (even if it would be nice to just once return the favour to my small cousins, who usually know how to surprise me with gifting me their exotic colds…) 

More importantly it would be a waste not to taste the lovely wines at Christmas… 

 

Sigh…

Snarf… 

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

 

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It is rare that expatriated Dutch people long to come back to their ‘little cold frog country’. (NL: Ons koude kikker landje).

But a picture like this surely brings up Dutch patriotic pride and homesickness:

Skating into the sunset...

On the other hand I only have bad memories of being on the ice.
Gargantuan blisters in my skates, bruises a-go-go… and all my friends disappearing in the distance, while I fall yet again on the cracks…
No, alas. I fear I will just enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of it, seated next to the fireplace…

Making the cold bearable...

PS. Sadly the epic skating tour along 11 Friesian towns (NL: Elfstedentocht) has been cancelled. The ice was not thick enough after 11 days of frost… Pity of all those extra gallons of Beerenburg they had distilled beforehand, just in case…
Better luck next year, hic!

PPS. On a happy note, may be my tulip bulbs will make it through to spring after all!

Oh, I love Holland!

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First the eggs, now the chicken!

Ha-a-a-tchou!

There is a monster of a cold virus roaming through the Netherlands.

I am not sure how it entered the house, but now it has, it certainly is here to stay.

This one has it all, the teary eyes, the sneezing and sniveling, the clogged nose, muscles aching and a pounding head…

So I have done the only thing one can do…

Make chicken soup and stay warm.

The recipe I use is simple:

My kind of bird...

1. Put an old bird in a pot, add onions, garlic, loads of fresh thyme (as if you will taste anything) and water in a pot.
(I added some laurel and juniper berries for more flavour)
2. cook for 3 hours (get back to bed or read a book under a blanket)
3. scoop out the carcass, leave to cool.
4. Strain the stock while warm (to get rid of any loose onion skins etc.)
5. once the carcass is cool enough, pick off all the meat from the carcass and add back into the strained stock.
6. add salt and pepper to taste (you could add vegetables, rice or noodles if you like, but I prefer plain.)
7. reheat soup when necessary (it will get better every time you reheat it.)

Feeling better already!

Hatchou!
(or may be not)

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