It was cold when I arrived at Central Station in Amsterdam. Cold and snowing. Yuck…. Being the middle of march and all, it could be warmer. I had decided tk take the train, since parking in Amsterdam costs a small fortune and it made sense to take the train. Even though I hate public transportation. I was meeting my friend Charlotte for lunch at De Blauwe Pan, a cafe in de Westerstraat, not too far from Central Station and a place which she had visited before. According to their menu, they had the option for a high tea and given the lousy weather we figured that would be a few hours well spend on a dreary afternoon.
It feels like it has been forever since we last did a Black Box, Tom and I… But we figured it was time to give it another go. Just last week Tom was told that his contract would not be renewed which means that as of April 1st he will be unemployed again. It’s the worst time in the world to be without a job, but there is not much we can do about it, so we just try and see the bright side of things. And while budget cooking is maybe not our strongest point, we thought this would be the best time to give it a go. So we set up a few new rules and the first one was that we would go to a regular supermarket instead of our special suppliers in Amsterdam (who always cost a lot more). So supermarket stuff and a limit of 15 euro. While I realize that 15 euro is still a lot of money for one meal; keep in mind that this is a special meal… (and one that will last for two days!)
When you go to any country in Asia, everyone knows that you can eat virtually everywhere. And have a decent meal for under a dollar if you want. Going to a fancy restaurant might even be a little bit silly when you can find a foodstall with mouth watering goodies on every single corner of the street. When – in fact – you smell food or something roasting on coals (and yes, that would be food too) 24 hours a day. You really do not need a guide like the Lonely Planet or any other one to tell you where the food will be good. You just sit down and order (using some sort of common sense obviously. Busy is good, quiet not so much. Clean.. well you know the drill)
But once in a while every so often, you just want to get your appetizer before your main and drink a nice glass of wine and relax a little bit in a different atmosphere. So when we were in Siem Reap and I was reading through the respective chapter in my Lonely Planet my eye just fell on The Sugar Palm. It sounded promising and even though I am always a little hesitant when it comes to restaurants mentioned in the LP (quality can deteriorate rapidly if too many people visit!) we decided to give it a go regardless. So on our first night in Siem Reap we set out to find the place supposedly in the same street as our hotel. Our diner for two had grown into a dinner for 6 as we had some people of our group tag along and while talking we walked the street.
Waking up this morning I looked out of the window to be greeted – again – by an all white world… If you’re anything like me and live on this side of the world you’re pretty much fed up with winter and quite ready for spring. Especially after our trip to Laos and Cambodia, where the temperatures reached close to 40 C, I just cannot get used to the snow again! I had to finish the tax papers and had to head out the door too to bring it all to the accountant (a fancy word for a friend who is doing my tax-return…lol) and on the way book home I figured it was a perfect day for a bit of baking.
In just a few months time my blog will be celebrating it’s 5th birthday! Over the next few months you might find a few retrospective posts popping up and me getting a little bit nostalgic now and then… You’ve been warned! O and this is a fairly long post too..
I’ve been blogging now for a little under 5 years. I didn’t start right at the beginning of the world of blogging but still, I’ve been around for a while. While there is a big difference in blogging between the US and Europe, it seems that the blogging bug has now fully hit the Netherlands as well. I am part of a Dutch foodblogger group on Facebook and the amount of food blogs that keep popping up is amazing really.
When I started 5 years ago I was one of the few here that had a blog and as of today there are only a few Dutch bloggers that blog in English. (I like my world to be a little bigger then our tiny country, even though there is something to be said for blogging in your mother language for sure)
And over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve come to wonder why people start a foodblog? Why is it all of a sudden a big thing? Why do new blogs pop up on a daily basis? What is the reason it has gone from slightly weird to popular in the space of maybe a year or so?
Yes, it was time for our cooking club again! I’ve been debating with myself for a long time which recipe I was gonna share here with you and as I am writing this I am still a little bit undecided as they were all good. I’m pretty sure I told you on previous occassions that cooking in a group can be challenge. So challenging – in fact – that we do end up with something very uhm… unrepresentative of our combined cooking knowledge… But for whatever reason last week it all came together beautifully, with one small exception of my piece of lamb being a tad undercooked (well it was virtually raw, so maybe undercooked was an understatement…)