Friday, May 30, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The week-end before I couchsurfed in Maastricht, Holland with my buddy Martin. I was cold at the time and was borrowing someone's sweater. That's Martin there on the left.
This was Janine's (an Aachen friend and CS host) humble abode. I got her the flowers.
She made wonderful curries and shared them with me. This one has things like mango, eggplant, snap peas, bamboo shoots, tofu and coconut milk in it.
I was locked out the house today and I knew that our neighbors did not have an extra key. I piled these things up so as to get through my bedroom window above and prayed that no neighbors would notice.
Ok, so the winter garden's sliding doors were open and both windows to my room were cracked at the top (if you're American, you probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about). I stacked up the picnic table with a bench, and the platform outside the winter garden just as it's shown in the top photograph. Then, I skiddled over the winter garden's roof. That crack has always been there, but when I walked over it, I could guess that someone had previously been in my same predicament. Cue music, *She came in through the bedroom window...*
This morning I made rhubarb, coconut, rum cupcakes. My own random made-up recipe because we've got this rhubarb stuff in the fridge and someone's gotta use it. I like the wrappers and how they match the plate. They came from Holland and actually fit the cupcake tin, unlike all the Deutche ones I've tried.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I think I should make a habit of musical references on my blog.
I sleep on this couch thing. My room is always messy.
Upstairs winter garden. This is adjoined to the room that's next to my room.
Where I browse the internets. This room faces the front of the house.
Dining room. The kitchen is on the right.
The other half of our Wohnzimmer.
Through the door with the windows: downstairs winter garden.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
There is no recipe because I never measure what goes into my pancakes. Just a fuckload of baking powder.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The abbey where the beer is produced has been around since 1216, but the beer that you can find in the Belgian supermarkets today has only been in production since 1997. They had to adapt the 13th century recipe from the first ingredients to actual ingredients and also to the tastes of today. However it's still brewed with the ancient method of infusion.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Makes precisely 12 muffins or 1 brownie pan.
1 cup corn flour or meal (actually, I used 175ml gluten free corn flour and 75ml vital wheat gluten to balance it out. What can I say? I'm an improviser.)
1 tsp (heaping) baking powder
1 tsp (heaping) salt
1 cup soymilk + 1tsp apple cider or other light vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tb buttah
- Preheat oven to 350°F/ 175°C. Actually, I usually do this right before I mix the wet and dry ingredients together because I take forever.
- Grease your pan! Unless you're using cupcake liners. Here's my method: pour a teensy tiny bit of oil in each muffin crevice. Get a paper towel, stick it in a bit of your buttah (I grab, very approximately, a 1/2 Tb), and spread that around with your oil. Also make sure to get the top of the pan, where the batter isn't supposed to go, but inevitably ends up. This gets things nicely greased and makes for easier cleaning. You don't even need to spread messy flour over the top.
- Stir together soymilk and vinegar and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together sugar and buttah until smooth.
- In a smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients. I like to whisk mine together.
- Add the now curdled soymilk and the dry ingredients in the the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
- Fill the crevises or brownie pan until 1/3 of the way full
- If muffins, bake 20min until a toothpick comes out clean. If bread, like in a brownie tin, bake approx. 30min until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.
This still needs some tweaking. I'm going to try adding baking soda next time and see if I like them fluffier. as is, they're more cup-cakey. Could be the funny flour combo, though.
2) Service. Everywhere from free water at a restaurant to peeing in a café without buying anything to painting your nails in a store without buying the nail polish (that may not be legal, actually) to just getting a waitress (or server, but I'm not about to pretend that I'm PC) to come around to you other than when she damn well pleases.
3) Music. In Euroland, Jam music = "huh?" + North America has some good indie pop.
4) Friendliness, which I've apparently forgotten about. My American friend (who's idea it was to come up with this list; we needed to get more posi about our country) had to remind me. I actually wouldn't believe her until a German friend who'd visited his girlfriend in SoCal recently vehemently agreed with her. Still, I think that a lot of people appear friendly in contrast to the Germans.
5) Guys. I'm not digging the whole androgynous Euro-look.
6) Products. Amanda's parents came to visit all the way from Alabama not too long ago and with them they brought things like instant grits (polenta is essentially instant, but still), Jimmy cake cornbread mix ( vegan!), Pop Tarts, Nature's Valley bars, vanilla extract, Secret deodorant.... I never new I'd find such comfort in a brand. Oh! Memories are fading back... How about Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruit Roll Ups? And Dove conditioner? Yes, these things I actually miss.
Well, that's about it for what I miss. Everything else I can do without.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Amanda was set on visiting a brewery this weekend, so we checked it out on the internets and realized that there were two very close to us. Amanda, quite fortunately, has a car so on two seperate days we took lovely rides to each brewery.
Friday my kid didn't have school and Amanda didn't have to work, so we visited our first brewery. It wasn't as exciting as we'd hoped, but we did taste some very good beer for not too many Euros. + we got to see one of the guys that was on the pamphlet. When I saw him my face lit up and a whispered loudly to Amanda, "He's on the pamphlet!" while I pointed emphatically held it too close to her face that she could make adequate comparison.
^^brasserie de Grain d'orge ^^
Then we noticed that most of the people that walked into this café in the tiny town of Hombourg, Belgium looked rather alike. We guessed that more than a few were related in some way or another.
^^brasserie de Grain d'orge ^^
On Saturday we went to L'Abbey du Val-Dieu. It's owned by monks and unlike the former brewery, we did not see any of it's owners. I suspected them to be submersed in Gregorian chants whilst they smacked Bibles against their visages.
Friday, May 2, 2008
This week's: Duvel, a Belgian beer. The name means devil in Flemish, perhaps in reference to its high alcohol content of 8.5% ABV. It is the definative version of a Belgian Stong Pale Ale and is brewed with Pilsner malt and white sugar and hopped with two things that make no sense to me, so I'm not copying them from wikipedia right this second.
Taken in Maastricht.
Duvel has been in production since 1871 and is distributed to over 40 countries. If you look my photograph closely, you might notice that it has a shit ton of head. If you're American, you might think that I don't know how to pour a beer. Quite on the contrary, that's just how the Duvel rolls and I like it. You can drink it at that state or wait 'till it disintigrates a little, either way it's tasty and powerful.