Sunday, 28 June 2009

Windmills of Your Mind

From 1366 to 1369, two canals were dug between Alblasserwaard to Kinderdijk. They were designed to discharge water into river Lek.

When the canals were no longer sufficient to cope with rising water level, windmills were constructed. Eight were built in 1738 and a further eight in 1740 to protect the surrounding land from flooding.
The mills work by draining the excess water from the Alblasserwaard polders - which are situated below sea-level - after which the water is sluiced into the river Lek (the Rijn). The powerful mill sails serve to transmit the force of the wind on to large paddle-wheels which scoop up the water. Nowadays power-driven pumping engines do the job, including one of the largest water screw pumping-stations in Western Europe.

Today, Kinderdijk has no less than nineteen windmills.
This site remains almost unchanged from its original state.
In 1997 the mills of Kinderdijk were put on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
The foundation "Wereld Erfgoed Kinderdijk" maintains and preserves the windmills in Kinderdijk.
The preservation is not limited to the windmills themselves, but also covers the area in which the windmills are situated.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Time to Say Goodbye

This may well be the last time the three of us were able to get together before our imminent departure from the Netherlands, a place we called home for the last few years.

Heldy from the Phillipines, mother of two, has been residing in the Netherlands for the past fifteen years. This end of July, Heldy and family will be heading off to Canada.

Eunjin, too, will be leaving the Netherlands after being here for about three years. They will be heading towards the vibrant city life of Hong Kong..... happy shopping days, Eunjin!!!

And as for me..........

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Beautiful Homes

The soft spoken, gorgeous and fashionable Eunjin Min from South Korea.
Mother to two beautiful and extremely talented young ladies.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made by pickling vegetable in garlic and chillies. Most common vegetables used in making kimchi are cabbages, cucumbers and radishes.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi with the juice
Ground beef (or any other meat) - I'm using chopped prawns
Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp of Soya sauce
Cooked white rice
Onions, diced
Garlic, finely chopped
Sesame oil
Chili-garlic sauce
Sesame seed

Chop kimchi cabbage into smaller pieces and set aside.
Put vegetable oil on wok/pan and add the onions, garlic and ground beef.
Add in the rice,
Add kimchi and the kimchi juice.
Add the soya sauce. Stir the rice.
Add in the chili-garlic sauce and sesame seed oil. Continue to stir the rice.
Add the remaining egg, sesame seeds and scallions. Stir again and serve!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Pak Mat

Pak Mat, Johor-born and bred, man of great many talent, a traditionalist and an expert in Malay culture. A trained goldsmith, Pak Mat has been abroad for the better part of his life, never forsaking his roots. His Laksa Johor is to die for, and has become something of an institution that we looked forward to during the annual Malaysian Food fair in the Hague.
But, more importantly he has been a good friend to us....

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Cherry Cake


Cherry Cake

450 g fresh cherries, pitted
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C. Butter and flour an 9 inch spring form pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Rinse, dry, and pit all the cherries. Take about 15 of the cherries, to be placed on the top of the cake during baking, and cut them in half. Leave the remainder of the pitted cherries whole.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until thick, about 3-5 minutes. Add the melted butter, milk, vanilla, and beat just until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Gently fold in the whole pitted cherries (but not the 15 cherries that you have halved for the top of the cake). Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.

Bake for 15 minutes then remove from oven. Quickly arrange the remaining cherries, cut side down, on the top of the cake. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Monday, 15 June 2009

ASPAC - Bowling

The AsiaPacific Women's Group organised a friendly bowling match between members at a Bowling Center in Zuiderpark.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Upside-Down Mango Cake

Upside-Down Mango Cake

2 firm-ripe mangoes, peeled
2 oz unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

For cake batter

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, 2 of them separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mango pulp

Make topping:
Cut mango lengthwise into 3/8-inch-thick slices.

Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then stir in brown sugar. Simmer, stirring, until butter is incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread mixture in bottom of a buttered baking pan and arrange mango on top, overlapping slices.

Make batter:
Preheat oven to 180 C.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Add whole egg and yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add half of flour mixture and mix at low speed until just combined. Mix in mango pulp, then add remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Beat egg whites in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold stiff peaks, then fold into batter gently but thoroughly.

Gently spoon batter over mango topping and spread evenly. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a tester comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around inside edge of pan, then invert a plate over pan and invert cake onto plate. Cool completely on plate on rack.

Serve cake at room temperature.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Roses of June

The Rose Family
by Robert Frost

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple's a rose,
And the pear is, and so's
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only know
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose--
But were always a rose.