19 September 2008

Deze weken doe ik mijzelf eens tegoed aan het veelvuldig bellen met Belgische mannen. Oftewel, ik werk in een callcenter en heb in het kader van dit hooggewaardeerde werk de volgende zin:
"Goedemorgen/middag, mijn naam is LP, ik werk voor Professor Baaken van de Universiteit van Münster en bel in het kader van een klantentevredenheidsonderzoek voor het bedrijf WILO. Heeft u met WILO pompen te maken en zou u een kwartiertje de tijd hebben om wat vragen te beantwoorden?" zo ongeveer duizend keer uit mogen spreken. Naast het plezier dat dit mij verschaft, maak ik grappen met mijn collega's, oefen ik mijn Frans, kijk en luister zéér geïnteresseerd naar mijn Deense collega's en verbaas me erover hoe weinig kennis Duitsers bezitten over het verschil België-Vlaanderen-Nederland-Holland. Mijn collega Sander en ik spreken dus deze weken beide 'holländisch'. Moge de beste winnen ;).

Hoe dan ook, het werk is dusdanig stomvervelend dat ik me uit gewoonte en verveling richt op details. Op afwisselingsgebied is helaas bij dit werk Schraalhans keukenmeester, maar ik heb toch prachtige dingen gevonden. Het adres wordt altijd aangegeven als ik een potentiele geinterviewde bel. Sommige Belgische straatnamen zijn prachtig, ik laat ze voor zichzelf spreken, maar heb wel een hierarchie aangebracht, mijn top 3:

1. Weg naar de Grauwe Steen
2. Engelse Wandeling
3. Politieke Gevangenenstraat

De volgende namen verdienen niet minder een plaats op dit blog:
- Ginderbuiten
- Oorlogstraat
- Kastanjekouter
- Lutlommel
- Madeliefjeslaan
- Roodkapjeslaan

De plaatsnaam 'Dworp' wil ik mijn eventuele lezers ook niet onthouden, en 'Elewaut' moet worden getrouwd!

17 September 2008

berlin roof food

I have a huge roof terrace with many plants on it. The plants that were planted in spring all died from the month-long drought early summer. When it started to rain again, new, 'unplanned' plants came up, and some of the spring plants did survive. Now is the time to harvest, and I am ever so happy to be able to eat a meagre amount of stuff I consume from my own 'backyard' in the city!
There is enough to make a salad rumex and tropaeolum with turnip and watercress:

and my favorite pasta-comfort-food, penne with salvia, butter and parmigiano:

06 September 2008

After having worked in so many schools in little villages, it was time to visit a big-city-school in Berlin. Despite the apparently smaller distance between the sleeping place and the school, this still meant getting up at 6 in the morning. One advantage about sleeping at home: the coffee is much much better! And the cat likes to spend her nights on my blanket.
Big city school impressions: quite spoiled, bored, uninterested kids. So much to do at such little distance, but their main hobbies were 'chatting and talking on the phone'. This mood worsened, insults were made, kids were kicked out, not so nice. I had to go drink an after-work beer to make it up:
I should make the second theme of this blog 'pictures on the walls of schools'. The pictures in Berlin reflected a deep longing for the not-so-far-away country life.

Yet the animals outside wanted to explore the inside world.

Today not so much text, but only some pics...I noticed I have to learn some HTML to make this blog and the pics look nicer, and the clickable pics should be smaller next time.
Promise! For now: I will eat the chocolate-almond pudding I just made, with of course a cherry on top. Rain on a Saturday night.

03 September 2008

Genthin and Parchen

Oh dear! I finally, finally worked at two German schools again, after 1,5 months of submerging myself in Italian goodness. I came home on a Sunday and dove deep into Sachsen-Anhalt village life on Tuesday. Quite a culture shock, and I think I can say I was the one with the darkest skin color in entire Genthin....
Once again, the culinarities that German small town offers were also represented here, and not more than that: one "Asia-Imbiss", one pizzeria (but with real oven!) and one Gasthaus with German food. Spoiled as I had gotten by Italian pizza, I appreciated the German interpretation even less this time: thick crust, 1 kilo cheese and 3 olives. That covered one night of dinner. The second night I was lazy and opted for the Gasthaus in the hotel we stayed at, which resulted in eating a not-even-so-bad tomatosoup (yet the mozzarella which they had creatively added, had tried to take its original ball-shaped form again at the bottom of the cup) and boiled potatoes with butter and parsley.

On the schools, we were provided with food this time, but I didn't have the time to eat so much, let alone take pictures. The second day, there were salads in boxes, and old fries. The fries were quite disappointing, I thought Germans formed a holy alliance with potatoes? Hm, maybe an exception was made here, for as we all know, Dutch make better fries.

There were more things in the room as I ate the fries:

Only on the last day I found a plate I could eat in peace, after a whole day of running around trying to do my job as well as possible. Unfortunately, I didn't like it so much; on the pictures it looks quite harmless, but I simply cannot bear this slimy substance on an empty stomach.

And even though the food was not too special (but had I expected that?), there were other interesting things: the usual skeletons in the biology classroom seemed to be taken care of with love, grasshoppers seem to like chewing gum, flies and coffee beans can easily be confused and funeral dresses are not so sad after all.

01 September 2008

Thanks to Chocolate and Zucchini, I found this 'game':

"The Omnivore's Hundred is an eclectic and entirely subjective list of 100 items that Andrew Wheeler, co-author of the British food blog Very Good Taste, thinks every omnivore should try at least once in his life.

He offered this list as the starting point for a game, along the following rules:
1. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2. Bold all the items you've eaten.
3. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4. Optional extra: post a comment on Very Good Taste, linking to your results.

[Update: In response to the numerous questions his list raised, Andrew published an FAQ explaining the how, the why, and the wherefore.] "

I added a couple more things (and Bruno also had some suggestions), as I found that for a vegetarian like me, a lot of things are crossed out on the mere fact they are dead animals which I don't eat. If you don't know some of them, Wikipedia is there to teach you!

The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare -vaguely remember eating it when i was a kid-
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda -without anchovies, i'd eat it-
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo -without fish, i'd eat it-
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects -yet not as a culinary treat, more a result of biking with open mouth-
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst -vegetarian-
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - i had the chance once, but didn't eat it-
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse -as a kid-
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam -as a kid-
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I feel free to add a couple more:

101. Chinotto (Neri)
102. Hangop
103. Germknödel
104. Straciatella (the cheese)
105. Cedrata
105. Home-made seitan from scratch
106. Peanuts in coke (the drink, duh)
107. Kale
108. Salmiak liquor
109. Dubbelzoute drop
110. Liquorice (the root itself)
111. Salicornia
112. Marmite
113. Liquid smoke
114. Gobbi
115. 'Patatje oorlog' (fries with peanut butter sauce, mayonaise and onions)
116. Anything from a dumpster
117. Salty hering
118. Gelsi
119. Pierogi
120. Agretti
121. Rapette
122. Bryndza cheese from Slovakia
123. Marcetto
124. Porcupine
125. Raw octopus
126. Slibovica
127. Willow sprouts
128. Chips & vinegar
129. Rabbit testicles
130. Cat/Dog food
131. Quail eggs
132. Tempeh
133. Mosto cotto
134. Fresh stroopwafel