There are times, mostly in autumn and winter when you have friends from far away visiting, that you don’t need to put haute cuisine on the table and instead you feel they are much more in need of a good rich meal made in a traditional way.
Those are the meals you grew up with and made the way your mother made it for the family when you were young. It’s a way to express to special friends that they are family too, no even more than family. Below you can read how a traditional Dutch Stew is made just to share with a brother and his family who can taste it for the first time in their life. I call it Swampyland Stew, and it’s made with love.
Many years ago I lived in England for a few years, I am sure I have told you all about it on many occasions. Even though I love my life in Swampyland, the love of my life my wife, and my four children and all the friends I have here, I do long to be there at times.
I think it has to do with all these great memories I have of those good time I had as a young man, being in England, having friends around me there (just as I have them around me here nowadays) and not in the least the British food. Yes, there are times I wish I could just pop over for a pint or a proper English meal.
The leftovers from Christmas are gone and so are the delicacies we had last night, New Year’s Eve. The other thing left is all the gained pounds round the Equator. Not that I care really. Last year I have made a discovery that can cure this.
It is difficult to maintain a steady weight when you’re on infusions every three weeks. In Swampyland we have this expression, Yo-Yo Kilos and I have six of them.
Last weekend I was in England again after several years. I spent a few days in Cambridge with one of the bests friends I have. The weather was excellent throughout our stay and we had lovely meals in various restaurants. Cambridge, although expensive, is one of the most beautiful cities in England.
Almost the entire city center consists of buildings built over one hundred years and some of them are several hundred years old.
The first evening after we landed at Stansted we decided to have Chili Con Carne in a Tapas restaurant. I noticed a bottle of hot sauce and I thought, how bad can it be and I sprinkled it on my food. Ok, here is a warning: when the bottle says ‘hot sauce‘ it is really hot sauce and you do not put 20 drops of it on your food.
What do The Lord’s Supper en Custard have in common? It’s both on Sunday.
My lovely wife is preparing afternoon dinner in the kitchen. Roasted Hazelnuts from our own garden in the Apple Crumble and I will be making the Custard myself later on when she’s finished. The house smells, well, English. And that is good, real good.
I have four lovely children. They grow up fast and lately they have been complaining there is not enough food on the table at tea time.
I usually have the same amount of food for every meal and when they complained I decided to make 50 % extra for each meal from now on. For example, instead of just over 1 kilogram of peeled potatoes I now made at least 1.5 kilogram. Or rice, or pasta. And likewise for vegetables and meat.
Today I made Semolina pudding, I think the Americans call it Tapioca but I’m not sure. In my version I used Almond cookies and liquor as it was meant to be eaten by adults, not children.
This is something that we used to get after Sunday dinner (except then there was no liquor in it). I remember how it tasted and although it was never that popular when we were children, I have never forgotten it and I just loved it. We usually had cherry syrup on top.
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