Category Archives: foodblog

apple grumble

Darn it. I’ve had some success with traditional Dutch recipes so far. The pea soup turned out well, and the family loved the Hachee. And back when it was winter, y’know, a few weeks ago, a man knocked on our door around 7:30 a.m. and sold me 20 pounds of apples, so I thought I’d try my hand at a traditional Dutch appeltaart (which is not quite the same thing as an apple pie, so you get the Dutch wikipedia entry for that one). Continue reading

on Lent

Even if you’re not Catholic, I do think the idea of Lent is pretty sound. We have a sort of bad-habit-creep, where we have dessert as an occasional treat, and “occasional” gradually becomes “daily,” and I find myself grabbing a bag of potato chips every other shopping trip, and making sure to keep chocolate in the house at all times. And my jeans get too tight, and I get out of breath climbing stairs, and generally feel bleah. Continue reading

3-way meatballs

I don’t enjoy making meatballs all that much, but we sure like eating them – it’s one of those meals that gets tested into oblivion, so that by the time 6:00 rolls around, there’s almost none left for dinner, which is okay because nobody’s very hungry for some reason. Anyway, since making them isn’t all that fun, I occasionally set aside a couple hours and make a LOT. When I do this, I usually consult five or six different cookbooks and my own memory, so I’m putting it here so that I can find it when I need it. But you’re welcome to use it too. Continue reading

another Friday Market post

biokiste Except it’s Thursday, not Friday, and I don’t go there, they just bring it to me. Behold globalization’s bounty – the bananas, though organic and fairly traded, are from Ecuador. I guess some compromises have to be made: I frequently find myself at the grocery store having to choose between the styrofoam-packed organic apples from New Zealand, and the pesticide-laden apples in a recyclable cardboard box from right nearby. The milk people also clearly do not know their market – waxed paper cartons of organic? Or deposit-bottles from the factory farm? C’mon, folks, it’s not rocket science. Continue reading

not-quite-Friday, not-quite-market

regio-kiste Occasionally Vicki has a Friday market challenge, wherein she goes to the market with $20 and photographs what she buys. She also invites her readers to do so, and I keep meaning to get around to it, but this is the first time I’ve actually done it.

Except, not exactly. We do have a market on Fridays, but I don’t usually go there, because it would require me to, you know, talk to people. And when I talk I don’t have a backspace key, which always leads to problems. Instead, I order a crate of stuff from a local farm-thing, and they deliver on Thursdays. It’s about €17 for the medium crate. Continue reading


Okay, not really. But this is a tough time of year for fruit at Casa Alala. Apples and oranges are SO over. Grapes and kiwis still have to be flown in from Chile. The only things really ripe and semi-local at this time of year (um, Israel’s still in Europe, by Eurovision reckoning – but then, so is Algeria. What can I say, they do pop songs, not geography) are berries, and they sell for like a dollar each. And even though I haven’t actually lived in the Pacific Northwest for over ten years, I still think of it as home, and back home, berry bushes are basically weeds. I can’t bring myself to buy berries, anymore than I could plunk down $12 for a bunch of dandelions at a florist.

Song du jour of the day: Malta. They’ve never won, but they come in second a lot. They seem to have noticed that Russia tends to do well (its former satellite countries give it high points, so even when the Russian entry sucks, it comes in like third), so they name-check Gorky Park and call it Vodka, in a bid for the bloc vote. Psht. Get in line, sweetie.


The haggling is over, and DrBob has accepted the Utrecht job. I am… relieved, I think. The tension of being undecided was getting hard to contain, especially because I couldn’t talk about it here, and I’m really glad that part’s over. Now the crazy starts, but there are things I can do, useful ways to channel my jitters, so that’s not as bad as the… hanging. We have also pretty much decided to move up there, so that should keep me busy for awhile. Continue reading