Merry Christmas!

Yes! I’m back again! Just before it turn a month again. You know I am always sorry for not updating my blog so I won’t say it again. I’m just glad I remember to be back just in time to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!

Well since I’m already on this New Post Page, I might as well write a few of my thoughts and brief updates of what’s up. 

First thing first… just recently, I became really fascinated with Pine cones. Please forgive me for my ignorance, I know many of you would have known a lot about Pine Cones but me, being a city girl all my life… not much. 

Some weeks ago, we were at Jos’ mum home for dinner. While trying to keep the fire place burning, I discover one single pine cone in the basket next to the fire place. Jos’ mum told me, pine cone make good fire starter. So that was that. But I’ve always love pine cones as a Christmas Tree Ornaments, well, not just that, I love them on it’s own too! So imagine burning them seems really wasteful in my opinion. 

Anyway, having said that, below is a picture of Nelly’s cat next to the fire place. He loves the fire place during winter time, he can sit there for hours enjoying the heat. He is clearly a summer cat 🙂 

Image

Just last weekend, we had yet again our weekly nature walk. Well, I’m sorry I don’t remember the name of the place, these nature park have like super long names, I didn’t really take any effort to remember them. They are all nice. This time, something magical happen, I found pine cones! When I picked up the first one, I showed it to Jos and asked if they were pine cones. To my delight, his answer was yes! 

But why does they looked different from the ones at your mum?? Jos said, they would open up when it gets dry and warm. So in other words, pine cones closes up when it’s wet. Without hesitating, When we returned back home, the first thing I did was to place all 3 of them on the heater, hoping it will open up like real soon. And they did! Maybe not really fast but slowly it is getting there. Below is a picture of MY cones at day 3. I’m monitoring their “growth” from far since I’m away from home again! 

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So that is one thing I’ve wanted to share!! 

On other news, I’ve also visited several Christmas Market this year! One in Valkenburg, one in Dusseldorf and last one in Edinburgh, over a month! Can you imagine? How adventurous!?  I love the feeling of being at a Christmas Market.  Also, Edinburgh trip was lovely! For the first time, I’ve climbed a Hill! For the first time, I set my feet on a royal ship! For the first time we got married by a Machine.  I know right, I have so much to blog about and I know it is about time. Well, all these for the next post! 

Till then, have a Happy Jolly Christmas!! 

 

On The Second Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me….

The beautiful Town of Maastrict!!

From my earlier post, I’ve mentioned, we are not done with Christas, we have Day 2. So, yes, the magic continues in Maastricht on Day 2…

Maastricht is a town in Limburg, about 20 minutes from where we stayed. The town was crowd with a lot of people even though the shops are closed. There was a fairly huge crowd also visiting the Church where we lit our candles.

Basilica of Our Lady

In the Centre of the Centrum lies the Christmas Market selling food, commodities and also fun rides.

Christmas Market at the Centrum of Maastricht

Huge Ice Rink @ the Centre of the Market

Also, I was completely engrossed with the shops there even though most of it was closed on the 2nd day of Christmas. As we walk, our head covered with our hoodie because it was raining, the corner of my eyes was drawn to the items behind the glass windows. The Shoes, The Coat, The Bags so beautiful so nice. Deep inside me I was dying for them to be open so I can shop to my heart’s content. Ladies, based on my instinct, I think Maastricht is a very good shopping ground, so if by chance you happen to be in the Netherlands, do not forget to mark Maastricht as a stop for shopping and definately beautiful sight seeing.

Due to time constrain, we did not see alot of Maastricht but again, I cannot be thankful enough to have been able to place my foot on Maastricht town. I promise silently at one corner of the town that I will definitely be back for another weekend getaway. It already feel good being there without seeing much.

After a not so eventful round at Maastricht, we head back to our apartment where we have nice dinner with Jos’ family. We were so pamper with good home cooked food! Fried Risotto Rice Balls with cheese and Pear Soup as starter, Roast Chicken and Beef as Main Course and Super Rich American Chocolate Cake as Dessert. Besides all that, there are also vegetables dish, an apple pie and yummy salad!

Look at Our Christmas Dinner Spread!

wait there is more…..

The Potato Thingy…

The pear Soup in a small cup… because there isn’t enough bowls. How creative! 🙂

Ok and finally… here is a picture of the very rich cake made by Jos… it is so delicious, I am so proud of him!

Yummy!

After a night of the Dutchmen gathering, we had to head home. On the way home, Jos and I had a fight, we were both very angry with one another. We argued from the beginning of our journey home. 2 hours to be exact but we ended the fight before we fall asleep. Each time we fight, at the end of it we thrive…. 🙂 Now, here is a picture of an example of what we were usually during a fight..

Is this sweet or what? 🙂

On The First Day Of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me….

Limited Edition – Bike of the seasons.

No, that is not really what I got from Jos of course, but that was really one of the unusual things I have experience over the past 2 days.

We stay over in an apartment together with his parents for 1st and 2nd day of Christmas. And what he really gave me was a touristic view of a small part of Limburg (Mechelan) the most hilly part of the Netherlands. And to me, that was an awesome experience.

Limburg is about 2 hours drive from Dordrecht, it is also near to where the drielandenpunt is located. Drielandenpunt is the famous point where the three countries (Belgium, Netherlands & Germany) Meets. I’ve wanted so much to stand at that point at least once in my life time to be at 3 countries all at the same time, ok not literally but almost!

The day we were at drielandenpunt was rainy  no i should say it was even STORMY at that point. On the way to the drielandenpunt, Jos’ mum was mentioning that there is a little viewing tower there. As I listened in anticipation, she said: “And when we reach the top of the tower…. we can see… NOTHING.” I laughed out really loud because that was really the truth because it was already dark at 430pm. The storm didn’t help, we had to run out and back in to the car just to feel the need to be there. Just like, okay, I’ve been there and done that. well, done what? I quickly did my check in on facebook while the car drove away 🙂

Besides being at the drielanden punt, I’ve seen many unusual things there. One of it was a tree trying very hard to grow in a shape of a house, no bigger, no smaller. And succeeded! What triumph!

Witness a tree succeeding in growing according to the shape of a house.

And other things were like a cross like the one below. We can find them at every corner of every street. Some are huge, some are smaller and others are full of colors. This is because, this small village has a large community of Roman Catholics.

A Catholic Cross

A Catholic Cross

Since we are so near to Belgium, we also patronizes the very famous Mother Goose Inn in Belgium. I did not take any pictures because it was cold, dark, crowded and I was very hungry. The restaurant has a very nice ambiance but unfortunately, I cannot say they serve the most delicious food that day, but the service was really good for a very busy day.

Follow this link to visit their website… http://www.moederdegans.be/English_website.htm

That ends my 1st day of Christmas. I have a wonderful 1st day of Christmas and I cannot be thankful enough to experience Netherlands on the other end. And just for my happiness record, we still have the 2nd day! This is like the first time I celebrate Christmas extensively. In Singapore, we have holiday only on Christmas Day. Here in Holland, we have the 2nd day off too! Blessing number one! 🙂

To top it off, this is also the first year Jos and I celebrate Christmas and New Year together in the same country. For the past 3 years, we had to stream on Tango or Skype to see each other during festive seasons like these. Thank GOD we do not have to go through that trauma ever again! How blessed! 🙂

Our Christmas Tree at Home!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a blessed & peacful Christmas.

Lotsa Love,

Jess

Christmas Trees are Trees decorated

I know right.. I’ve been writing too many posts about Christmas and Winter and Snow.. and Snow and Winter and Christmas.. Sorry I just had to since now Christmas to me is not just about partying in a club, counting down to Christmas and getting wasted with loads of beer. Christmas in Holland isn’t about clubbing, well, at least I was told, all shops are close so everyone had to stay at home or have dinner with friends and relatives.

It seems to me that having a Christmas Trees in every household in Holland is almost mandatory since even Nelly had to make sure Jos has one in his home although Jos hates decorating the tree.

For 2 years, I’ve decorated the Christmas tree at Jos’ home. And both years, they were live Christmas Tree. The reason I emphasize “Live” is because in Singapore, a fake tree is recyclable and a real tree have to be disposed after Christmas and its really not important to have a real tree or any tree for that matter.

Jos and I was shopping for a Christmas tree and he picked one that is crooked. I’ve spotted the crookedness and had suggested we should pick another. Its strange but Jos insisted on that 1st tree he set his eyes upon! He insisted that these are Natural and there are bound to be some flaws which he claim we could easily fixed. Ok, he win.

Take a look now at how crooked the mini tree look : (you must agree with me)

But after some artificial help to correct the standing of the tree with wood blocks by the Grandmaster.. The tree was standing up right! So what’s with imperfections? There will always be a way to beautify them.

Things that are natural cannot be perfect but they can still be pretty. After all, a Christmas Tree is any Tree that is decorated. You can pick the ugliest tree from any random garden, oh but make sure you cut and trim them to a shape of a triangle, decorate it and tada! It might be good enough for some Christmas Tree Contest! Is there even one? Maybe there should be one sometime soon!

Merry Christmas People!

 

 

Hare for Christmas… Shall we?

No, I’m not talking about a Christmas Gift, I’m really talking about having a hare feast on Christmas Day! Yes, Bunny, Rabbits, they are all from the Hare family!

I received a tweet today from a blogger I followed. She asked what would I be cooking for Christmas and also revealed some tips on cooking for a Christmas Dinner in the Netherlands. I cannot help but had to rub my eyes and read them three times when I came across the sentence: “Hare Pepper Spiced Stew”. I know, I’m a city girl. And the meat I eat aren’t pet, they are regular meat like chicken, duck, cow, goat and fish. Ok Fish can be kept as a pet but I only eat fish that are meant to be eaten. Not Gold-Fish.

I cannot get over the fact that the Dutchies has Hare as their Christmas delights. I’ve heard of people in China eating Dogs & Cats, Monkeys & Rabbits. Well, people in China eats everything…. including worms! Of which I cannot understand but it’s been popularly known, so nothing new. But Dutchies eats Hare just freaks me. And yes it is something new! To me at least…

Hare, Rabbit, Bunny, whatever you call them, they are commonly know as Rabbits of which I’ve learn that they are also commonly kept as pets in the Netherlands and now, I’m told, they aren’t just pet, they can be eaten too!

How can the cutest animals on earth be turn from this:

Cute! But wait... you will be eaten!

To This:

Hollandse Hazenpeper met Kruidkoek

Yes, we all know. No one is going to serve up with Mini Lop or Netherland Dwarfs. For cooking, I suppose they uses something from the wild, like this one:

Wild Hare... still cute.

While I was flying back to the Netherlands last month, I bought a little toy for Madelief from KLM inflight shop, and this little toy happen to be a popular bunny widely sold in the Netherlands – MIFFY!

Miffy

So, can you imagine a conversation between a mother and daughter that goes like this:

Daughter : Mummy! Mummy! What are we having for dinner tonight?

Mummy : We will have Hare Stew Sweetheart!

Daughter: What is contain in Hare Stew?

Mummy: Hare of course

Daughter : What is a hare?

Mummy: Just like Rabbits

Daughter: Like Miffy?

So can you imagine telling your daughter who is so in love with Miffy this: ” oh sweetie, we are having Miffy for dinner tonight! Sounded very wrong. :S

I know I am freaking out over something already common. Maybe one day I will get use to the idea of being in a country that eat Rabbits. Maybe it’s time bunny stop being cute and that is when it will be a popular delight worldwide.