Dutch Donderdag – A Lot of Ice & a Little Taste of Home

I was going to do a blog post on the recent freeze & the outbreak of Dutch Skating Madness (it’s a bona fide disease over here) but thanks to its rarity there are a plethora of articles on the occurrence (though I’m not sure if any have made it into medical journals yet). To sum up the facts; it got real cold… the canals got real frozen… mad Dutch people with no sense of personal safety walked, skated, dined & even cycled on the canals for about a week in a total frenzy of excitement not seen for nigh-on 15 years. I did not contract said disease… opting instead to take photos of the nutters.

Skaters on the Kloveniersburgwal canal ©K. Llewellin

What has got me recently is a need for little tastes of home. I have been living in Amsterdam now for 9 months now (feels like half that) & occasionally I’ll get a craving for British food. When I first moved here I was overjoyed when I found out that my local Albert Heijn sold Marmite… especially after my first jar was purchased from a British food store about a one hour round trip away.

Recently I’ve been having a hankering for cheese & pickle sandwiches. To be honest I rarely ever bought Branston pickle when I was in the UK… or ever bought a cheese & pickle sandwich for that matter, but the last few days I’ve been really longing for one. So yesterday brought a trip to Waterstones book store to see if they still sold food stuffs. Actually, I had gone in there a week ago but hadn’t seen any food. I thought it had just been a Christmas thing but after a rant on Twitter I was told that there was still food there, only it had been moved. Ironically it had moved to where the magazines were. I had bought a magazine but never thought to turn around. Doh! Thankfully the food section had been put back to its rightful place at the top of the stairs & low & behold they had Branston pickle. YAY! I also bought a jar of Bisto gravy granules on impulse with a mind to make [veggie] sausage & mash.

Much needed British fare

I’ve also got my fingers crossed that one of my British friends has bought some Jaffacakes back with her after a weekend in the UK. I’m sorry but how has Holland, a nation of stoners, not discovered the joys of Jaffacakes? It just seems wrong somehow.

So my meals for today are sorted… Marmite on buttered toast for breakfast; cheese & pickle sarnis for lunch & sausage, mash & gravy for dinner. Good ol’ British stodge!

Now if only I could lay my hands on a tin of Heinz baked beans….. mmmmmmm


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