zondag 28 februari 2016

Race you!

Things have changed in the garden. As my youngest daughter and I sit in the garden house, sipping tea, my eyes wander over the front part, with the huge pine tree, the lawn and the raised beds. I try to see what it is that makes it feel different: there are fat buds on the trees, the first blossoms and grape hyacinths appear, the daffodils are almost in bloom.....but I don't think that's all of it.......

As I remove several big branches out of a tree, tiny birds, I think they must be finches, race past me, missing me by an inch. It's like they play some sort of children's game. At that moment it hits me. It's the birds and the birdsong! When it's not there, somehow you don't really miss it, but once you can hear them sing again, you realise that you did, and very much so!

It's like they have all come out from their hiding places. Such a pleasure to have them in the garden once more. Although it's a cold and windy day, there is definite hint of spring in the air.

Have a good new week!


Madelief x

zondag 21 februari 2016


Whenever I meet someone, and they ask me what I enjoy doing,  I tell them that, besides my other pastimes, I am a enthusiastic cook and baker, they often reply: 'how lucky your family is'.........  I am not so sure about that..... I don't think 'lucky' is the right word.

In today's post unfortunate and sticky are much more appropriate. I think I may have already told you, but to improve my baking skills, I did a patisserie course recently. I took some memorable bakes home, like shoe buns, a brioche, chocolate florentines and a hazelnut meringue pie, but the delicacy that will forever be 'stuck in our heads', is the nougat I made.

I have to say that it looked really good, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with the taste (lots of nuts and blueberries inside), but what I hadn't foreseen was that it would be so incredibly sticky.  I didn't dare eat it, afraid one of my crowns would end up in there. I decided to just leave it on the kitchen table.

When I came home from choir rehearsal later that evening, I was met by my youngest daughter. She was mildly upset, but on the verge of laughter as well, as one can sometimes be. When trying to take a bite of one of the nougat cubes, it got stuck on her lips. You can probably guess what happened. When she tried to remove the nougat, she pulled part of the top layers of her lips with it....

I cannot tell you how horrible I felt.....My daughter is ok now, so please don't worry, but no more home made nougat for me and no recipe for you. Sorry!

Have a fun week!


Madelief x

* Thank you for you comments on last weeks post! They made me realise what a sissy I am. You are all much braver :-)

zondag 14 februari 2016

Let's talk about hats

'No mum, please don't wear your hat' 'You will capture everyone's attention'. 'It's just too much!' 'You'll be the laughing stock of Rotterdam''. ;-)

Whenever I try to wear one of my hats, this is what happens. My hat always ends up in the back of my closet, where it came from.

When I look back at my childhood in the late sixties and seventies, I remember my grandparents, aunts and uncles wearing a hat, when leaving the house. Partly for protection, but for decorative purposes as well. How I admired them. They looked so sophisticated.

I have fond memories too of one of my neighbours, a tall and well groomed gentleman in his eighties, who always tipped his hat whenever we met. I was in my early twenties at the time and just a girl, but this gesture made me feel like a lady.

Last week when at a dinner party, my friends and I got talking about hats. Having seen the films Carol and The Danish girl, in which some fine examples of stylish hats are worn. My friends and I came to the conclusion that we all have hats in our closet, but lack the confidence to actually wear them.

One of my friends and I made a pact. On our next visit to the cinema we would wear one of our hats.

When arriving home later that evening, she sent me a text, saying: 'It's  always terribly windy at the Kop van Zuid......... (the part of town where the cinema is.)........'  I replied: 'No excuses, let's do it!'

It's four more weeks before we go. Having second thoughts already...........she may be right, it is terribly windy at the Kop van Zuid indeed.

Are you into hats?

Enjoy your week!


Madelief x

* The old black and white photo's are by the Séeberger brothers

* The hats, gloves and jewellery are vintage finds.