Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bike route scouting near Ham Tower in Vleuten

Today we scouted a bike route for the Texas family coming this month and found a spectacular route with Ham Tower on the edge of Vleuten. 

You may have seen Ham Toren in other posts with Flat Stanley in Holland. Take a look at the inside and see views of the countryside from the top, then you will understand why I want to live there.

Family bike route scouting. Wiener dog was other dog and ducks scouting.
Ham Tower is in the background on the horizon.
Ham Toren or Ham Tower is a privately owned tower built in 1259.
Ham Tower is now for sale. Price unknown. 

Gumbo the wiener dog looking regal and at home in front of Ham Tower.

Family selfie in front of some iron cow art in the middle of a field.

Adam's family selfie.

Waited for the teenager with his trolling motor boat to get to the bridge and in front of the sunset.
Worth the wait. Thank you little boat blue. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Restaurant-for-a-Day in Lelystad

Wilma and Dirk-Jan's farm was a charming spot for an outdoor eatery catered by Maria Kookt.
World Restaurant Day was on a sunny Saturday, May 17.
This local restaurant-for-the-day was in Lelystad, the Netherlands.
Zorgboerderij Lelystad Jeep is multi-purpose.
The Jeep held the forks, spoons and knives, and was part of the buffet line with the bread and butter. 

The menu created and catered by Maria Kookt.

Maria and Wilma teamed up again to make the whole set up Pinterest-worthy.
Adam and the other kids had plenty to do. Jump, ride, run, play...or...
Stand next to a perfectly positioned bail of hay for mom's pictures.

Maria introduced new guests to her restaurant-for-a-day.
Maria, Wilma and Janneke served fresh homemade elderberry lemonade with a sugar rim. 

Homemade elderberry lemonade with a homemade tag, too. 

Wild flowers, zuccini pies, sack lunches ready to be enjoyed.
We also had salad from a jam jar and a chocolate chip and peanut bar tagged "with love." 

"Cooking with love provides food for the soul. "
Maria's husband often gets to be Peter, the photographer with love or the guy who fetches stuff with love.

Maria and Wilma thought of every detail. Soon they will do a wedding together at the farm.
Yes, it was wedding-picture-perfect.

Maria Kookt is on Facebook.
and the Zorgboerderij Lelystad are also on Facebook.
Go LIKE and get notified for the next World Restaurant Day.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Jam with Fresh Dutch Strawberries

Adam's Strawberry Jam, the final product. Now scroll to see the sweet production.
Saving Gram's Yummy Mother's Day Jam until July when she visits.
First time fearless jammers: Britt 11, Adam 10, Julius 9. We are going to make jam for our moms.  

Prep time. Cutting 2.5kg or 5 lbs of strawberries. 

Junior Master Chef Britt's method.
Junior Master Chef Julius picking the best berries for his mom.
Adam making sure we all cut the same size, Master Chef style.

Supervising Master Chef Judge / Dad John giving some instructions.

Stirring the pot. Adding 2.5kg or 5 lbs of jelly sugar.

We are jamming. Action shots.

Master Watcher Mom Tammie hoping to get a taste. Van Gilse Gelei Suiker should have been filming us. 

Since 1882, some Dutch kids might have been making jam for their Dutch mommies.

Almost forgot the lemons.
Lemons best squeezed with tongue out, Master Chef technique.  

Strawberry red and ready to cook. 

Boiling hot strawberries go into our jars.

We had 6 jars, exactly enough for 3 moms, 3 omas and some taste testing.

Cooling down. Upside down. That's what the instructions say. Tomorrow we make our own labels.

Britt's jam. Her mom and oma will be surprised by this sweetness.

Thank you Van Gilse Sugar Company!
Van Gilse saw our jam day pictures. They need to get Facebook and Twitter.
The kids are very happy with special sticker book of jam labels and a cookbook with some sweet recipes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Gumbo, I AMsterdam

Museumplein in front of the I AMSTERDAM sign. 

Vincent Van Gumbo
Growling at something in the grass in front of the Rijks Museum on the Museumplein, Amsterdam
Wiener in the tulips in front of the American Consulate, Amsterdam

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wiener in the tulips

This is Gumbo, a 4 year old tri-colored dachshund. We are scratching #4 off of our list of Top 27 places to visit before you die

Wiener dog visits tulip fields in the Netherlands. Check.
 Up-Close-and-Personal Gumbo has an American Piebald smooth-haired dachshund for a father. His mother is a Dutch brown long-haired dachshund. The wiener mix has given him a brown head and brown butt, with crazy white and black "Gremlins" kind of hair. 
Camera-Shy Gumbo's first flower field of the day was Hyacinths near Oudesluis, the Netherlands.
Out-of-Shape Gumbo is hot near a pink Hyacinth field 2km/3miles from Oudesluis, the Netherlands. 

Thirsty Gumbo getting cool water from a gas station coffee cup. 

Eagle-Eye Gumbo spotting some bikers to chase or bite in the distance. He may look cute, but he is a sneaky biter and doesn't like strangers. Purple Hyacinth near Oudesluis. 

Finally, Springy Jumpy Gumbo's first tulip field with red and orange tulip blend near 't Zand, the Netherlands.

Enough-Already Gumbo not so patiently sitting in front of a field of white and yellow Narcissus near 't Zand, the Netherlands.

Melancoly Gumbo climbing the sand dunes to overlook the last flower field of the day along the sea 8km/11 miles from Callantoog. We were a bit early this year.
See the same spot in late April 2012.