Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wild Flowers

I am neither artristic nor creative, but still when the mood come, I try to create something special, but the outcome is normally a sad product of what I want them to be :D

Here is some proof of what I tried to create :

Wild flowers


What I actually tried to imitate :D
Fresh flowers from the shop
White, blue and pink

 Aren't they pretty?

Those from the flower shop I mean :D

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jumping Jacks and Jane

While trying to locate pictures of spring flowers and tulips yesterday, I came across these pictures taken in the first week of April 2012, the only evidence of tulips blooming this year.

The quality of the tulips was not very good compared to last year due to a number of reasons, I think :

- I did not cut the flowers and let the leaves be, a process that gives nutrients to the bulbs for the next season.

- I did not dug out the bulbs and keep them in dry place and replant them in the ground come November.

- Frost, snow and freezing weather in February caused the newly sprouted leaves to turn brown.

Still, I enjoy looking at the pictures no matter what, especially the joy on the faces of the children :D


Monday, May 14, 2012

Spring and Tulips

Spring came and gone, but somehow I did not manage to capture the beauty that came with it. No doubt it must be the most gloomest and wettest Spring that I had ever encountered since I was here a few years back. Our tulips in the garden had already flowered and now wilted among the wild grass and bushes that grow wildly in its place. Where were my other spring flowers? Where was I all these time??? Sadly to say, I did not take many pictures this time around. But here is some pictures to remind me of Spring 2012. Hopefully this bright beautiful tulips will enlighten the hearts of some of you outhere, as it did mine.

Purple, red, yellow, orange and white - all from the garden
Ohhh there is a pink one as well !!
Another vase of tulips

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roti Canai

I really should be writing about my unfinished winter stories (this time about the frozen canal . . .)  I know. . .  I know. . . , it's already spring. . .  the snowdrops have come and gone , the crocuses are wilting and practically squashed in the field. . . and I have yet to finish my winter stories!!!

Well. . . that's me, I do tend to write whatever comes to mind. I do have other interesting stories for example our recent weekend trip to the oldest city in Germany, Trier which happens to have ruins from the Roman times. But no. . . instead I am writing about my attempt at making roti canai.

Yeah. . . roti canai. I never bothered to learn to make it because for one thing, I can get the fozen ones from the Oriental shop. No hassle no bustle, just fry them in the pan. But then lately I found the frozen ones are no longer to my liking, it's just not the same thing as the fresh ones from the stall. . .

Then, one day I came across a fellow blogger Karimhanim making her own "roti canai", see here. Looking at her recipe, I thought "hmmm not that difficult it seems. . . " So, I made a mental note to try it one of these days. Then last week, I came across a forum where a lady mentioned that she made her "roti canai" using bread maker(BM). Now that really piqued my interest because you see, I do not like kneading . . . so if BM can be used, then it sure helps a lotttt. . .

So here is my first ever "roti canai"

It's not that difficult afterall. . .  Somehow I thought making "roti canai" needs a lot of strenght. . .  you know the way some of them sweat over the fire. . .  I remember how we used to make jokes when I was younger, it's the sweat that made it yummy (disgusting joke I know. . . )

Of course my "tebar" needs a lot of improvement. . .  there were a lot of tears/holes in my roti when I "tebar". . .  but who cares???

BM making its job. . .
Cover and leave it for 6-8 hours
I pressed it as thin as possible on the pan so it would become bigger . . .
Eaten with "kari daging kerisik"

It's a nice recipe, using a combination of ghee, oil and eggs. Even though I used only one egg (and not two as required), the taste and texture was still nice. Next time, I will leave it covered overnight. I found that the dough becomes softer the longer you leave it. Thank you to the lady who posted the recipe, unfortunately I do not remember the name of the forum, but I did write down her name and that is Catlady.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sesuci Salju 2

More snow pictures - continuation from last entry.

When DS was bored and tired of playing alone, we went back to the house. He did manage to find 2 Dutch boys to play with, but then the boys were too conscious of me to really enjoy themselves that we decided to head back. We took a little detour and managed to get a few more pictures.
The house looks familiar? It's the same one on the side bar.
Dutch kids skating in the canal

By this time DS was getting restless, wanting to go home since he was bored and bored. He was missing his friends because they couldn't come due to train cancellations.

The sullen boy. . . 

We went home, but not before I took pictures of the other side of the bridge. . .

Swans and ducks normally swim in this part of the canal

Where I normally buy fresh eggs. . .  not at the big house, but by the gate :D

Had DS been more cooperative, I'm sure I would be able to take more beautiful scenes on the other side. I suppose I couldn't blame him, there's no one to play snow fight with, I certainly didn't want . . .  was more interested in taking pictures :D

Snow fighting alone. . .
Under the bridge

Alhamdulillah. . . . dapat juga main salji tahun ni  :D

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sesuci Salju

I feel so embarrassed with my self. Here I was eagerly wishing to update the blog as frequent as I could and yet what happened??? My promise to upload the snow scenes have gone stale !!! Somehow things got in the way. . .  Ohhh I do so admire those who manage to update their blogs daily, they must be good in time management. I'm sure everybody is busy in our own ways, so it's a matter of controlling and managing our time.

Last week, we went to a place that I had been wanting to go for quite sometime, but only manage to locate the place in the last few days. The place is idyllic, it's so beautiful even with the still barren trees. I was so excited to upload the photos here in the blog and found to my dismay that, I have yet to upload the snow pictures!!!

So here is the stale snow photos. . . I will upload them anyway :D

Just outside my house

All the pictures were taken on Saturday morning 4th February. As I mentioned in my earlier post, heavy snow had come down on Friday morning around 11 am or so. By 12.30 am, only light snow were still falling. When I checked, it was only about 10 cm thick, hmmm not that heavy compared to last year and the year before. By late Friday afternoon, all the snow on the trees had fallen to the ground. A pity. . .  it's the sight of snow on the trees that makes it beautiful.

That night, temperature had gone down to -15 Celsius (when I checked), but I was told it was even colder than -20C in some areas. This might be normal in Scandinavian countries, but not in The Netherlands. Average winter temperature (as stated in the tourist guide book) is actually 5 C. Netherlands had not seem much snow in the last decades. . . but since we have been here, we have seen lots of beautiful snow scenarios in the last three winters, Alhamdulillah :D

Winter 2009/2010 recorded the heaviest snowfall in almost 20 years. All my dutch neighbours came out and not only us, but they too took pictures of the scene. So we were not the only ones getting excited and oooing here and ooohaahhh there !!!

Winter 2010/2011, we already move to The Hague. Snow came early, in late November it already started snowing. That year they had white Christmas, the Dutch must be excited, it's not every year they have snow and even more rare to get white Christmas. You can read about it and browse the pictures here.

This year winter 2011/2012, even though snow came once and not that heavy for that matter, we were glad because we managed to capture the precious moments (in my opinion :D)

That Saturday morning, when I looked out the window, all I saw was mist and the black outlines of the trees. I was sure there were no fresh snow in the night (because our footsteps of yesterday's were not covered by new snow). But when the sun started to shine, and the mist had cleared, I saw that the trees in front of the kitchen window were all white. . . How come???

Scenes outside the kitchen window. . .
A talk with a neighbour later in the day revealed that the mist had frozen on the trees because of the low temperature. Hmmm interesting idea, I'm not going to argue about that but I think she might be right in her theory.
White snow against blue sky. . .
Behind the house. . . the building in the picture is kinder boerderij (kids farm)

The big tree is all white
I managed to coerce DS to come out and took a walk in the neighbourhood . . . . 

My nextdoor neighbour - House no 3

Neighbour - house no 2
Love these 2 trees. . .
The main gate and bridge to the houses

We took a walk along the bicycle path to school. I would prefer to continue on the road and took pictures of the neighbours' houses, but DS was more interested in sleghing on the frozen canal. So we continued walking along the school route.

View of the frozen canal from the bridge
In early spring, the compound is full of snow drops, now it's all white. .
The distance to nearby towns by bike
Normally you would be able to see a few sheeps grazing here on this compound. . .  too cold to come out I suppose :D

This area with the walking and cycling paths (next to it, but higher - where people are seen walking in the picture) are still newly developed, so the trees are still small. We had to stop here because DS wanted to snow sledding...

Down into the frozen canal . . .

Have to stop now, hope you enjoy watching the pictures as much as I did enjoy the scenarios. The camera didn't do the scenes justice, it was much more beautiful in real life. . . .