Sunday, December 30, 2012

Foodie - Oliebollen!

For as long as I remember my grandmother has made oliebollen for old years eve. She would make buckets of dough and together with the neighbors fry them in the barn. During the day friends and family would come by to help out and stuff themselves with oliebollen. At the end of the day my grandmother would bring some by the elderly and disabled in the village. Unfortunately my grandmother is getting older and older and the tradition is running to it's end.

If we weren't in The Netherlands during old years eve my mum would make oliebollen for us and our neighbors and/or for the embassy party.

Now that I have had exams in January for the last four years (this year is no exception I'm afraid  I haven't been able to go home for oliebollen. However two years ago my grandmother trusted me with the recipe, since then we have been continuing the tradition! Including this year...

Oliebollen รก la grandma

1/2 kg flour
30 gr yeast
1/2 l milk
35 gr soft butter
35 gr sugar
1/2 lemon juice and rind
1 egg
10 gr salt
75 gr sultanas (optional)
1 sour apple (optional)

Mix the egg with the butter and complement it with the milk until you reach 1/2 liter  Add the rest and leave to rise on a warm spot for 45-60 min. 
Drop little balls of the mixture into the fryer with two spoons (or an ice cream scoop) and fry them for 5-7 minutes (they will turn automatically when one side is done, if not help them out a little.

If you like this also try out the flowing recipes:
Wholemeal banana bread with dates 
Oatmeal-coconut cookies with cranberries 

Foodie - Apples from a local orchard for steaming apple juice!

A couple of weeks ago we found a steam juicer for 20€ at a secondhand shop, yesterday we decided to try it out. We decided on apple juice, so we went to a local farmer who sells apples at 1€ a kg, and directly bought 5 kg.

For a steamer juicer to work you only have to dice the fruit in large pieces, you don't have to take out the cores or bruised parts. The steamer has 4 parts, in the bottom one you put boiling water (make sure it doesn't dry out), in the next you will capture the apple juice, in the third are the apple parts in a sieve-like basket, and the top layer is the lid. 

We let the apples steam for almost two hours and ended up with nearly clear apple juice. Almost 4 liters for 5 kg apples is not a bad yield as I may say!

For other recipes and a better how-to please check out the "steam juicer and food steamer recipe book" by Mehu Liisa Products: link (a PDF)

If you like this post, have a look at my other post on local milk produce {here}.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Inspirational - VW dreams

Ever since I got my drivers licence (13/12!!) I've been staring at VW campers... If only I had the money! (for that I need a job, and for that I have to finish my masters, and for that I have to work through a boatload of books and papers)

I better go on studying then.. 1st exam on January 7th!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Foodie - Local Farmer sells fresh milk!

As fans of local produce we have been visiting, a website that shows all farmers offering local produce in Belgium. And - lo and behold - we have found a farmer not so far away who offers fresh milk. Those who have ever had really fresh milk will have to agree with me, nothing beats fresh milk. Even though pasteurizing it (30 sec on 79 degrees Celsius) may seem like a hassle it's worth it in the end.
And, as an added bonus this farmer has devised a fool proof method of distributing milk!

The milk machine    -     That's our milk pouring!

With the milk prices at a new low, and farmers protesting at Place Schumann in Brussels, it only seems fair that farmers can sell their own produce. The farmer we found offers his milk at 0,65€ a liter  which is more than the 0,20€ he receives when he sells it on the European market. And even for us it is cheaper, with fresh milk prices jingling around a euro in the stores. And, as an added bonus this farmer has devised a fool proof method of distributing milk!

If you are interested in more local produce check out my other post on making apple juice from local producers {here}.

When Tom has a day off..

... he starts DIY-ing! Tom has been frustrated with the tap in the kitchen of our rental apartment  The tap is leaky and impossible to close (and re-open again). So, now that he has a couple of day's off he decided to do something about it. I have to let you in on a all-known-secret, Tom is not really a DIY-er, he get's fed up quickly if things don't go as planned and he just cannot stop sighing!

After shopping a whole lot (and buying pretty unnecessary things, we could return afterwards) and watching a couple of hours of youtube vids about replacing taps, he set to work!

(I was not allowed to put his workers-decollete online)

.. and voila, water!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

DIY - Ooh cute skirt!

A couple of months ago my parents gave me a sewing machine for my birthday. So, a couple weeks after I finally finished a skirt I've been working on for the last couple of months (if not years). The pattern originated from Burda (don't remember which one it is), and the fabric and lace came from the lapjesmarkt in Utrecht (NL). There really isn't anything better than shopping for fabrics with my mum, especially when she pays and gives some amazing advice.  Getting the lace was the hardest part of this little project, but with a little help from mum (serious sewing guru, made all my batik dresses when I was little) I got it in straight. I can't wait for summer and spring to come along so I can start wearing this cutie!

Foodie - Thuisafgehaald interview

Hi! I'm a little excited today! This afternoon I'll be interviewed by a reporter of Het Nieuwsblad, no the best paper in Belgium, but many people read it. Anyway, for the last couple of months I have tried to use Thuisafgehaald, and get other Belgians to use it too. The idea of the website is that neighbors can come over to buy a part of your meal, as takeout. The idea originated in The Netherlands (of course) and due to some local and national media attention, it is really starting to lift off. So, for the second time (yes, I've been interviewed before, for the very local paper named De Beiaard). I would have scanned in the front page article (yeah, FRONT PAGE)!, but I gave the only copy to my parents. So, if I make it in the paper again, I'll be sure to upload it.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY - Modern Silhouette Cuckoo Clock

Ooh! This would fit perfectly in our bedroom!!
The full tutorial is on Curbly.

Inspirational - How to reupholster a wing chair

It's official, I'm obsessed with the possibility of reupholstering (wing-) chairs. So many people have created such great great works of art, that I can't wait to get my hands on an old chair! Perhaps I should start with something easy.. just in case I ruin a great wing chair.

As for the how, I found a great tutorial on YouTube by M.J. Amsden Furniture, it takes ages to go through all the 10 min video's, but I don't think you could have a better teacher than this guy!

And, I should probably get myself a staple-gun as a post-exam present :-)
I can't wait to get the stuff together and get started!

From: Curbly

DIY - Suitcase Chair

Great eh?! I made it when I was still living in my basement in Brussels. Everything (except for the screws) is either given to me (chair legs) through freecycle, or found in the streets (the suitcase, and cushions). I really don't know how I got all the pieces together, but somehow they fit nicely  To add some extra support I had to fit some extra poles in between the legs, next time I'll probably rethink the way I put the legs in (even with extra support they are still weak). Inside the suitcase I placed a thick slab of wood, and attached the legs with a single (perhaps that's the problem) screw through the case into the thick slab of wood. Next I fitted in the non-stinky parts of an old mattress and wrapped them with a clean white sheet. Add a cute little pillow.. and voila!

Starting fresh

Time to clean up this page and start with something new.