Monday, August 31, 2009

You can't go to Holland without taking the Poffertjes-test

What a test. A great challenge.

Sunday morning we were warned by Marjolein and Wim, that we had to
take a test that every Dutch have to take, sooner or later.
We were asked bring Helmets, Wooden Shoes and a Rescue Bag.
Holland is not known for high hills and deep canyons, so should we hang like the figures above?
And do something?

- Ok, we said, let's take the test

Of course we did not ask what kind of test it was.
We like surprises. Vikings do love surprises. At least some of them.

In the early afternoon we went from Huizen to Laren. Laren is one of the richest towns in the Netherlands. Formerly a farmer village, then painters and artists strolled to the Town, and now it's a region for wealthy people. People from all over the world come to shop in the high quality fashion and art shops. We were, as said, there on a Sunday. All shops were closed.
Our Euro's burned in our pockets and handbags.

After only a few minutes driving from Huizen via Blaricum (another story - later), we arrived at Laren. Lot's of Cars everywhere.

The Village Center was blocked with French Fences.
No Cars allowed. Lot's of people. I will rather say: Very crowded.

Hm, what is this?
Are people invited to watch Anna and Papa taking the test?
You never know what the Dutch can do?

Suddenly, when we passed a corner:

- Lot's of runners, young and old.
(I think they needed a car to return home after the running)

Was it a test-run?
A test-run with wooden-shoes?
If so, we could understand the need for a Helmet and Rescue Bag.

But, the runners did not wear ordinary running shoes, and no Helmets. Hmmm?

We followed the Runners, more than 1300, up the streets.

Then suddenly:

What is this? A Tivoli? An Amusement Park? Adventure Park?
What could the test be? We went high pulse closer. We had, after all, accepted to take the test.

Let's have a closer look. Wafelen Anno 1837 Poffertjes. What's this? A Test? Hmmm? Sceptical.

What are they doing? Seems to be a Hot Job;-)). Is that the test?

No, no and no again:
They are making the best Poffertjes in the whole of the Netherlands. Most probably in the whole World.

And what is this? A more than 100 year old oven for baking Wafers. Amazing.

The test was to eat several portions. One Portion is 10 pieces. Here with Ginger Jam.

Heavenly taste. We wanted more. And passed the Test. With two A's.
While the Runners had their tests and even the Samba Drummers performed their test very well, Papa went outside to take a Photo. You know, after the first 10 poffertjes, and some old, sweet brown beer, fresh air;-))

This Poffertjes Restaurant only serves poffertjes, in 4 different varations (Plain, with Rhum, Ginger or Grand Marnier) and 1 kind of Waffel.
And different kind of beverages.
In spite of the few choices, it's allways crowded at de Haan in Laren.

Wim and Papa had old, sweet, dark Beer, while the ladies had water.

Even people from California enjoys the famous poffertjes here.
In fact, Marjoleins Cousin and her daughter from the LA area. And a Viking Woman to the right;-) You also see Marjoleins sweet Auntie who hosted the 3x20 Celebratration the day before. (More to come about that wonderful event)

This restaurant, "com de haan" in Laren is only open from Spring to Fall.
They set it up and bring it down every year. The same since "House" in more than 50 years.

It's build around a real Tree, situated in the middle of the interior.

Even the Glass Paintings follow the Seasons. I think this must be Bacchus. Or what do you think?

What are Poffertjes' main ingrediens?

Here you see Buckwheat. That's what make a big difference for the taste and final result instead of using ordinary Wheat. But be aware that Buckwheat is a Nut, and closely related to Rhubarbe as well. Interesting.

You can read more about Poffertjes and this very famous establishment and the history of Poffertjes here.
Google translation (well, you at least got an Idea)

More to come from Holland and France and Switzerland and Norway and -----

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Papa goes to Holland

The reason?

Marjolein's 3x20 celeb. Her with her Man: Wim.
Some of my dear readers my recall from September 2008?

Here you see some of their wonderful friends and family.
Two years ago I did write this post - You might see somebody you have seen here?

More to come from our fabulous weekend from Norway to Holland celebrating Master Marjolein.

Have a nice Sunday everybody

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A visit to the Home of George Sand - Nohant - France

Vacation Report 7:

We were invited to the Home of George Sand in Nohant, in the middle of France. Here it is, Nohant on the Map

Hereby you are also invited to the home of this unique person, a very productive writer and a very early feminist. Her life was vey challenging in the 1800-hundreds France, to express it softly.

The visit to her home was - well - something very special.... So read on.

Many of my readers my have read something of her works and her relationships with famous artists and intellectuals, pre-feminsist and aristocrates etc in France between 1830 until her death in 1876, among them the famous Composer Frédéric Chopin.

For some reasons I believe most of my readers do not have heard about this very special personality George Sand. In fact a Woman that did write under a Male pseudonym. Why?
Continue reading.... and click on the Links.

I will combine this post with some facts and links to more facts with Photos I took during our visit.

Anna is saying: "Follow me" (We had a French Guide - so you here had to accept a Norwegian writing in some sort of English)

Here you see George Sands Home. Main entrence in the Centre

Before we go inside, just read this:
Also scandalous was Sand's smoking tobacco in public; neither peerage nor gentry had yet sanctioned the free indulgence of women in such a habit, especially in public . These and other behaviors were exceptional for a woman of the early and mid-19th century, when social codes—especially in the upper classes—were of the utmost importance.

After our visit inside George Sand's home, I was told it's forbidden to take photos there. So the following photos are unique.

As you can see, from the Photo of George Sands house, she was not born among the poorest in France.

This beautiful Chandeliere tells a lots of her style and heritage.
At that time, they did not have electricity

As a consequence of many unorthodox aspects of her lifestyle, Sand was obliged to relinquish some of the privileges appertaining to a baroness — though, interestingly, the mores of the period did permit upper-class wives to live physically separated from their husbands, without losing face, provided the estranged couple exhibited no blatant irregularity to the outside world.

What has allways been a fascination to me is Cooking.

Here you see George Sands kitchen. At that time it was very modern and new technology was implemented. Not only to cook, but also to preserve the food to be served "au point" and not to forget use the heath from the Ovens to Heath the whole Villa during the Winter Months.

Look at this. A Chefs wonder and dreams even to day.

Poet Charles Baudelaire was a contemporary critic of George Sand: "She is stupid, heavy and garrulous. Her ideas on morals have the same depth of judgment and delicacy of feeling as those of janitresses and kept women.... The fact that there are men who could become enamoured of this slut is indeed a proof of the abasement of the men of this generation."

After a visit to the Kitchen, let's go to the intimate Dining Room. For very special invited Guests only.

Here George Sand invited the intellectual elite from those times. They came here from Paris by Railway or Horsedroven Wagons.
You have to visit to see how her friends were arranged at the Table

Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness (French:baronne) Dudevant (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand was a French novelist. She is considered by some a feminist although she refused to join this movement. She is regarded as the first French female novelist to gain a major reputation. Her production was enormous. 82 different titles.

After dinner and talks it was about time to have some entertainment.

Often, the first entertaiment was a puppet theatre. Just for fun. And for a hand-picked audience.Because the play-lines was not "comme-il-faut" at that time. And political incorrect.

And why not have a rehearsel of her fellow author's new plays and books, in her private Theatre?
Many Author's lines and texts have been changed during those evenings. Friends gave their instant opinions and feed-back. Try to imagine how it was, these evenings

Sand's best works include her countryside novels LA MARE AU DIABLE (1846), in which Germain, a young widower, must choose between a rich woman and a poor girl, FRANÇOIS LE CHAMPI (1847-48), LA PETITE FADETTE (1849), and LES MAÎTRES SONNEURS (1853). In LUCREZIA FLORIANI (1846) Sand depicted her relationship with Frédéric Chopin (Prince Karol de Roswald in the book). HORACE (1842) was an examination of the young generation enthused by the ideals of Romanticism. She also wrote memoirs, short stories, essays and fairy tales. ELLE ET LUI (1859), a triangle drama, reflected her romance with Musset, who answered with Lui et elle, in which he defended his brother. Louise Colet continued the literary battle with Lui (1860).

Here some Flowers from the estates beautiful Garden

In 1842, the English critic George Henry Lewes said that Sand was ''the most remarkable writer of the present century.'' However, Sand's literary reputation started to decline after her death, and in the beginning of the 20th century, her work did not attract much attention. "The world will know and understand me someday," Sand once wrote to her critics. "But if that day does not arrive, it does not greatly matter. I shall have opened the way for other women."

In the Garden at Nohant, you will find several quotations from famous persons. Here is one written by George Sand about love.

Next stop: Sancerre or Bourges, so stay tuned. Will it be Wine or Cathedral?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cats on Tuesday - August - 25 - 2009 - Kittens

My dear readers,
you my have noticed our Cat Felicia was mother of kittens some weeks ago?
Just before we went down from Norway to the South of France to a unforgetable blogger reunion.

Felicia and her Kittens were taken care of by Sylvi and also Ingelin.

This Tuesday, Anna and Papa did see the kittens for the first time since about a month.

Here is some photos (You know kittens are even faster than a Camera, so it was a very difficult task to present them here on COT).

More Cats at Gattinas

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Papa was invited to Lunch - in Nohant - join us

My dear readers, let me invite you to a Lunch in Nohant.
In the middle of France.
Yes, in fact we were invited by our good French Friends to the home of George Sand
(You will of course be invited to the home of this very famouse French female writer in a later post).

The Salon de The is a very tiny cafe, except during Summertime, when you can sit outside.
Due to the Sun, we preferred to sit inside.

Anna and papa went there, with the guidance by Claude and Paulette. Less than 1 hour away from Issoudun (I'll post later).
Because to visit the Home of George Sand.
Our friends are great lovers of litterature. They have several thousands of titles. And we brought some Norwegian Novels translated to French.

Before we did visit the Museum, in fact the intact home of George Sand, we needed some food.
A Lunch.
What to expect in this far away farmland area? Scroll down and see for yourself.

We studied the "Cartes".

Well, this delicate Salad was my preference

Here is dessert #1 (Papas)

Here is dessert #2

Here is dessert #3

See the Man in red? He is simply a master of cooking and creating cakes, tartes, sweeties etc

Coffee - really high quality - made from love and respect to the Customer. And the white you see to the left of each Cup? It's worth the tour alone;-))

Papa went out from a wonderful Lunch, but took a shot of his French Friends.
Canyou believe it: I've known Claude since 1967 and I was also in J P's baptize. I simply took the Night Train from Munich to Paris. I was on a 2 weeks training course in Munich, but had the weekend off. So what better to do than going to my friends in Montmorency, just North of Paris and join the baptize of their first Son?
That's what's friends are for. Right?
In fact, Claude and I have known each others since 1967.
And have had met several times. Both in France and Norway.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Photo Hunt - Ripples

Our first meeting with Mr and Mrs Lifecruisers, at Faroe - an Island in the Baltic Sea. Here from the North Beach.
More Photo Hunters here.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - 2009-08-19

Glass Painting from the Cathedral in Bourges - France

More Wordless here

ps - There will be more from this exceptional constructrution

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