There’s a fun shop that has opened recently on the Oudegracht. It’s called Tiger and it sells a variety of odds and ends, all cheaply. I bought toothpicks and religious-icon candles, and want to go back for a bowler hat. They also have hair brushes, clocks, toys, cooking utensils, and yodeling flamingos. Yeah, that last one threw me, too, but it was one of the first things I saw in the store. Of course, when I think yodeling, I think flamingos, don’t you?
I’ve seen this a few times in the past week and figured I ought to share it, even if it has nothing to do with Utrecht or the Netherlands. But really, a blog with the word flamingo in it really should be excused for going off topic in this case. The photo was taken by Robert Haas (National Geographic/Caters News Agency), and shows flamingos in roughly the shape of a flamingo, in Yucatan, Mexico. A rare, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime shot!
Certainly quite a bit different from the weather we’re having here now. We got snow yesterday and it’s cold enough today for it to keep hanging around, with more expected to join it tomorrow, from the looks of things. The cats are dreaming of warmer, flamingo-inhabited climates as they suck every bit of heat possible out of the radiators.
This is a partial shot of a series of three sculptural figures over at the nearby Griftpark. The sculptures — Drei Grosse Figuren (Three Large Figures) — are by German artist Thomas Schütte. They’re one of the many bits of sculpture that seem to pop up in random places throughout the city. The Griftpark itself is a former industrial area that was transformed into a nice park. The three figures seem somehow appropriate.
That, my friends, is a picture of Orlando sitting atop one of the apples growing on the apple tree on our back terrace. The picture was taken a couple of months ago, but the apples are finally ripe and ready to eat. In fact, one is baking right now in the form of a simple puff pastry apple tart. I grew up with my own orange tree, but this is the first time I’ve had my own apple tree! If this tart goes well, I’ll have to try my hand at making the traditional Dutch appel taart. The crust of those is to die for!
So that’s the rave part of the title. Now the rant. Albert Heijn, the grocery chain we usually go to, doesn’t seem to be stocking cumin powder anymore, just the cumin seeds. I use the powder so often that I’d prefer to have the powder already made and not have to grind my own. Today, Lizzy kindly suggested I check the Conimex brand, since they make their own cumin powder, just with an Indonesian name. I think Merian was even suggesting Conimex might have a chili powder, too. Unfortunately, when I went to AH today, not only did they still not have their usual brand of cumin powder, they now no longer seem to stock any of the Conimex products other than the kroepoek. (Thank heavens they at least still have those lovely little addictive morsels!) Tomorrow, I’ll either head over to the tokos (Chinese shops) over by Hoog Catharijne, or I’ll see if Plus (the not quite so nice supermarket) or Super de Boers (the slightly more expensive super market) at least carry cumin powder. I’ve heard that AH seems to like to get rid of the products that are most enjoyed; it’s seeming more and more to be true. 😉
Now excuse me while I go take the apple tarts out of the oven!
I’m pretty sure that’s the forecast through the weekend. Europe seems to be in the midst of a bit of a heat wave recently, and for once, we haven’t been left out. As of right now, I believe the temperature is 31C/87F. Part of me thinks, no, it can’t be that warm. Yet, I’ve noticed today that even downstairs in the coolest, darkest spot in the house, it’s incredibly warm. I’m much more conscious of it than I have been the rest of the week. We really should look into getting a fan.
This warm weather is supposed to continue through the weekend, with bonus rain, to make things that bit more hot and humid. Ah, just like home! Fortunately (for me anyway), the temperatures are supposed to break come Monday or Tuesday. One forcast called for a high of 19C/66F. I’m almost giddy at the thought! I can leave the house again without dying of heat stroke!