Old Cloth

Between curiosity about the city I’m now living in and research for Trippist, I’m frequently learning new and interesting facts. Today’s discovery is that the lapjesmarkt (fabric market) that I’ve gone to on any number of Saturdays has been there on Breedstraat since 1597. 1597! Caravaggio was alive and painting then!


One of the Chinese markets over by Hoog Catharijne (on Achter Clarenburg, next to Blokker and Xenos) had not only the baking soda (Arm & Hammer, no less!), but they also had black-eye peas! I didn’t see the Karo (or any other light corn syrup) there, so I still had to go to the British food store. I’m glad I didn’t just go there and buy the baking soda, as it was twice the price, as was the Crisco. I suspect I’ll be stopping in at that Chinese market often enough when I go to the outdoor market that’s right there at Vredenburg. It’s like Southern food mecca in that area!

Cornbread is in the oven baking for Thursday’s cornbread dressing and I’m hoping to get at least the pecan pie made today, although I forgot to buy eggs, so I’ll have to go out again to get them if I want to make either of the pies today. At least I only have to go to the end of the street to get the eggs.

Unrelated to food, I also finally bought a pair of black shoes — and for only €18. Despite what some may think, I’ve been in need of a good pair of mid-heel black shoes.


Originally uploaded by indigo_jones

Look at what I found today! Happy joyous day!

I’ve been to the outdoor market on a Friday and on a Sunday, but I’d never been on a Saturday. Turns out Saturday is the best day of all. So much lovely stuff! I found one veggie stall that had all sorts of lovely things, including a box full of okra. I almost squealed with glee!

They had the butternut squash there, too. I’d seen that once in Albert Heijn, the major grocery store, but didn’t buy it that day and haven’t seen it since. Of course, when I stopped in at the little market at the end of our street, they had butternut squash today. Oh well. I’m just happy to have okra and not have to go all the way to Amsterdam for it. I had some of it tonight with dinner and am making a veggie stew with it tomorrow.


Market Day

Fruit Stand

The other week, during my first trip to the farmer’s market, I had seen some lovely looking shrimp. I’ve had shrimp on the brain ever since, and today I decided to head back over and get some for dinner tonight. I talked G into going with me, and we soon headed out.

After a quick stop at Pippos for some paint and a brayer, we headed over to the farmer’s market. There’s a lot more for sale there than just fresh produce; there’s clothing and all sorts of odds and ends, as well as fish and meat and cheese and bread and stroopwaffels … Our first stop was the fish monger, where we picked up the shrimp. Next was the fruit stand pictured above. Then one of the stands with dried fruits, nuts and all sorts of olives. One of the men working there gave us each a feta-stuffed fig to try, which was absolutely delicious! We ended up buying some of the feta-stuffed olives, which are addictive. I wish we’d bought more, because I think we’ll go through the ones we have very quickly.

After that, we headed through the clothing and hair gel and other odds and ends and ended up right in front of the organic goat cheese stand. They had samples. Not surprisingly, we ended up buying some cheese. We got the garlic basil goat cheese. It’s a firm cheese, more like a gouda than the usual creamier goat cheese. There was a woman there buying some cheese who said she can’t pass the place without buying some of their cheese. I completely understand. They have a blue-veined cheese that we’ll be trying next week.

Around the corner, we ended up buying some Turkish bread from one of the bread stands, and then we came to a baked-goods stand. They had chocolate cake. We actually haven’t seen a lot of chocolate cake here. G was overwhelmed. The way I react over Caravaggio paintings or Alberti churches is similar to G’s reaction to that cake. 😉 Fortunately, they sold it by the slice, so we have two slices to look forward to, as well.

All in all, a tasty outing!

Fabric and Flowers

This morning, despite the drizzling rain, Pippo and I went out to explore the stoffenmarkt (fabric market) on Broodstraat and the flower market at Janskerkhof. Both are Saturday institutions that I’ve been wanting to see since we’ve been here, but somehow have missed until now.

First we headed over to Broodstraat (the other house we came close to buying is located there) to check out the fabric. It’s really quite impressive! The whole street was filled on both sides with stall after stall selling all sorts of fabrics, as well as buttons, patches, thread and I’m sure many other sewing-related bits and pieces. It was almost overwhelming with the sheer volume of fabric. We didn’t even see all of it, because Pippo seemed a bit overwhelmed, as well.

I should point out that I used the Halti on Pippo to avoid the constant pulling we usually have to deal with. We’d originally bought it when we were living in Manhattan and it made an immediate difference. It hasn’t lost its power. Pippo was incredibly well-behaved and didn’t jump or pull or perform any of his usual antics. We eventually left the fabric market, because he truly seemed overwhelmed. Despite the rain, there were large crowds of people. Perhaps between the sheer volume of people, as well as the inhibition of the Halti, he seemed almost hesitant to move on any further. That, or he really liked a particular fabric and was trying to get me to buy it. 😉 As a result of Pippo not wanting to move, I did find a fabric that I’ll probably go back for next week. It’s a great upholstery fabric that I think will make perfect pillows for our sofa.

Not wanting to make Pippo suffer after he’d been such a good boy, we headed out to begin our walk back home. Along the way, we passed a street leading to Janskerkhof, so we decided to take a quick walk through the flower market. Hippie that he is, Pippo would have loved to have stopped and sniffed all of the flowers, but with the rain coming down harder, I figured it should just be a quick walkthrough. It was quite inspiring, though, and I’m tempted to maybe start a bit of gardening on the terrace. The inside is pointless, unfortunately, because both cats will immediately begin to chew on any flowers. Such a shame, because there are a number of flower stands around the city with some beautiful blooms.

Once I do decide to buy something — be it flowers or fabric — I now know how to ask for what I want. We met up with the usual crowd last night and I worked on my Dutch a bit, and have managed to remember some of it! If I want to buy some fabric, I should say “Mag ik twee meters van deze stof” or “Ik wil graag twee meters.” I also worked on the pronunciation of ij, but that still seems to be more a matter of luck when I get it right.