vrijdag 26 mei 2017

From The Home Front

It's HOT over here. Like really hot. Nevertheless I did my duty and baked for the holiday, two days ago:





Everything is eaten up, of course:)

The recipe was adapted from the Nordic cookbook I'd written about, with changes.

For the dough, I used 2c flour, mostly plain flour with a couple of TBSP spelt/whole wheat/barley;
1 1/2 tsp yeast, 60g butter (less than the recipe called for), 2TBSP sugar, 2 eggs, cinnamon and a bit salt, and 100ml warm milk. I melted the butter before adding it. According to the book, you have to knead the dough with a mixer but I just used a fork and stirred it vigorously for ab. 5 min. If you have any experience with yeast dough, you'll know when you get this feeling of it being ready. After letting it rise for 1.5 hour, I had to knead it by hand (on a floured surface, of course), than I rolled it out, rolled it up, and cut it into 12 slices. After this, it had to rise for another 1.5 hour.

Now the fun thing starts. You have to press the center of the rolls and fill them with self-made custard. I was too lazy to do it and used kwark instead (the same stuff we use for a cheesecake over here). I mixed it with an egg and was fully intending to add vanilla sugar, but forgot...I baked them at 200*C for something like 20-25 min and they turned out fine, but not really sweet. Not a problem really, since the book recommends further filling them with jam, which I did. Or to be more precise, I just put jam all over and ate them this way:)

All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the result!


donderdag 25 mei 2017

Money For Nothing

For all the children of the 1980s - uncensored version:




I'll write a post tomorrow, today is a holiday so we are off to party:)

maandag 22 mei 2017

Beer Controversy

Some time ago I linked to a couple of articles claiming how beer is bad for men, because of estrogenic properties of hop. Then, the study appeared which states that beer is actually good for male fertility:

A pint of beer a day can double men's fertility

Another study claims totally opposite, namely that

three pints of beer a week will damage your sperm

Yet another study says that beer is extremely healthy, for both men and women:

Research suggests it can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, aid weight loss and even balance hormones...

A study by Tufts University in the United States in 2009 found that moderate beer consumption can protect bone mineral density.
For years Guinness was even prescribed to pregnant women due to its high Vitamin B content. ‘It’s  now recommended that pregnant women avoid alcohol but other  people could benefit,’ says nutritionist Vicki Edgson.


Beer: full of vitamins...

It protects you from heart attacks, kidney stones, and bad effects of menopause. So the question is, what are we supposed to believe when some products are first declared to be dangerous, then beneficial?

Honestly, folks have been drinking beer (and eating cheese and butter and bread) for ages. Obviously, moderation is the key, especially when it concerns alcoholic beverages, but even when you binge on water, it can be bad for you. I once read of a lady who having learned that water is healthy drank a liter of five, disturbed her body's electrolytic balance and ended up in IC. We should always use our common sense!

As for experts, instead of digging into dangers of cheese and butter and gluten and other stuff, how about they study processed foods? But that would probably involve telling people to start cooking from scratch, and we can't have it now, can we? Because somebody somewhere could interpret it as  telling ladies to get back to the kitchen and it's a crimethink in the current year:)

Seriously, if you want to stay healthy, learn how to cook, and that goes for both men and women.


vrijdag 19 mei 2017

Three Cheers For Self-Defence

A lot of religious Westerners somehow have this weird idea that a real Christian is some cowardly pacifist milk toast. Luckily, not every Western church-going man subscribes to it (though Mormons, are strictly speaking, probably not Christians since they deny the Trinity doctrine, they still claim the name of Christ).

Personally I find this video quite inspiring:


woensdag 17 mei 2017

Catholics And Working Women

Catholic Church nowadays appears to have few problems with working women, but it hasn't always been the case. Recently I stumbled upon a second-hand book in a thrift store about a famous Dutch Catholic politician from the 1930s. Carl Romme fought, among other things, for the government subsidies for families with multiple children and against work participation for married women.

To quote the book (approximate translation mine):

To fight unemployment, the government encouraged city councils to fire female employees who were going to get married. It didn't go far enough for the Catholics and Steinmenz also proposed to fire all the married women. Romme used this opportunity to argue that...the work of a married woman was a result of ...psychoses, that of freedom and equality which for years had been undermining the strength of the people. This strength was necessary for the healthy family life and thus it wasn't allowed to encourage a married woman to look for her daily work outside the family. (p. 187).

Further in his career, when he became a minister, he was busy, among other things with prohibiting employment for married women. On the one hand, it was a necessary measure to fight unemployment, but it went further than that. Again, to quote:

A woman's duty lay within the family and nothing should keep her from it. The education of a girl had to prepare her for it and once married, she had to be prohibited from working. (p. 305).

In 1962, he got (posthumously) the honour doctorate from the Catholic University of Tilburg. Thus, in the beginning of the 1960s his opinions were still considered respectable. What the heck happened in the end of the 1960s? Nowadays it's quite otherwise, as a married woman's "duty" apparently lies anywhere except in her own home...

(The book in question was written by J.Bosmans, and it's called Romme. Published by Het Spectrum, 1991).

maandag 15 mei 2017

My Birthday Present



I gave it to myself with my birthday money last week. The Nordic Kitchen isn't only a book of recipes, it also has stunning photography, like this:





That was a part of its appeal to me, as I'm in love with Northern Europe, as you have probably noticed (comes from having Viking blood, though diluted, I guess:)

Its authors are a Scandinavian couple, Gisli Egill Hrafnsson and Inga Elsa Bergthorsdottir, and they evidently used the pictures from their family album since they also feature their two daughters.

They appear to have a passion for authentic Nordic recipes from the times past, which they combine with some modern ingredients and cooking methods. The book has some background info on each of Scandinavian countries, some of their culinary traditions and their historical way of life and then goes on to recipes which are divided not by country, but by seasons: Spring-Summer, and Autumn-Winter.

Again, recipes are accompanied by photos. It's a very beautiful book. I've tried a couple of recipes already and they turned out fine. The book is heavy on fish, meat, healthy veggies, animal fat (which will attract Paleo lovers, I suppose) but also baked goodies, that look delicious. So  it's a review of sorts, but really I just wanted to show off a bit:)