On Cooking

I love food! It is one of the great passions I have in my life. I love reading about food, talking about food, cooking and baking, experimenting with new flavors, grossing my friends out with my fearless pursuits of interesting exotic flavors, and of course consuming it. (Just don't let me near a red bell pepper, there is nothing more disgusting on this planet than a bell pepper, and the red ones are their own breed of disgusting). Some of my favorite memories come from food, I was fortunate enough to be able to bake my two best friends wedding cakes.

It should come at no surprise then, that over the years, I have acquired a pantheon of cooking supplies. Cookbooks, dishes, measuring cups, decorating tips, whisks, flower nails, and my prized Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer. Naturally, with limited space and bringing just 4 suitcases under 50lbs a piece, certain sacrifices must be made. Instead of transporting about 20 cookbooks to The Netherlands with me, I have been painstakingly writing out the recipes that I like from each of them. Yes, it is time consuming, but I have managed to put all the recipes I want into a two inch binder! I do the same thing with the uncounted multitudes of cooking magazines I had in my possession. All those recipes can be found on the magazines' websites- I've wasted a lot of money over the years. I made Loek check to make sure we have access to each site in Holland and then I write down the title of the recipe I want to try later, along with the issue that it came from. Of course, there are some cookbooks that just contain to many fantastic recipes so I brought those with me and left them with Loek when I was in Holland in April: The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. 

As for the rest, it is simply not coming with me. As much as it pains me, I simply do not have the room. Instead of taking the assorted measuring spoons and cups I had, crammed into several drawers,I purchased on set a piece of truly fantastic peices. I bought a beautiful flower shaped set of measuring spoons and a set of stackable measuring cups in the shape of Matroyshkas dolls. This way, I can measure my American recipes in cups and tablespoons. Everything else, can be bought there gradually, which will be better since my oven is going to be the size of a microwave, and my kitchen in a much more condensed space. My beloved mixer is going to my mom. I hope to eventually get another one for my Dutch apartment, but Loek is in shock of the price and space is limited. 

Thanks to a few new expat friends, I do know to bring baking powder, soda and karo syrup with me, as these things are hard to find in most Dutch grocers. I am sure that cooking using the metric system is going to be its own special challenge and I pledge to keep you posted about it here on my blog. 

*And, why yes, I did make that cake! 



Baking powder you can get here (bakpoeder) in the grocery stores, and one of the tokos next to the train station has baking soda for half the price of the expat shop. Do bring cup measurements and spoon measurements, and maybe bring two sets of each. It saves you from having to clean so often during a recipe. And I still miss my Kitchen Aid. *sob* I try not to think about the beautifully stocked kitchen I left behind.

If you haven't checked it out, try the Kayotic Kitchen food blog. She does recipes in a mix of metric and US measurements, but in a useful way. Best of all, being Dutch (but blogging in English), you know that you can always find the ingredients she uses. That's been one of my biggest frustrations.

Oh, and that cake is gorgeous!

Why thank you! It was my first wedding cake ever! I do read Kayotic Kitchen, I really like it! I am so truly grateful that you have found my blog and can pass on all your knowledge! It is starting to become so real, and that is freaking me out! 

I know you are leaving super soon, but part of me just doesn't believe it! I've been telling people for a while now that you are moving, but it's not going to feel real until you're gone. I know we don't see each other often anyway, but it's weird to think that you'll be so far away and inaccessible... :( I will MISS YOU!!!!!

It is super weird for me too. I have been going through all the motions, clearly, I write about them. But, it still doesn't feel, until I get bursts of panic. And, I will miss you sooo much too! 

That was my first thought: Ooooh! DID SHE MAKE THAT?


Very nice.

I did indeed, and I have every intention of making my own when the time comes. Thanks for the compliment!