Sunday, November 26, 2006

A belated Thanksgiving wish! - Een verlate Thanksgiving wens!

We know American Thanksgiving was last Thursday, but we we're too full to type!

"Mom" forgot to order the turkey (kalkoen) , so we had baked chicken (kip) instead - which was fine with us because we love chicken. We had lots of little nibbles of the chicken on our Thanksgiving plates. ;o)

Our "family" (gezin) also had:
Cornbread stuffing (maisbroodvulling) with Calvados soaked currants (krenten)
Homemade cranberry compote (Amerikaanse veenbessencompote)
Tiny potatoes (kleine aardappeltjes)
String beans and carrots (sperciebonen en wortelen)
Spicy pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese icing (kruidige pompoentaartjes met kaneelroomkaassuikerglazuur <-Yes! that's one long word, that is very Dutch! Eventually, you get used to it. )

"Mom" spent all day in the kitchen (de keuken) and we didn't bother her at all ... we behaved this time... we are little furry angels, you know!?! ;o) Well, there was chicken to be had, we're not stupid - wij zijn niet stom. hee hee!

Here are some photos of the food and pen & ink with watercolors that our "mom" did ... from our American Thanksgiving in the Netherlands ... yummm.
(click each row for larger image)


© 2006, Judith Nijholt-Strong.
The pen & ink pieces were done with Micron pens, Winsor & Newton and Yarka watercolors on Arches hotpress watercolor paper. Each one is 5"x5".

We came running into the house when "mom" called out; "Dinner is ready!" (Het eten is klaar!)
After everyone around the table expressed what they were thankful for, "mom" said; "Eet smakelijk!" (bon appetit, tasty eating, tuck in, dig in, etc.), and so we did.

© Judith Nijholt-Strong, 2006

We are very thankful for being so well cared for by our humans.
We hope you found something to be thankful for as well.

Beste wensen, (best wishes)

Finn & Sacha

Thursday, November 16, 2006

We're too busy!! Wij zijn erg druk!!

Busy, busy, busy! (druk, druk, druk) . We haven't had time to take even the smallest catnap ... the entire family is busy this month.

Our "mom" is working on three commissions, (a painting and two drawings), and she's taking more classes in the Dutch language. Our "dad" is busy developing new software programs.

The whole family has just celebrated another birthday - our Dutch "step-brother's" birthday was last weekend. We wished him "Hartelijk gefeliciteerd met zijn verjaardag" (Heartfelt congratulations with his birthday). "Mom" managed to make this buttery Italian apple torte for him (she's currently doing a painting of a slice of the torte, but no pictures of it to share ... yet). "Mom" found this recipe on one of the many food blogs that she reads - Simply Recipies . Again, Sacha offered her help making the torte when she stole a knob of butter (boter) off the kitchen counter (keukenaanrecht) .

©Judith Nijholt-Strong, 2006 - all rights reserved.

Sacha is a little devil! (Sacha is een klein duiveltje!) Our humans are thinking of sending her to chef's school (koksschool) - you can't do anything in the kitchen without Sacha offering a "helping paw".

I'm not sure when we can get back to regularly blogging - we need help with the typing, you know ... we're just cats! There will be lots of parties to attend this month; we're getting excited thinking about them. Afterall, American Thanksgiving is just around the corner, then Sinterklaas is about to arrive soon - we wouldn't miss that; we're busy getting our tiny klompen (woodenshoes or clogs) ready for the Sint! Then it's on to Christmas, Tweede Kerstdag (second Christmas day), our "dad's" birthday and New Year's Eve (Oudejaarsavond - "oudejaarsavond" is literally translated as, "old year's night") ... yikes, DRUK!

Also, the humans are going to take a train trip over to Cologne, Germany (Köln, or in dutch - Keulen) for the wonderful Christmas markets (Kerstmarkten) . "Mom" is taking her travel Moleskine with her, so there will be sketches to show you (unless it's freezing cold, like it was last year - in that case the sketches will be of the stollen & hot coffee inside the lovely cafés of Cologne)! While in Cologne, she is also going to visit a very old artists' supply store (kunstenaarsbenodigdhedenwinkel) to stock up on some paper & colors she can't find here in the Netherlands. Sacha and I hope they find us something to play with too - a nice toy, maybe (Misschien iets leuks om mee te spelen) .

I'm sure Sacha will be very busy "helping" in the kitchen (druk in de keuken) through these holidays (feestdagen) and "mom" will show you some more of her art in the coming weeks, when she can.

As for me, I'll just wait for the feast days and next week I'll help plant the rest of the bulbs in the garden. And then I'll wait for Spring to arrive! (Ik wacht de feestdgen wel af en volgende week help ik de bloembollen in de grond te stoppen. En dan wacht ik op de lente.)

Tot volgende keer ( 'til next time) ,

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Happy Halloween from Holland, Part 2 ... the day after

The weather was stormy, the night was dark and the treats were delicious. (Het weer was stormachtig, de nacht was donker en de traktaties waren heerlijk.) (Isn't that a beautiful Dutch sentence! We think so.)
Pictured clockwise from bottom to top , are: Merlin's Eyeballs, Toxic-waste (lentil soup), Baked Cat Heads, Scary Cupcakes, and Jack-0-Lantern Pizzas

Earlier on Halloween day, Sacha was doing her best to make sure the "treats" tasted fine. She was trying to convince "mom" that she could be 'the official food taster' and was only there to lend a paw, if needed. I don't think "mom" bought that idea after Sacha stole a second cupcake while it was waiting to be decorated.

Both of us enjoyed checking out the pumpkins & gourds (pompoenen & kalebassen) We also helped decorate the house. (Wij hebben ook geholpen het huis te versieren) .

"Mom" did several drawings and paintings of some of the pumpkins & gourds she bought this year from the pumpkin man. Not far from where we live in Utrecht, the Dutch pumpkin man grows all sorts of fascinating gourds and enourmous pumpkins. With each year, his collection of differing sorts of pumpkins & gourds increases...we're happy he's nearby.
(Click for larger image)
© Judith Nijholt-Strong
Works done in gouache, pen & ink and colored pencils on Fabriano watercolor paper, Arches hotpressed wc paper, Moleskine sketchbook and also in an unknown sketchbook with archival paper.

Yikes! Sacha looks like she's just a head on the table! Very Halloween of her, don't you think? ... heh heh She was sooooo interested in the Jack-o-Lantern pizzas, especially the ones with the anchovy smiles!
We both tried the Merlin's Eyeballs which are really stuffed eggs. I wasn't so interested in them, but Sacha will eat anything (Sacha eet alles) !

During a break in the rainstorm, I decided to take a walk around the house ... I am a black cat, after all, and it was Halloween. I came upon a little Dutch witch (heks) and two small Dutch vampires (vampiers) who had come to trick-or-treat at our house. As "mom" opened the front door, I scooted past them into the house, giving everyone a small fright! It was a purrrrfect Halloween moment! Everyone laughed and chose their treats - mini spider, scary eye, & pumpkin cupcakes and bloody witches' fingers .... creepy & tasty too!

Here are some Dutch words for "creepy":
kruipend (to creep: i.e. creep across the floor)
griezelend; griezelig ( to be or feel creepy);
griezelverhaal (creepy story)

And some words for "tasty or delicious":
lekker; heerlijk; smakelijk

"Mr. Punkie" © Judith Nijholt Strong, 2006

And so another Halloween in Holland came to an end.
(Halloween is voorbij)


Tot ziens!
P.S. A small complaint:
Blogger can be a real 'thorn in a lion's paw' sometimes. Today it seems to be taking forever to upload our images - which seems to indicate that this post will be, err, "post-dated" if this sluggish behaviour continues. You know, cats (as well as humans) can make better use of their time than waiting (wasting) all day for Blogger to be cooperative... for example, Sacha could be eating, "mom" could be painting and Finn could be sleeping! We'll be rethinking our salutations from now on, as "tot morgen" might really mean - "tot 'who knows when'"! Grrrrowl!!!


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