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What Not To Say To Mum On A Saturday Afternoon


Saturday, September 26, 2009


My nine year old, who clearly has a death wish, came up to me minutes ago and asked "Mummy, when are you going to clean up my messy room?"

A couple of sharp words later, guess who had to clean up his own messy bedroom which incidentally looks like I have four kids instead of just one.

In other news, I'm all pins and needles now - our new sofa set arrives in thirty minutes!

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 9:34 am

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A Dutchess In Her Sarong Kebaya


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I don't know if you, dear reader, remember a recent post I made about the Sarong Kebaya. In it I also showcased a set I bought from Singapore whilst on holiday. Who would've guessed two months down the road we'd all be here on another of Hubs' posting? Life's funny like that.

Anyway, I thought you'd like to see how I looked when I wore it to the big 75th birthday bash of both Mother and Father-In-Law. They were born within a week of each other, 5km away. Who would've thought the two babies would grow up, fall in love and get married? Life's also funny like that.

Here are the two photos:

Photo #1

Taken by Hubs in our backyard, just before leaving. For my hair, which you can't see and that's why I'm describing it to you, I made a loose knot and clipped on matching crimson fabric orchids from Accesorize. I had on my baroque pearl earrings from Beijing and carried a beaded purse bought from the Gran Canaria a few years ago. To finish the outfit, I wore a pair of Stuart Weitzman slingbacks in gold lace brocade scattered with crystals. The sarong was not a joke. It was so tight, I had to hobble the whole time. Miraculously, sitting was easy, thanks in part to the long pleat in front of the sarong.

Photo #2

Taken by J Velter, a family friend and source of funny emails and crazier photos. He is retired, hence the luxury. This was snapped on his iPhone, a newly procured toy at the time. He caught Sonny-boy and me unawares in a private moment. We were inside the function room and I was cooing all over Sonny-boy like all mothers do when their pride and joy stubbornly refuse to replenish their liquid intake. "I mean it! Finish up your juice or you can forget about going out to play again!" I believe, was the gentle line of persuasion used.

Thanks, J, for capturing this tender moment between mother and son. And above all, many heartfelt thanks for not making my posterior the size of the average Dutch cow. I am forever in your debt.

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 6:26 am

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Familiar Favourites


Tuesday, September 15, 2009



Today I decided to really test my stone-age oven that comes with the apartment. It has the impressive number of one function - supply heat from the top and bottom at various temperatures. No fan, no top grill, no bottom heat no nothing. Unlike my beloved oven I left behind in the Netherlands that did everything but place the food to be cooked inside by itself. I want to sob into my apron.

Still, it was better than nothing. At least it didn't trip the circuit breaker. Ovens not in use for an extended period of time in tropical climes tend to go wonky on account of the humidity. Therefore it is advised, even when you're not using it, to turn your oven on from time to time to get rid of any moisture trapped in there. Well no worries for us as I use my oven at least twice a week.

This evening, I made Goat's Cheese and Thyme Stuffed Chicken. I literally haven't made this in almost two years. In fact, I haven't really cooked in the past eighteen months we were in Beijing. I was a bit shaky at first but after slicing the courgette and tomatoes, I got right back in the swing of things. Everything came naturally, thank goodness.

Line the casserole dish with sliced courgette and tomatoes. Give the vegetables a few splashes of olive oil. Spread sprigs of fresh thyme all over.

Slice chicken breast in half, taking care not to go all the way through. Season with a little salt and chopped thyme on the insides before placing the goat's cheese on. Fold the chicken breast in half and secure with strips of streaky bacon.

Place wrapped bundles on the vegetable lined casserole dish. Pop into oven (pre-heated to 200C) and cook until a beautiful golden brown.

Lekker!

While the chicken was getting acquainted with the goat's cheese and streaky bacon in the oven, I prepared the evening's starter - Honey Melon with Parma Ham. It's easily done in a jiffy, just a matter of slicing the melon and arranging the ham as prettily as possible.


Add a bit of salad for garnishing and voilá! looks good enough to eat.

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 3:41 pm

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New Reality


Saturday, September 05, 2009


Today I paid €6 for 150g of feta cheese. Oi.


The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 8:00 am

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