A FAMILY GATHERING
It was all unexpected. The new family we became a part of, the decision for my sister, Lesley and myself to fly out to Amsterdam to join my daughter Bel (already planning on visiting her Oma) and our new family to drive up from the south of Holland (and Eric even gave up his yearly skiing holiday) to meet. Details will be in the book when it comes out. For now, it's about the food (it's a food blog after all, or rather it has deviated a bit, and will continue to do so.
Hot off a plane from Singapore I was in the kitchen making pastes to transport to Holland. My mum's kitchen in her new home in Hillegom is basic and she has few items to cook with. And so the idea was born to create the pastes in my Istanbul kitchen, vacuum pack them and add the proteins and veg when I arrived. Shopping for all items was done online with delivery set for Saturday evening.
Lesley, my sister took the train from London, armed with sleeping bag (one of us got the couch), and a pot to cook with. She did a stop at Hema for Hema sausage to feed us all for the night.
Bel and I flew in minutes apart and met up at baggage control. She came from Heathrow and I from Istanbul. We headed to Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam (Bel wanted cheese and fresh waffles). I wanted a smoked eel sandwich. We got both.
We made it to Hillegom (outside Amsterdam) early evening and Bel sat her Oma down to tell her that the next day, relatives she had never met (nephews and a niece, with 2 of their partners) would come to visit. She took it well. Not really understanding what was happening, which I suspect happens when you are heading towards 92 years of age.
Lesley was busy with sorting the deliveries, while I went to work cooking some of the food.
And then everyone arrived the next day, with 2 of their lovely partners. What joy, what utter utter joy it was to meet everyone, to feel so welcomed by them too and to enjoy our first of many meals together.
Watching the man make Bel's fresh waffle.
Chicken tikka masala with potatoes, pumpkin and raisin chutney, eggs telor, tomato, cucumber and onion salad, Bali pork, Green beans with River prawns.
Explaining what we shall eat.
Pork belly cooked in thick soy sauce (ketjap manis)
Green beans with chilli and river prawns
Chicken tikka masala with coconut milk and added new potatoes
Egg telor, made with chillies, tamarind, coconut sugar, onions and garlic, tomato paste and coconut cream.
Top from left: Mark, Frank, Bel, Lesley, me, Eric.
Front row from left: Carmen, Mum
Eric's wife Irmgard with Frank and Eric. Eric explaining the family tree to my mother.
Everyone, but not quite... Carmen's partner Ron too.