Made almost entirely by our 6 years old.
Made almost entirely by our 6 years old.
My alarm went off at 7:00am sharp this morning, and with it, I heard some banging noise from our kitchen.
Our daughter was already dressed for the day, and for whatever reason without any advance notice, she started preparing our breakfast. Swinging her messy hair, she was running back and forth between the kitchen and dining table, with a huge smile on her face.
Still in our pajamas with our droopy eyes, my husband & I looked at each other in amusement. Peeking from the side of her eyes, she knew we were looking. I could tell she was enjoying our attention. Diligently putting plates & cutlery (as well as Dutch appelstroop & cheese) on the dining table, she pretended she hadn’t noticed our presence.
After a while, with a little help from me, she even made our coffee using the Italian mocha maker with frothy warm milk (microwaved, but still).
At the age of 6, our daughter has proudly mastered the Dutch style breakfast in style.
As requested by my daughter, I made sandwiches for her bento today.
Coming home, she told me that she had diligently followed my instruction by starting off with savory cheese sandwich, moving on to ham & cucumber, then to peanut butter & jam, and finally finishing it off with Nutella.
She also followed my instruction not to tell anyone she had Nutella in her bento, as sweets are not allowed for the bento time at school. I want to show her that sometimes the rules can be broken and live life a little, so she can learn how to be lenient and flexible in otherwise quite a disciplined environment. So every once in a while, I enjoy sharing this small piece of delicious secret with my little cheeky girl.
Dutch Sweet & Sour Chicken for my daughter’s bento, the leftover from the dinner party.
We had some guests over for dinner on Sunday, and I cooked Dutch Sweet & Sour Chicken which recipe I got from my Dutch mother-in-law. Whenever I tell our guests I cooked a “Dutch” dish their faces go blank – Dutch kitchen is not widely known, and people just have no idea what to expect.
This Sweet & Sour Chicken is also not a traditional Dutch dish, but is a modern interpretation of historical backgrounds of the Dutch. It has some influence from Indonesia as well as West Indies, and of course The Netherlands. It is actually a complex dish, just like their history can be, and usually people cannot figure out exactly what’s inside apart from the main ingredients (chicken, tomato and curry).
If you’re interested, here is the rough recipe I posted a while ago.
Our daughter loves half boiled egg served in egg stand. That’s how her Dutch grandmother (Oma) prepares it, and our daughter calls it “Oma Egg”. She loves cracking it horizontally at the top with a knife, and eating gooey golden egg yolk with a sprinkle of salt using this tiny egg spoon. It’s a whole pleasurable ritual for her.
Now back to our kitchen in the morning, while preparing bento, I went auto-pilot, boiled an egg for 5 minutes, peeled it, cut in half and saw the shiny yellow egg yolk spilling out of the egg white. Only then did I realise it was meant for her bento and needed to be fully cooked. As is always the case it was the last egg in the fridge, and as being Friday I had no other ingredients to fill up the bento box. Panicking, I put the halved egg into a small bowl of boiled water, but nothing really happened. I then put the bowl of egg into the microwave, being afraid it might explode, so ran it for 10 seconds, check, and repeat. After five times of pathetic efforts, it finally solidified, and with a feeling of relief I packed it into my daughter’s bento box.
Every year at my daughter’s kindergarten, they hold an annual spring picnic at the large public park, with compulsory attendance of at least one adult from each family. It was our third time and the last time, since it is her final year at kindergarten. With a touch of relief I mostly felt sentimental, that we wouldn’t be coming here any more in this style, with her teachers, friends and other kindergarten families, following some tedious instructions and these comical, animal-like dance moves to kickstart the day. I found myself enjoying every minute of it, even wishing that this peaceful moment would last longer.