Coming back to life

rose

It’s that time of year when things are slowly coming back to life. The balcony is coming back, too. Over the winter there was a rosebud on my mini rose, and it decided that it was time to come out.

chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum – I cut off the old growth to make way for the new.

orange thyme

The orange thyme (as well as the regular thyme, not pictured) is producing new, fresh leaves.

I’m excited for the pace of things to pick up. We’ll probably see the last frost in the next few weeks, and then things will go wild. Can’t wait!

‘Moestuinen’

Wow, this is my first post! Exciting, right. 1929921_11320449897_7078_nMy name is Paula and I’m a friend of Jorina’s; we’ve known each other since high school. We used to write each other during classes and had a lot of fun acting stupid and serious at the same time. That picture over there is over more then ten years ago. I like to think I’m a redhead, but I was born bold and blonde.

Well, enough funny business.

I recently moved, to live together with my boyfriend in an appartment in Amsterdam, in a very green street. We immediately fell in love with the street, since they have frontyards and beautiful gardens at the back of the houses with some nice, long trees. Something you don’t come across that often in the city.

I didn’t even know it at first, but even the rest of the neighbourhood is very green. There are a few parks nearby, where I like to go for a walk every now and then. Especially this week, with the sun showing up more often and even brighter.

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While I was at one of the parks, I found out they had a seperate area, filled with ‘moestuinen’. That is a Dutch word I can’t explain very well in English. Google says it’s supposed to be translated as ‘food gardens’, but that sounds way less poetic to me, so I’ll refuge to use that word.

‘Moestuin’ is the word for the type of garden in which you grow vegetables and herbs. In this case, it’s like a city gardening plan for people who don’t have any room for plants at home, but I’ve also heard of people using it as a cheap place to spend a sunny holiday away from home.

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It was really amazing to see all kinds of gardens right next to each other. Apart from different gardening skills and that not everyone tends their garden that often, people literally planted their own style in a medium garden plot and connected different styles with simple pebble pathways.

Walking back home, I saw there was a little ‘moestuin’ right around the corner from me. There’s also a sign explaining how to become a member and contribute to the garden. It looked kind of dried out and underworked though, and not that colourfull yet, so I think I’ll just stick to my balcony and windows for now.

Spring on the blog

crocus almere

For a long time now I’ve been very interested in gardening. The problem in my old flat was however that it was impossible to do any sort of gardening on my balcony, it was very damp and received half an hour of sun in the middle of summer and other than that, none. Nothing would thrive.

Now I have a nice balcony, south-east facing and sheltered temperature-wise, and things actually grow! I love reading blogs about gardening and nature, and I thought I would use this place post a bit about it myself :)

My friend Paula will also be writing here because she is equally excited about gardening as me!

crocus almere (2)

Above you can see crocuses that I saw on an afternoon walk yesterday.

Luxury breakfast

I made a nice breakfast for myself. Which in the end turned out to be both breakfast and lunch because my belly is not as much of a magically enlarging space as I would like it to be sometimes.

It looks really fancy I think. It tasted really good too. I wish I could give you a proper recipe, but I don’t really measure stuff, so… You’ll have to do with some vague directions I’m afraid!

Pancake

Put one egg, some all purpose flour, and sugar to taste in a bowl. Add a bit of milk and mix. Keep adding milk and mixing until it’s liquid but not thin. It should be a slightly thicker mixture, but not doughy. Leave for a few minutes whilst you are preparing the rest (you can put the sauce and fruit on the stove before the pancake, as the pancake doesn’t take long), then mix again.

Then fry in a large enough pan, use butter or oil.

Vanilla sauce

This was not the best sauce EVER (the best vanilla sauces contain egg but it’s fussier and I couldn’t be bothered) but it was nice enough. I heated some milk in a saucepan, added vanilla extract, sugar and some cornstarch (for thickening).

Fruit

I used frozen fruit, you could try it with your favourite fruit/s, this breakfast isn’t very fussy in that respect. Put in a saucepan on low heat to defrost and get a little bit of juice out of the berries too.

After arranging everything on a plate I added some powdered sugar on top, too. TASTY.