Here fishy fishy fishy…..

23 01 2009

Since the kids are heading to their grandparents today for their grandfather’s birthday, I thought I would make fish for dinner.  I found a really nice sounding, can’t say tasting as I haven’t made it yet, recipe in one of my books.Fish

Orange Crumb Salmon

3oz fresh breadcrumbs – how can it be fresh? I thought breadcrumbs were made from stale bread.

2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for greasing

finely grated zest and juice of one orange

4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

4 boneless skinless salmon fillets (only 2 for us)

9 new potatoes (side dish – but I think I’ll do rice)

3 tbsp mayonnaise.

Mix all the ingredients together to make the crust and put on the fish packing it down.  Make sure to drizzle some oil on the pan so it doesn’t stick and then put it in the oven for 20 mins at 200C  (or until done).  Take some parsley and orange juice and mix with the mayo for a dip.

The mayonnaise with some parsley and orange juice is used as a dip on the side.. hmmm.. interesting.  So anyhow that’s what we are having for supper tonight.   I’ll have two great little cook books that I ordered from England, one is  “101 cheap eats” and the second is  “101 one pot meals”.  Both books have some really good things to make that are pretty quick too.   Also because it is an English book they have some typical English recipes, just shortened to make the cooking time faster.  I’m not sure what I’m making for the rest of the weekend, maybe another chicken pie with puff pastry like I did a few weeks ago.   But we’ll see where my creative juices or rather creative reading and following skills take me.

On another note:  The Dutch lessons are coming along, I’d like to say rather nicely but that would be a lie.. they are coming along though.   I’ve increased my time in the class room by going for 4 hours instead of 2 when they have the time available.  If I can’t go in 2 hours early then I can stay for an hour after my class has ended.  I find the 2 hours sitting there and listening to the computer doesn’t give me enough time to get into the lesson.  I like to repeat certain parts of it, sometimes a few times (those damn negatives!!) to understand where everything goes.  The grammar is not the easiest to get!  I understand 90% of what I am reading, I can write 85% of it with out having to look back at things, but to speak it I’m only at 30%.  I have to get over the fear of speaking a new language… or speaking a different language all together (yes mom I know).  Unfortunately that will be my downfall with Dutch. 

I have my resume into about 6 or 7 different agencies right now for work, but since I’m going back to Canada in March for nearly 3 weeks, it puts a damper on any prospects.  So I’m going to have to hold off until I return before I can start hitting the pavement again.  It’s unfortunate because I think I would have been able to get a good job in Amsterdam, but they wanted someone for 3 solid months before giving them the position, which is understandable.  But I have to go home and visit… it’s time to go home and visit… I’m running out of Bath and Body stuff!  Oh and Target has been calling my name, ok… I don’t have the money for it but still I can go browse.

Well I guess I should get going and head over to the store before the skies decide to open up again.  It’s calling for rain for the rest of the weekend,  I would rather take the snow!

Update: the salmon was great!!  Too bad the price of it was so expensive otherwise we’d eat it more often.


Ik ben Melissa. Ik woon in Amersfoort. I ben going mental!

13 01 2009

Well… I started my Inburgeringcurses yesterday… and…. and…ya.  I’m doing the type where you sit there with headphones on and go through the lessons on an individual basis (Talenpracticum).  I’m also apparently taking a bit harder exam then the normal one given, don’t ask, I don’t know, all I know it’s called the “staatsexam”.  I have to finish these courses and take my test with in the three and a half year mark of living in the Netherlands other wise I can be fined.  I have to “work with them” on this, yes that was in the letter they gave us, well me actually not Frank since HE doesn’t HAVE to do this! (Jealously showing).  

I’ve been given two books to follow along on the tapes and also for homework purposes.  Great no problem… so yesterday I head off to my course, which is on the other end of the city basically and it would take longer by bus then by bike,  and I get there 10 minutes early.  Being the good pupil.  Well that was a waste of time since you can’t even talk the secretary until your allotted time.  PERFECT since I needed to ask questions.  So I waited and watched people come and go, and waited, and watched more people come and go…. finally the teacher came and got me.  I felt so special… or rather singled out since she flat out announced this was my first day and I had to sit at the front of the class…. great considering there were already two other people there and I had to sit in between them.  To give you an idea of how much space you have, try fitting the large eggs into the carton that is marked small.  Hmmmm yes… comfortable.   So then she starts to speak Dutch to me,  I’m sure the blank gaze I gave her was the dead give away that I didn’t understand.  Ok.. I did understand but I wasn’t going to make my head hurt by making sure I was translating it properly in my head.   I was then given Lesson 2 or for you smart ass already know Dutch people Les 2.   HEY!! WHAT HAPPENED TO LESSON 1??  I guess since I did SO well on the pre-tests for someone who has no clue with the language I can skip lesson 1.   When I say well, I mean I actually got some answers right on all 3 tests that I had to do. 

Now I’m settled in my seat and I have my two pretty red books in front of me,  she sets me up on Lesson 2 and  shows me the earphones I’m supposed to use.  I don’t think she was amused that I took out a kleenex with a dab of antibacterial cleaner on it to wipe them down.   And I settle in for my first lesson!  WHOOHOOO!!  Here’s your example of what I listened too, and repeated for an hour…

Ik woon in Amsterdam.

Ben u student?

Ja, ik ben student.

Ik studeer Engels.

Hè, dat is mijn taal.

Now… here’s the thing… luckily I understand what I was reading and repeating, but nowhere was there a translation or the teacher offering a translation.  I pretty much could have been repeating Greek and not having a clue what it meant.   Now this is pretty basic and most people can get the just of it, but at the end of this I had to listen to some sentences and write them down…. ok…. um…. That wouldn’t be a problem if it was what we just studied, but it wasn’t… needless to say I guessed on most and got nearly all wrong.  Not impressed by that.  I did however do the listen for  “i” sound as in pit and the “e” sound as in pet part perfectly.  Trust me it was harder then you think. 

Once I got home I had about 6 pages of homework to do.  I had to take the word given and write the plural.  No problem, except again I didn’t know what I was reading and I want to know the English word so next time I’ll remember.  My homework that should have only have taken 30 minutes took and hour because of all the translating I did on top of the original work.   Oh and I’m still not done, I still have 2 more pages to do.  *sigh*  Well it’s a matter of “suck it up buttercup” because I don’t have a choice but to do these courses.  So I might as well just get it done and over with now.

Oh and for anyone questioning why I took the classes this way and not in a regular class setting, I’m on the job hunt.  So if I get a job I can easily switch these classes to the night and not worry about losing out on lessons.  Plus these classes are fairly flexible so I can change times even for the day if I can’t make my normal time.  That’s the only reason why I did it this way, otherwise I would have opted for a normal class room setting.

I have classes now every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday for only 2 hours a day.  I’m not too sure what’s going to happen when I leave in March to go back to Canada for a visit.  Maybe I can double up on the lessons so I don’t fall behind.   The bike ride is about 15-20 minutes depending on the wind.  Oh that reminds me I need to get a rain cape, I have a jacket but it doesn’t cover my legs and it’s so bloody annoying having wet pants!

Other then that, New Years was an experience I don’t think I’d like to repeat.  At least not when I have Stoney still around.  The fireworks were great but they left the poor dog shaking for a week and unable to go outside and go to the bathroom properly.  I had to drug him the night of the fireworks and even then it really didn’t help too much.  The Dutch LOVE their fireworks, and well our neighbours obviously do too since it was 4 am by the time they put out the lovely bonfire in the middle of the parking lot and stopped setting them off.   The thing with the fireworks is that hey started in November and continued right through until the 3 day in January.  After nearly two months of it you just get tired of listening to them.  The fun of watching them is gone.  

I think next year I’ll find out what my aunt in Italy is doing and go visit her with Stoney!!  I know she loves him since the last time she was in Canada she gave him a bath…. and I heard about it until she left to go back to Italy…God love her 😀


12 01 2009

I haven’t been very vigilant on the blog thing.  I do however promise to get one out either today or tomorrow… I just have to finish my homework before my mommy grounds me 😉