I am writing this on a slow Saturday afternoon. In front of me is a bowl of bright red strawberries, our living room is filled with the floral scent of peonies and through the windows I can see the green oasis that is our garden. As I consider my surroundings, I am reminded just how long this post is overdue. Filled with dark tones, comfort food and snow, the photographs seem almost of a different time. But the experience ... that's still very much one of the present.Read More
Back in June, on a relatively good and almost sunny day, interspersed with a few short showers, Thomas and I, along with a bunch of young families, rode our bikes to the farm. Barely 12 km from our home, 't Ambrozijn (Ambrosia) is where most of our fruit and vegetables are grown. It's not a giant farm - not even a large one - but it's a bountiful one, with numerous kinds of produce planted alongside each other. All of these crops work together. To grow, to not exhaust the soil, to feed families.Read More
They were like jewels. Wrapped up in a box of gold, shiny, mysterious. Some were adorned with a medallion-like disc, others had a little bulge on top - the promise of a sweet and crunchy nut inside. I knew not to touch the ones in shiny, colorful paper. Their insides, runny and spiked with liqueur, were sure to make me shiver and cringe. But there was one ...Read More
Have you noticed that travel makes you feel lighter?
No matter how much weight you're carrying in your backpack, no matter how much stuff you've crammed into your suitcase, loaded onto your bike or shoved into your car... traveling can feel a bit like floating around. You let the wind lead you. There is no resistance. You are free.Read More
I like things organized.
I'm all about lists and schedules - I'm totally into this whole bullet journal thing -, I'm a sucker for neatly labeled jars and I really, really, really need things to have a place of their own. A logical, practical place.
My kitchen does not live up to these standards.
I had to give him a little nudge in the right direction, but Thomas got me the most perfect birthday gift last year. For years, my not-so-perfect kitchen design had me avoiding recipes that called for a dough to be rolled out, but no more! I now have a wonderful marble pastry slab to help me out with all my puff pastry, cookies and pie crusts. And that's not all... This particular pastry slab came with a few words of encouragement from Marlijn: To Begin, Begin.
Such a simple advice, but so on point. It's worked for me so far.
I began breathing on a cold November evening in 1985. Obviously, I haven't stopped since.
I began baking when I was, I don't know, six years old? First, of course, I just helped out my mom when she made pancakes or chocolate cakes, but I grew to make everything from those family staples to cinnamon rolls and French macarons. Now, I'm the one teaching my six-year old niece how to flip pancakes.
I began writing when I was in primary school. My first success was a short poem about an ant named Erika. Since then, I've ventured into the slightly more serious fields of book and music reviews and, the last couple of years, academic papers. I've even tried my hand at fiction. (Didn't work.) Mostly, though, I write simply to gather my thoughts. I have a lot of those.
I began reading blogs when a round of expert procrastination lead me to Joy the Baker two years ago. Now, my days start with coffee and half an hour of reading what my favorite bloggers have been up to.
I began a baking course on September 30, 2014. Since then, I've had trouble getting to sleep on Tuesday nights because my mind is filled with impressions and ideas. I have never felt so inspired in my life and I secretly dread the day that this course will end.
I began thinking about starting my own blog in October 2014. I began experimenting with content and design on January 2. I began creating this blog on March 3. Today, Les Filles de Madeleine goes online. Now, I really begin.
Let's see where this goes, shall we?