there's a family in maastricht who has been contacting batches of exchange students from asia since 1993 because they are interested to learn more about the asian culture. i happen to be one of the fortunate ones this term. cyril and his mother, gerry invited a few of us (cheryl, lionel, thohir and i) to their home one day for some tea. it's quite uncommon for us to receive such enthusiasm and hospitality from strangers even back home so we were quite taken aback and even suspicious at one point. heh! but it turned out to be a really enriching experience.
it was really cool to be able to step into a real dutch home and explore a garden full of herbs and vegetables, but what was even better was the chance to really converse with some dutch people and learn more about their culture.
knowing that i like anything to do with food, they invited me back again for an evening meal (they don't call it a dinner unless it's really a celebration) to sample some traditional dutch food, and hopefully to learn how to cook them for the rest of the students back in the guesthouse.
gerry moves so fast for her age the camera can't even capture her!
i went to the supermarket to get groceries with gerry (i don't even do that with my grandma!), and watched her as her agile fingers whipped up a simple but delightful meal.
mains - meatballs which were super tender and delicious. gazillion yums!!!
the hospitality i've received from them has been absolutely heartwarming. cyril is constantly cracking his jokes and poking fun of gerry, while gerry always reminds me of my family back at home. after the meal there's always dessert with coffee/tea. sounds like the full menu at a restaurant eh? a "simple" evening meal already like that... i wonder what a real dinner will be like!?! =)
have you ever seen an easter tree?
so anyway i tried making the cheese soup yesterday but it fell below my expectations because it wasn't smooth enough. perhaps with more practice i'll share the recipe one day, though i'd rather not because you'll start getting conscious of how much cheese is actually in there. haha!