Author Archive for vera@gtc

Spring bulbs, 1st round

crocus

Truth be told, in early spring I do not spend that much time in the backyard. For this, the Dutch climate is mainly to blame (today for example it is cold and raining). I do get the necessary jobs done,…

Buchty, sweet Czech buns

buchty czech sweet buns

15 years and 10 days ago, my beautiful star-eyed daughter Esther was born. At that time I was already practically living with my husband in the Netherlands but getting a residence permit turned out to be a very lengthy and…

Seasonal Salad – March

garden salad in March

Last Friday I was invited as a guest teacher to the Permaculture Design Course in Deventer to answer the participants’ questions related to vegetable growing, edible forest design, mulching, improving soil fertility and anything else they wondered about. Since the…

A week of eating from the garden/ winter

sized_A week of eating from the garden winter

As the winter is slowly coming to an end, the homegrown provisions are running low and it becomes impossible to harvest enough for a full week of meals. We are digging up the last parsnips, cooking the last homegrown dried…

Apple, goat cheese and caramelized onions pizza

apple and goat cheese pizza

Back in October when we hosted our apple harvest dinner (four dishes each featuring a different apple variety), finding a vegetarian main course with apples turned out to be the biggest problem. Esther, as the true child of the 21st…

Season 2014 in the vegetable garden

Allotment 15th June

February is a difficult month. I know I should be making plans and ordering seeds, but the garden looks rather barren and no matter how long I’ve been gardening, it is difficult to believe that with a bit of input…

Nearly candied quince

nearly candied quince

The general rule for pruning fruit trees is that it’s best done when the trees are dormant, during a cold and dry spell. That, for those of us living in the Netherlands, constitutes a problem. The winters are often not…

Leek and goat cheese galette

leek and goat cheese galette

Every season should have its own galette. Don’t you agree? I love galettes for their rustic elegance (or is that an oxymoron?) and the ease with which they can be prepared. Even if you cannot roll out dough into a…

December in rearview mirror

Plzen in snow

This here is my view as I’m typing this post. It’s the view from my parents’ kitchen on the sixth floor of their appartement building at the outskirts of the historical center of the city of Pilsen. Usually, in my…

Coconut macaroons

cocnut macaroons

I have a friend who gets stressed when her fridge is not overflowing with food. As a consequence of her parents’ somewhat erratic care when she was little, she gets nervous when there are not enough groceries to survive a…

Christmas Cookies Hall of Fame

Christmas cookies

For the third year in a row now I put together an advent calendar for Esther and Sebastiaan. It was a little bitter-sweet this time since I find myself continually thinking about time passing and my children growing up quickly…

Almond letter “S” (for Sinterklaas)

Almond puff pastry letter

Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Sinterklaas. I have written about this old Dutch tradition several times before but if you’re new here, here’s the gist: Sinterklaas is a very old saint (like 700 years old) who lives in Spain…

November in rearview mirror

november on the allotment

As the gardening season approaches its end and the days get shorter and shorter, we only visit the allotment once a week – on Sundays. There are no urgent jobs waiting anymore and almost the only thing we do is…