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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Dutch homemade soup with meatballs.

On the first night in Leiden I got invited along to an English ex-pat general knowledge quiz at an elegant and very verdant cafĂ© by the Burcht van Leiden (Old fort). I have never seen so much green! Even though most of the questions were beyond my knowledge I did learn that Polyorchid means having three testicles and pictures of double dildos are perfectly normal in Holland in the pictorial - guess the object- round. And there was me thinking it was something used to get up the U bend in the loo. I was close.

Anyway, on this fine night of quizzing I got to meet the charming Yuri. Yuri is a very intelligent man and lectures in a variety of disciplines and sciences. He is also very amusing and totally un -snobbish. I liked him straightaway and was delighted when he joined Emma and myself on the Thursday to do some shopping in the Albert Heijn supermarket. It was decided that we would make a Groente Soep met Ballen - vegetable soup with meatballs. We also bought some cheeses and bread rolls to have with it. The cheeses were a Kernheim (semi soft and creamy) cheese and a Biologische Blauwe Kaas (blue cheese). I took a few pictures in the supermarket including these three below that amused me in mis-interpretation. The first one I read as 'Nazi Specials; the second as pink ass and the third - well that doesn't take much guessing.

The first was ready made ingredients for Indonesian Nasi dishes, The second the checkout where cards are allowed in payment pin kassa and the third the quite innocent Dutch for You Can. And there was me getting all offended! Ha!

And so, back at Emma's house Yuri and I got busy chopping up the celery, carrots, onions, leeks and garlic for the soup. Plus we threw in the few asparagus left from the previous steak meal. Then I got a sudden need for a couple of beers and asked Emma for directions back to Albert Heijn at 85 Hooigracht. The other main supermarkets in Leiden are Lidl, Dirk, Hoogvliet, and Aldi.

Typical of me I managed to go completely the wrong way taking a left down Middelstegracht past the Sint Anna Hofje and ended up near the Nieuwe Rijn canal (there are a fair few canals in Leiden). Then I ventured towards a white canal bridge - the Gansoordbrug - and turned right down Hooigracht  and therefore did a full circular tour all the way back parallel to the way I'd already walked. Eventually, after about twenty minutes walk I was back at the Albert Heijn supermarket and purchased two Dutch beers. I was in beer heaven as there are a phenomenal amount to choose from.

I was wearing an African design summer shirt and whilst in the  queue a big tall black guy kept telling me how nice my shirt was. He looked most put out when I said that I wasn't around to buy a similar shirt from his market stall on Saturday. I don't think he believed I was going home. He gave me a most serious look up and down.

By the time I got back the soup was pretty much ready and very much enjoyed by us three.

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