Tuesday, 9 September 2008

A little bit of culture

Over the last couple of weeks I have had comments and emails from people asking about building techniques in Belgium and saying that they think renovating a house in Belgium sounds more romantic than in the US LOL! So I decided every now and again that I would post a little bit about the culture/habits/traditions in Belgium and this is definitely one of them.

Spek. The staple of every good Belgian farmers diet! This is the real deal lying in it's package on my kitchen counter waiting to be devoured (macro came out pretty good huh?). It's salted, streaky bacon sliced to approx 1cm thick. One of the first times I came to Belgium and stayed with my now in-laws they served this up proudly for breakfast fried in a pan. Me, being used to Danish bacon with my greasy spoon UK breakfast, proceeded to cut out all of the fat which left me with about two mouth fulls of meat out of a huge pile 'spek'. Needless to say in-laws thought us English where a funny bunch! The only other time I had ever eten streaky bacon was when it was wrapped around a turkey. Now my DH likes it cooked slowly in a frying pan until it is crispy and hard, then you can just pick it up in your fingers and chew on it like a snack. When I fry it I don't add any oil or margarine and by the time it's finished cooking there is about 1/2 cup of oil to drain off. We probably only have it once every two months or so. My FIL still cooks it traditionally, in butter, and then dips his bread in the 'sauce' left in the pan, then it's time to ring 911 clutching your chest :) Very often it's eaten with applesauce, cooked red cabbage and boiled potatoes. There is even a saying 'de kat op het spek binden' which translates 'don't tie the bacon to the cat' literally don't get in the way of temptation.

There are so many delicacies here, mussels and fries, Ardeen's pate, waffles, chocolate, beer and more, i'm even lucky enough to live in the pie capital of Belgium! Did you know that the Belgians invented 'french fries'. They truly are the best I have ever tasted, eaten with mayo of course. This blog could easily turn into a food blog! Have I got your taste buds tingling?

Monday, 8 September 2008

And the award goes to...

Yikes two more awards! I'm running out of gowns to wear, must do something about that. This first BFF Cold Card award (maybe I can use that to sort out the gown issue?) came from Liza over at Moms...check nyo. Liza is a work at home filipina mum of two who has lots of hobbies and is always posting great tips. Did you know potatoe juice is great for fading dark circles under the eyes? Well I didn't until I read it on her blog! Now the rules for this award are a little different, lets see...

1. Only 5 people are allowed to receive this award
2. Four (4) of them are followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

My nominees are...
Laane on the World If there's anyone who needs an award it's this lady, she's a psychologist and a mother of four and she still has time to write an awesome blog.
My Library a great site packed full of tips on gardening, cleaning, beauty and more.
Happy Life Is new to my blog, as I am to hers but after dropping by her site after she bought an ad from me I will definetly be a frequent visitor, an excellent design and dreamy colour palet.
by Jennifer Robin I love this blog, it's a really ecclectic mix of beautiful photos, old world reminiscing and chipmunks of course!
Catlover Now this site doesn't belong (as yet!) to Entrecard but is run by the 13yr old daughter of my friend here in Belgium. Grace is also cat mad like me and i'm sure if we drop by her site we might be able to convince her to join Entrecard, what do you think?

My second award today came from Anajz at the The Sustainable Backyard. Anajz is a wife, mother, smalltown homesteader, gardener and lot's more as you will see from her blog. I also learnt on her blog what on earth a solar cooker is, thanks you very much for this award Anajz, I am dedicating it to Pet Rescue Central I'm a sucker for anyone who devotes time and money to rescueing animals and I think they deserve a big'ol pat on the back;

Phew I promise normal renovation blogging will resume shortly! Thanks again everyone!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Is it groundhog day?

It's not, but you would be forgiven for thinking so because today I have received two awards!! This second Brilliant Weblog award comes from Little House in the Suburbs which is a great homesteading blog with everything from chickens, forest mushrooms, money saving tips and more. I'm very greatful for this award!
Please stop by my 'awarders' and nominees sites, they really are the cream of the crop! The rules are pretty much the same here...

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate up to 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

Now I get to tag some of my other fav sites! The nominees are...

1 Caroles Thoughtful Spot
2 The Cat Dog Log
3 Mommys Little Corner
4 Health to Home
5 The Homesteading Housewife
6 Simply Cats
7 The Sustainable Backyard

Thanks so much, I must go and clear a shelf for my award now!

Next the Oscars...

I've been given my first award! How exciting! Tahtimbo from Everyday Living over in Idaho US has just given me my first blog award!

I'm very grateful and promise to give it a good home! Now here are the rules for nominating...

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links of those blogs on yours, and
5. Leave a message on the blogs that you've nominated

Well here are my nominees...

1 Robin's Woods
2 Forced Green
3 East Coast Life
4 Work at Home Online
5 New York Renovator
6 Designing Hilary
7 Little House in the Suburbs

I hope you all accept! x


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