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Old Jan 7 2008, 05:08 PM   #1
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Default Answers to questions about the Netherlands

1) what wild animals are native to Netherlands?
As far as I know the only bigger kind of wild animal we have in The Netherlands are deer and boar; most of which live in the one big National Park (Hooge Veluwe) we have in the center of the country. Smaller critter
are more numerous of which the fox might be noteworthy because of late our bigger cities sometimes have trouble with foxes getting into living areas.


2)What place are MUST SEE for visitors?
That all depends where your interests lay of course Generally...
Amsterdam as a city seems a must; offers many different things incuding very good museums. We are known for our windmills, so a visit to the Zaansche Schans (near Amsterdam) or even better: Kinderdijk (near the city of Dordrecht) are a must. As historical cities go I'd recommend Delft.
The seat of parliament at The Hague (we are one of the few countries that have our government in a different city then the capital, which is Amsterdam) is worth a visit. Ope air museums like the Zuiderzee museum and the natinal open air museum in Arhem will give you an impression of the Dutch through the ages. The Delta works in the province of Zeeland (for which New Zealand is named) is a must for the technically interested/inclined. And of cours you need to travel around and drive through the polders to catch the atmosphere.


3) How does your culture differ from the U.S?
I think our culture differs most in that the Dutch are always going for the compromise; we are the inventors of the "poldermodel" (meaning a compromise must be reached). We are not so patriottic and not too outspoken about any kind of conviction, again always seeking the compromise, as large groups in the US are. Tolerance is taken to extremes. The variety in any social and political aspect is immense (which of course created the need for always needing to compromise ) We are not very traditional despite people (among whom many Americans) thinking we are.
There is a Dutch language popsong called "15 million people" that actually sums up our culture very well, read my translation and weep


Dutch/English version:

Land van 1000 meningen / Country of 1000 opinions
Het land van nuchterheid / The country of matter-of-factness
Met z'n allen op het strand / All of us on the beach
Beschuit bij het ontbijt / Rusk for breakfast
Het land waar niemand zich laat gaan / The country were nobody goes full out
Behalve als we winnen / Except whe we win (meant is winning from Germany with soccer)
Dan breekt acuut de passie los / Then we have an instant bout of passion
Dan blijft geen mens meer binnen / And nobody stayed inside
Het land wars van betutteling / The country that hates finicking
Geen uniform is heilig / No uniform is sacred
Een zoon die noemt z'n vader Piet / A son who calls his daddy Pete
Een fiets staat nergens veilig / A bike is nowhere safe


refrein/refrain
  15 Miljoen mensen / 15 million people
  Op dat hele kleine stukje aarde / on that little piece of Earth
  Die schrijf je niet de wetten voor / You don't tell them what to do
  Die laat je in hun waarde / You just respect them
  15 Miljoen mensen / 15 million people
  Op dat hele kleine stukje aarde / on that little piece of Erath
  Die moeten niet 't keurslijf in / You don't put them in a straightjacket
  Die laat je in hun waarde / You just respect them


Het land vol groepen van protest / The country full of protest groups
Geen chef die echt de baas is / No manager who'se really boss
Gordijnen altijd open zijn / Where curtains are never drawn
Lunch een broodje kaas is / And lunch is a bun with cheese
Het land vol van verdraagzaamheid / The country full of tolerance
Alleen niet voor de buurman / Except for the neighbour
De grote vraag die blijft altijd / The biggest question will always remain
Waar betaalt 'ie nou z'n huur van / Where he gets the money for his rent from?
't Land dat zorgt voor iedereen / The country that cares for everyone
Geen hond die van een goot weet / Not even a dog eats from the gutter
Met nassiballen in de muur / With snacks from the wall (a kind of fastfood diner)
En niemand die droog brood eet / And nobody who eats dry bread (read: nobody who is poor)

Refrain

One other thing we are and can be very proud of: healthcare and state pension. Only the scandinavean countries' is considered better. No medicare in my country, the basic healthare is the same for all and millionaire or bum, all have the right to a basic state pension when they're 65 on which you can live (not in luxury, but you can).


4) Do you live near any museums?
I dare say every Dutch person does I personaly live in a suburb but there are many museums in the nearest city: Rotterdam. Most notable are the maritime museum, the historical museum, the atonal architecture museum, the tax museum, the naural history museum, the Art Hall and the classic art museum Booymans Van Beuningen (many famous paintings there).
We also have world class museums especially in art: the Mauritshuis and the Rijksmuseum (State Museum) and of course (or some odd reason immensely popular with especially Americans and Japanese) the official Van Gogh museum.


5) Have you ever been to the Diamond Museum?
Yes, once, as a 12 year old boy showing American soldiers from Germany (of which there were many during the cold war) round in Amsterdam. It was my way to make a little money in 1969. I knew these huys from a Jamborette in Rotterdam (I was a scout myself in those days). On request I showed them around Amsterdan as well as Rotterdam cities (two largest cities in the country).

6) What type of goverment do you have?
Wikipedia can say it better than I can: The Netherlands has been a constitutional monarchy since 1815 and a parliamentary democracy since 1848; before that it had been a republic from 1581 to 1806 and a kingdom between 1806 and 1810 (it was part of [read: occupied by] France between 1810 and 1813). Dutch politics and governance are characterised by an effort to achieve broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole. In 2007, The Economist ranked The Netherlands as the third most democratic country in the world.
The head of state is the monarch, at present Queen Beatrix. Constitutionally the monarch still has considerable powers, but in practice it has become a ceremonial function. The monarch can exert most influence during the formation of a new cabinet, where he/she serves as neutral arbiter between the political parties.


7) What side of the road do you drive on?
We drive on the right side (in all aspects of the word)

8) What is a typical day like?
For the average Dutch man? 9 to 5 workday, for the average Dutch woman? The same
So, breakfast around 7.30 - 8.00 because it takes most people about an hour to go to work; public transport is good but generally overcrowded and riving is horrendous during rush hours. Lunchbreak 12.00-12.30, as said with sandwiches they bring to work themselves usually. Home at 17.00 - 18.00. Television, hobbies, clubs in the evening. Sportsclubs of the kinds/themselves on Saturday, Sunday a rest day, except for the dwindling minority who still go to church...


9) What native food would you sugest trying?
Hmm, would have to find translations first
Anybody should try Dutch dishes like curly kail with smoked sausauge and Dutch pea soup. Other typically Dutch treats are raw herring with chopped onions (eaten on the street but also at home; don't laugh, the Japanese LOVE it), french fries ith mayonaise (or french fries at war: with mayonaise, ketchup, curry sauce and chopped onions together). "Bal Gehakt" (litterally a meatloaf ball), the "frikadel" (deep fried sausage) or kroket (there's a discssion on that somewhere on the board), basically a stew roll.
I once was in a trourist trap in the US where were fed typical conwboy food: boiled potatoes with apple saus and beans. I remarked: what the ?, those cowboy's must have been Dutch! And had to repeat that and explain it to a local TV crew that happeed to be filming here Because of our colonial past we also have many Indonesian dishes and Surinam stuff becase of the large contingincies of Turkish people their food is becoming trendy now.


10) How is your counrty devided? (states, districs. ect..)
The country is divided into 12 provinces. In my youth there used to be eleven but the huge polders, land that was reclaimed from the inner lake IJsselmeer, were made into a twelfth province. The province I live in (South-Holland) and the one to the north of it (North-Holland) together are the original Holland, an early to late medieval county.

11) What is your major export?
Have to rely on Wikipedia for this: A highly mechanised agricultural sector employs no more than 4% of the labour force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Dutch rank third worldwide in value of agricultural exports, behind the United States and France, with exports earning $55 billion annually. A significant portion of Dutch agricultural exports are derived from fresh-cut plants, flowers, and bulbs, with the Netherlands exporting two-thirds of the world's total. The Netherlands also exports a quarter of all world tomatoes, and one-third of the world's exports of peppers and cucumbers.
The Netherlands' location gives it prime access to markets in the UK and Germany, with the port of Rotterdam being the largest port in Europe. Other important parts of the economy are international trade (Dutch colonialism started with cooperative private enterprises such as the VOC), banking and transport. The Netherlands successfully addressed the issue of public finances and stagnating job growth long before its European partners.
Apart from that we are reknowed across the globe for our engineering skills, making dkes, damms, levies etc. etc. And for the work of and making ships for digging waterways deeper. I think we also export a lot of knowledge.

That's it; in two or three instances I found the English Wikipedia on The Netherlands extremely helpful. I suggest you (and anybody who'se interested) read that. It gives a very good overview of the country I live in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands#
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Old Jan 7 2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

Wow, good response, Hans!

I especially like the popsong

and found out about your food
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The Rowan is my favourite!

"The name rowan is believed to derive from the Norse runa - "a charm". It was often planted outside houses to ward off witches. On May Day a spray of rowan leaves was hung over doors to repel evil, and wells dressed with rowan to keep witches away. The rowan, or mountain ash, is found commonly in Scotland, sometimes clinging to a rock face."
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Old Jan 7 2008, 07:39 PM   #3
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I've heard about Dutch chips/fries before. Mayonnaise and chips is nice! One of the staff when I was a cadet was ex-RAF and had been stationed in Holland (dunno when- 70s?). There was a very good chippie (sorry- UK term for a fast food outlet which sells chips/fries) there and they used to go there. However, every time they tried to pay, the owner wouldn't accept any money from any of the RAF personnel. Turns out, once they found someone to translate, that he wouldn't accept any money from the RAF airmen as the RAF had helped liberate Holland. In the end they had to swap chipshops as the owner wouldn't accept any money and it was not fair on his business.
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Old Jan 7 2008, 09:16 PM   #4
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Thank you for all the info. Kibbie will defently be able to write me a good report now.
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Old Jan 7 2008, 11:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

Hans, if you don't mind answering another question... do you have poisonous insects/spiders/snakes/creepy things?
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Old Jan 8 2008, 04:29 AM   #6
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When I was young I learned in school hat we only had one serious native poisonous animal and that's a snake from the adder family. Even that one isn't really seriously dangerous if you mean life threathening. No other poisonous critters.
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Old Jan 8 2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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Thank you, Hans. Sounds like paradise! How hard is it to immigrate there?
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Old Jan 8 2008, 11:59 AM   #8
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If you have a job/occupation/skill we need, not hard at all. European rules are changing on that score. We'll have a blue card (like the US green card) which will enable you to live and work here more easily.

However, if you have no skill and can not fill a job we need filling, immigration is hard and difficult although it might be easier for a well off white westerner than it would be for a poor colored skin african/asian etc.
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Old Jan 8 2008, 12:19 PM   #9
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Awesome! Thanks, Hans!
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Old Jan 8 2008, 06:56 PM   #10
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Very intersting Hans...Kibbie should be well pleased with all this information. The folk song was very very interesting... thanks for translating it for us. The friench fries sound great...except for the curry. I don't believe I've ever had curry, so I don't know what it tastes like in food...perhaps I will go and find out if I like it!!!
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Old Jan 9 2008, 03:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

Very interesting, Hans. I've actually dipped fries in mayo before, and occasionally mixed mayo and ketchup. That was good.

About ketchup: ours (even the Heinz brand sold here) is less sweet (less sugar) as the ketchup I got in the United States. For snacks the average Dutch people usually go for something with a bite rather than something sweet.
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Old Jan 9 2008, 04:01 PM   #12
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Glad to hear it is done outside my country too, Tresa Realy surprised you managed to do fries and mayo, everybdy I tell goes HUH?
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Old Jan 9 2008, 04:42 PM   #13
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Heh. I'm not even sure why I did it...just felt like trying, ,I guess. Who's going to tell a kid not to?
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Old Jan 9 2008, 10:52 PM   #14
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Well I have known people that do their pan fried potatoes with mayonaise..but not on their french fries. I would be willing to try *Fries at war* especially since I don't know what curry taste like !!!
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Old Jan 10 2008, 07:24 PM   #15
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Kibbie here
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Old Jan 10 2008, 07:40 PM   #16
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The names of the museums confused me. Mom helped me so I am no longer confused.

Thank you hans for the Info
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Old Jan 10 2008, 10:40 PM   #17
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We went over the info together & she did understand everything. She LOVES learning about different countries, but HATES to write reports. I think she was saying she did not understand stuff so she can get out og WRITTING the report. Hans she loved all the info you put in.
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Old Jan 10 2008, 10:53 PM   #18
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Has she discovered the wonders of the poster yet?
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Old Jan 10 2008, 11:29 PM   #19
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Curry is yum, Lady Mae. I love using yellow curry powder in a dry rub on roast chicken and having it over rice. I would love curry sauce on my fries (thought mayo, plain? Think I'll pass.) My favorite fry topping is malt vinegar and salt.

I think we need a MoM fry taste test to determine what the best toppings are from around the world. We have fries with mayo, malt vinegar, ketchup, brown gravy (Canadian thing), curry, and don't the fry places in Belgium have something like 101 versions of toppings?

And I personally would love to try the chopped herring with onions. (Though where my people come from they're usually brined or in sour cream sauce.) Sounds delicious! Mmmm. Herring. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
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Old Jan 11 2008, 12:38 AM   #20
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Oh yes....gravy on fries is a MUST!!! Or you can go whole hog and get Poutine.... cheese curds on fries covered in gravy!!! YUM!!
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Old Jan 11 2008, 01:22 AM   #21
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Gravy on Fries??? Never heard of that one..but it does sound interesting...but what is cheese curd...is that like cottage cheese?


How about chilli chees fries...the fries are cover in chilli sauce(without the beans) then cover on top with shreded cheddar cheese....YuuuuuuMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM !!!
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Old Jan 11 2008, 05:17 AM   #22
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I'll go for the hot peanut sauce over fries. That's a tyical Dutch variety as far as I know. The peanutsauce is something that comes from the Indonesian kitchen, it's not sweet but served hot and usually with a little sambal (red pepper paste) added to give some bite

Originally (and still) a sauce for over saté (the Indonesian version of a small kebab, on wooden sticks) us Dutch later started using it with our fries, YUM!

OK, here's a pic. You can't go more Dutch fastfood like than this
It's fries with peanutsauce and a "frikadel" special (meaning the kind of deep fried sausage is cut lengthwise and filled with ketchup (or curry) sauce, mayo and finely chopped raw white onion



Recipe for peanut- or satesauce

Ingredients:
2-3 dinner spoons of peanutbutter (plainest kind of course)
1 clove of garlic (squashed)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
some lemon juice
a small squirt of milk
a small squirt of (Indonesian) ketjap
2 teaspoons of sambal (red pepper paste)
1 small onion, copped very fine
some butter

Wat to do:
Fruit the onion in a small pan
On low fire stir in the peanutbutter
Add ketjap, sugar, lemon juice and sambal as soon as peautbutter is molten
While stirring add milk a little bit at a time
Bring to wanted thickness/consistency (should be a thick sauce, one that just manages to run of your spoon)
Stir in the garlic
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Old Jan 11 2008, 07:27 AM   #23
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I have a tub of that- now there's an idea for dinner one day!
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Old Jan 11 2008, 08:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Maelin View Post
Gravy on Fries??? Never heard of that one..but it does sound interesting...but what is cheese curd...is that like cottage cheese?
Cheese curds: "....fresh young chedder cheese in the natural, random shape and form before being shaped into blocks and aged. (Chedder cheese is typically aged for 60 days to 4 years before being sold.) Unlike the aged variety, curds lose their desirable qualitites if refridgerated or not eaten for a few days (the squeak disappears and they turn dry and salty)."

Wiki says: "Their flavor is mild, with about the same firmness of cheese, but have a springy or rubbery texture. Fresh curds squeak against the teeth when bitten into..."

If you can find fresh curds they are THE BEST!! The "squeak" is definately a desirable quality....you'll know what I mean when you try them!! The curds found in most grocery stores are not that great. I find they have lost their "squeak" and have lost the best part of their taste.

Cottage cheese is another type of a curd, but is VERY different from "cheese curds".
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Old Jan 11 2008, 11:07 AM   #25
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

Chips and cheese is sold in most fish and chip shops over here, as is chips and gravy.

I dither between gravy or mayonnaise though. >.< I can never decide.
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Old Jan 11 2008, 11:33 AM   #26
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All I like on my fries ais a little salt. Once in a while a LITTLE ketchup.
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Old Jan 12 2008, 12:33 AM   #27
Lady Maelin
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

@Hans...now that is one recipe I think I'm going to have to try...well all but the spicy red peper paste part...I am not to fond of spicy hot foods. I love peanut butter...but to put it over french fries... hot..!!! Well I'll give it a try...and see what it taste like.

@Deb...those cheese curds sound yummy...I have a feeling that I have actually eaten them before when I was young...but I'm not to sure...so I will have to give those a try too...if I ever find any of that kind of cheese around here. We are true cheese lovers...funny that that kind of cheese has escaped our notice.


I'm with you Maw...I love fries...hot... plain(skip the salt) and with ketchup...perhaps a little chilli now and again...but mostly plain for me!!!
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Old Jan 12 2008, 11:34 AM   #28
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

@ Hans were is the park located.

Kibbie if you are going to post under me PUT FORTH more EFFORT in your spelling.
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Last edited by mawra; Jan 12 2008 at 07:07 PM. Reason: fixing Kibbie's spellling mistake
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Old Jan 12 2008, 12:13 PM   #29
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@ Hans were is the park loked
The National Park?

It's located inthe province of Utrecht, in the middle of the country.
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Old Jan 12 2008, 07:12 PM   #30
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This looks intresting
http://www.hogeveluwe.nl/default.asp?language=2
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Old Jan 13 2008, 02:47 AM   #31
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A workmate eats chips with mayo on it and she has Dutch heritage. Typical Australian would put tomato sauce on it (that's tomato ketchup to Americans).
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Old Jan 13 2008, 05:13 AM   #32
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That's the pak, Mawra. The "Museonder" (Museum below the earth) is very nice too and forms a part of the NP. Also located in the NP is the Kröler-Muller Museum with one of the best Van Gogh and modern art collections you've seen.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 04:20 PM   #33
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

When I was at school and had choir practice on a Friday evening, I used to buy chips in gravy on the way home as a special treat

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Oh yes....gravy on fries is a MUST!!!
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Old Jan 13 2008, 07:25 PM   #34
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Hans do you know the provinces are named


That was KIibbie.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 07:40 PM   #35
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Curry is yum, Lady Mae. I love using yellow curry powder in a dry rub on roast chicken and having it over rice. I would love curry sauce on my fries (thought mayo, plain? Think I'll pass.) My favorite fry topping is malt vinegar and salt.

I think we need a MoM fry taste test to determine what the best toppings are from around the world. We have fries with mayo, malt vinegar, ketchup, brown gravy (Canadian thing), curry, and don't the fry places in Belgium have something like 101 versions of toppings?

And I personally would love to try the chopped herring with onions. (Though where my people come from they're usually brined or in sour cream sauce.) Sounds delicious! Mmmm. Herring. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
Thank you Anareth, Seems I am ideed going to be trying *Curry*as I put it on this weeks shopping list. Perhaps I will try it out on chicken like you suggested...and of course I need it to make the peanut sauce that will go on my next batch of fries.
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Old Jan 13 2008, 07:59 PM   #36
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

Oh, are all curries hot? Cause I've heard of hot ones...
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Old Jan 13 2008, 08:27 PM   #37
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

Hans Kibbie does not NEED to know what the names of the provences are. She was just TRYING to stall.......... again.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 02:22 AM   #38
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Default Re: Answers to questions about the Netherlands

I'll be posting my bit about Australia in a separate thread tomorrow. I'm about to head off, and have been answering emails as usual.

*stretches*

It has been a long day for me.
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Old Jan 14 2008, 03:52 AM   #39
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Hans Kibbie does not NEED to know what the names of the provences are. She was just TRYING to stall.......... again.


The list is also in the Wikipedia article
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Old Jan 14 2008, 06:16 AM   #40
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Oh, are all curries hot? Cause I've heard of hot ones...
You can get mild ones too, like korma.
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