"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Al fresco.....

For me, Easter weekend started on Good Friday as a day out with a friend. We went to a brocante market at a garden center but it was disappointing so we decided to drive further to a nice shop called Nostalgic Living where we found this lady on her nest. Now I am used to seeing storks up north near our cottage but this one was in the middle of Holland on what I found to be a rather low nest. She was happily brooding her eggs. I wonder how many she had???

We came back a little earlier than planned as Jos had called in the afternoon to tell me that he was laid off at work. They had warned this department on Wednesday evening that they were going to push through rush lay offs. He was on the list unfortunately.

We loaded the car and left for Cranberry Cottage as planned. Being there is always so restful. It was busy in our little dirt road but pleasantly so. We arrived and ate dinner. I had brought everything along to make us a nice big dinner salad. Since the Dutch weather is more like summer than spring, we went outside to clean our terrace ready for the coming days. Jos mowed the grass for the first time this season but sweetly mowed around these Cuckoo flowers (also called Lady's smock) for me. I loved seeing them in our garden.

We had all our meals outdoors! Even our breakfast became a treat as we sat out listening to the loud calling of all the birds in the woods. They are all very busily singing to their mates.

A drive to a local farm gave us an evening meal of day fresh white asparagus served in the traditional Dutch way. Even our potatoes are farm fresh. We drove back via Fochteloërveen to buy them. There is a farm there where they play around with various kinds of potatoes and grow the absolute best! They call this variety "bonbons of the clay".

The garden was starting to bloom and we enjoyed seeing where our forget-me-nots decided to come up this year. They always surprise you and do just what they want...

I planted this variety of old fashioned violets a couple of years ago. I love how they are spotted.

Breakfast on Easter morning was scrambled eggs with mushrooms, bacon bits, tomatoes and cheese. We enjoyed it with fresh bread rolls, orange juice and cafe au lait.

It was not all play as we took two of our old radiators apart and repainted them. They look refreshed now.

But there was plenty of time to just relax with warm baked ciabatta and homemade herb cream cheese with a glass of Prosecco, reading some magazines...

Neighbors popped into our garden to chat among the flowers. We are one of the few that have planted up a real flower garden in our little road.

Easter dinner was a pork tenderloin stuffed with brie. The local butcher is exceptionally good there. We often do not bother with meat when we have not been up north. We have been spoiled by his quality and would rather go without if it is not from him. I accompanied it with grilled herb tomatoes.

On Monday morning, as we sat outside having breakfast, we could hear the fire engines rushing to Fochteloërveen. As I mentioned, our weather has been so summer like and we are in need of rain in Holland. This weekend they moved the warning of code orange up to code red for forest fires. Unfortunately this beautiful area caught fire which is thankfully today under control again.


Nancy said...

Well that looks like food from a fancy little place. You are a very good cook and the plates always are presented so well. On the last plates, I would have ask for my bacon crispy, which would have made it very hard to wrap. LOL.
I am very happy for you with that weather. We have your weather here. Today it is warmer though, 75 degrees right now.
Have a good evening.
Love you, Mom

Kathy A. said...

Oh Heidi - I am very sorry to hear of Jo's layoff. I am sure it is a great worry for you both. I will pray that things turn around for you.
Your garden is just so lovely. How peaceful it sounds.
Enjoy your beautiful weather. Here, we are drowning in water LOL.

Annemarie said...

Dear Heidi, I'm awfully sorry to hea about Jos. What a blessing that you managed to get away from it all, and enjoy what looks and sounds like the perfect Easter getaway.


Saskia said...

O, Your where talking about the cut down at Jos's work. Not good that he's one of them now! I these kind of times it's not good, not good at all!
I hope he will find a new job soon.
Good that you enjoyed your little heaven on earth at CC.

barbara said...

Thought I should check this blog, which I do not usually follow (sorry) to catch up on news of Jos' employment. As Kathy said, I do hope you make this work to your advantage. It sounds like you made the absolute most of your lovely time in the countryside. Thinking of you and sending love!

Jenny said...

My dear friend,
You are such a positive person and one I admire greatly. Your post is lovely, I love all the pictures and hearing about your moments at Cranberry Cottage. I was so sorry to hear about Jos and his layoff, I know that is a great concern. I am keeping you in my prayers and sending an extra big hug across the Atlantic.

Melanie said...

Despite the bad news of Jos's layoff, it looks like you made the weekend lovely and relaxing for both of you. Your flowers are lovely, and your meals all look so delicious. Love your place settings...the tablecloth, dishes, and cups. Us women know how to make things pretty, don't we? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to read about Jos losing his job and I am sure he will get something good soon.
Your meals sounded lovely Heidi and how I wish I had been at CC to sample them. I to love forget-me-nots and have them with welsh poppies and honesty all over the garden very pretty sight they look to.
Enjoy your week,
Love Hazel C (UK)

Susan in SC said...

Thank you for taking us all along on your trip to the cottage. Have you ever thought of living there full-time? I loved all your pictures. I had never seen a stork's nest and thought that was so neat!

DonnaTN said...

This economy has impacted so many people. I'm so sorry that it has hit you and Jos. It sounds like you had a lovely weekend.

Elizabethd said...

What a blow for you, Heidi. I do hope and pray that something comes up for Jos.It must `be so good to have your cottage to go to and relax.
I wonder if your little violet is one called 'Freckles'?

Sonja said...

Soms is engels wel een moeilijke taal, want het woord 'layoff' had ik dus niet begrepen. Nu ik je gesproken heb, begrijp ik het helaas wel. So sorry to hear this news.
Wat goed dat jullie weer zo aktief bezig zijn geweest met het opknappen van je interieur. Dit keer in C.Cottage. Kan me voorstellen dat jullie ook weer zo genoten hebben van de rust of misschien eerder al het geluid van de vele vogels.
Nog bedankt voor 't laatste quilt-advies!

Elly said...

Eindelijk weer eens tijd om een kijkje te nemen op je blog en dan zulk naar nieuws te lezen of Jos zijn ontslag. Daar wordt een mens niet vrolijk van. Ik hoop dat Appelscha jullie wat troost heeft gegeven, het lekkere weer en eten werkte in ieder geval mee. Hugs en groetjes

Unknown said...

I'm sorry to hear about Jo's layoff also. My dd went through this a year ago. I loved hearing about your meals, everything sounds delicious. It sounds like a beautiful spot to live. Linda