20 September, 2011

Settling in.

KLM's little ceramic houses of Amsterdam, filled with genever (gin). 

This won't be the first time I bite my tongue to keep from ranting about the weather, but the inclement, roiling skies made it that much easier to focus on making our apartment a home. 
Being back in the city means a move away from the countrified ways we'd developed (and enjoyed) over the past three years.  Now we're shifting back into a more familiar city mode.  Sometimes this meant unpacking things that had been in storage for too long.
Other times it meant shopping.  I do not like looking for clothes, but browsing my way through home goods is another enchilada entirely.  This elliptical table below is from Ikea.
I love a bit of blending of styles, too.  Here's an inherited Artifort midcentury classic paired with a French antique find.  I found that carpet a few years ago, the colors are luscious and those soft, firm nubs feel heavenly underfoot.
These fish traveled 1300 kilometers in a Mini.  They were no doubt at least as relieved to be out of the car as we were.  They went from our kitchen in the French Cevennes to our kitchen here in Amsterdam.  The chickens weren't allowed to come...
I indulged myself in the kitchen: when we first moved from Amsterdam to France, I schlepped most of my kitchen supplies down there.  This go-round, they've mostly stayed behind in France.  I am loving the lines and heavy-duty bottom of this pot I got at HEMA, the Dutch version of Target.  (Check out this clever page from their online store.  Give it a second to kick in...)
Here is a tall, asymmetrical wooden pepper grinder I got from, you guessed it, Ikea.  Ten euros--and it grinds like a charm! 
My splurge was this spoon rest.  I needed a spoon rest.  I just didn't need an Alessi spoon rest.  But aren't those curves fine on this new Alessi spoon rest?
Essential in Amsterdam: a coatrack.  Faint echoes of the Dutch Piet Mondrian don't hurt.
We have all started to find our bearings.
And we know what to do when the sun finally decides to make one of its brief appearances.
 First we double-check.  (That's my neighbor's terrace, below.  In sun.)
 Then we make a dash for it.
We do crazy, lovely things like taking off our raincoats.  Even better, we have a picnic in the backyard.  My friend Azumi was the hostess this time.
The spread was absolutely Japanese, and absolutely delicious.  She claimed it was really very basic and simple to make.  That was when I asked for the chicken recipe.  Azumi was right.  But so am I:  this version of the Japanese standard will hit the spot, whether for a casual picnic or a satisfying weeknight dinner.   
Azumi's Picnic Chicken Teriyaki

Serves four.

700g chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 tablespoons shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
3 tablespoons mirin (a sweet Japanese cooking wine)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil with lemon flavour, or sesame oil
1 shallot, minced

Combine all the ingredients in a sturdy plastic bag, rubbing the marinade thoroughly into the chicken.  Let chicken rest it in the fridge at least an hour.

Heat the pan with a bit of olive oil.  Pour all the ingredients into the pan. Cook the chicken over high heat, until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Lower the heat and continue to cook until it until the sauced chicken is nicely browned.


  1. Love the new blog look! That chicken looks so good. I love that stuff but it gives my husband such a headache. All the sodium, I think? Anyway, glad to hear the sun is shining a bit for you. And I'm with you, clothes shopping I could live without, but Ikea? Yes, please.

  2. Oh--and that chair is to die for!!

  3. Very cool new look blog. The recipe sounds yummy.

    It must feel quite bizarre going from backwater to hub.

    I LOVE those little ceramic gin houses.

  4. Hi Rose,
    What a pity your husband can't handle this kind of sauce...perhaps you should have a picnic and invite your girlfriends, as did Azumi. I think I will have more home/design photos to come; eye candy for those who go for that kind of thing!

    And thanks for the compliment about the blog.

    Hello Sarah,
    Thanks Sarah! More city-ish, perhaps. The recipe IS yummy. And those Delft-style houses are replicas of real houses in Amsterdam, KLM gives the addresses as well. Pretty cute idea, right?


Thanks for visiting my blog and joining in the conversation!

Related Posts with Thumbnails