Movers, More Books, and Cake with a Windmill

Not in that order.

Check out this magnificent cake* our friend Anne made for Tim’s going-away party at lab yesterday (at which he received a traditional Dutch woman’s bonnet, a horn to blow at soccer games, and a Nederlands World Cup jersey). I guessed that it translates to “our best wishes,” which according to Babel Fish seems to be correct.  See? I can guess some Dutch already!

Reader comments on the Desert Island post reminded me that the list of books was incomplete, and I need far more than fifty-eight books to make it in a foreign land. In brief, that list must be amended to include my work references (namely The Chicago Manual of Style and, yes, a hard copy of the dictionary) (I nearly recycled the paperback copy of Merriam-Webster several times, but couldn’t ultimately do it) AND the cookbook library. The cookbooks were already packed at the time of posting, with the kitchen rather than bookcase items, and so were neglected. That was another eleven titles:

The Joy of Cooking

The Spice Bible

Nourishing Traditions

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (This and The Joy of Cooking are great references for things like, “So how do I cook a whole chicken?”)

Vefa’s Kitchen (highly, highly recommend)

How to Cook Italian

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics (for the tomato soup alone)

Portuguese Homestyle Cookbook

The Ski Country Cookbook

and the two plainly-titled:

Pizza (because Tim uses it)

and

Creme Brulee.

Since we’re on the cookbook topic, here are a few of my wish-list cookbooks: Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It (which I spotted at that Boston Shaker store in Davis Square); Turquoise; Fast, Fresh, and Green (spotted at Nomad* on Mass Ave); and The Book of Tapas (to remind me of Dali).

Wow! I spent so much time doing all those links, you might think I’m not in the process of moving to the Netherlands! Ha. Things are a bit lighter since the movers came last week and took all our stuff. It took two guys from Gentle Giant the better part of a very hot day to box and wrap our international stuff and then load it on a truck with the domestic storage stuff I boxed myself. Having never used pro movers before, here is what I observed: movers pack just like we do, but quicker and mercilessly. They fill a box with roller blades jammed in with stuffed animals jammed in with that stack of postcards from my desk jammed in with my underwear all wadded up. They just don’t stop to deliberate if the childhood stuffed animal is worth hanging on to, or call a friend to reminisce about the postcards, or spend half an afternoon trying to buy new laces for the roller blades. They just shove it all in a box and seal it on up. Thank you, movers. See you on the flip side.

We’re moved out of our apartment now, living out of two giant suitcases of clothes (I have already realized I forgot to withhold my rain gear and a couple long-sleeved shirts, but hey, I have lots of party tank tops to last me until August…) and two hiking backpacks of misc. goods. This week we’re crashing in my brother-in-law’s (finished) basement so we can wrap up some loose ends in Boston, say a couple more good-byes, and supposedly pick up our visas at the consulate. Our perpetually delayed visas—not because there’s anything wrong with our applications, but just because the Dutch office that does them is backed up. I was having a sinking feeling about this, and sure enough we found out today that it will be “two more weeks.” I know, I know, there’s nothing we can do about it; it’s just bureaucracy in action, but I want the paperwork and plane tickets IN MY HAND.

I guess that’s just me.

Well, in more local news, if you have the space and you’re sentimentally attached, you can actually purchase true signs from the Arlington Green Line station (acquired legitimately during renovation; $225-275) at Ward Maps on Mass Ave near Porter, a generally cool new store for Boston-y memorabilia and antique maps.

*Better photo of cake possibly to come. This one was taken with my phone.

*Note: I only window-shop at Nomad. I can’t actually afford anything there except at the holidays the splurge of sparkly ornaments.

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