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Crushed Mice for the New King: two unusual weeks in The Netherlands

Crushed Mice for the New King: two unusual weeks in The Netherlands

Old Jul 8th, 2013, 01:46 AM
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About the 'crushed mice'. In Dutch they are called 'Gestampte muisjes'. They are made of crushed aniseeds (with some other ingredients I guess for sweetness etc). They are eaten on bread.

The aniseeds are also used for another product, regular 'muisjes'. They are aniseeds covered with a sugar coating in blue or pink. Muisjes are also eaten on bread. But most common they are eaten on a biscuit ('beschuit' in Dutch) when a baby boy (blue Muisjes) or baby girl (pink Muisjes) is born. Whenever someone comes to visit the new baby, they are given 'beschuit met muisjes' as a treat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muisjes

http://www.deruijter.nl/producten/bl...e-muisjes.aspx
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:03 PM
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Thank you, TommieG - that a better explanation. I haven't yet opened my gift container of muisjes. The ceremonial "coronation" container is really very pretty
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 08:03 PM
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http://thedutchshop.com/product_info...roducts_id=314
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 04:19 PM
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well, that's the right manufacturer for sure. Thanks for more info on the crushed mice!
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 04:57 PM
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We spent a couple of days with our Dutch fried Jaap driving us to various places, lucky us!

Our day in Maastricht was fun, even tho, once again, it rained on the way.

We parked under the main square, and when we walked up I was disappointed to see that there was a carnival with all its honky-tonk rides taking up the whole square! Boo hoo. We went in to a cafe and drowned out sorrows in a cafe au lait, and then walked along some shopping streets toward the river.

The guys thought I would love this, but it was very clear to me that these were really just so-so shops, so I hurried along.

Pretty soon, we got down to the river, where the real center of Maastricht was (to me!) And sure enough, it was also an area where old streets have been restored, and all the shops were very elegant, up-market ones! Oh, the windows were lovely, but guess what? The were all just closing for lunch! We had wasted too much time on cafe au lait!

Instead of spending money, or pretending to, we walked across the river and all the way down to the Bonnefanten Museum. It is just past the Crowne Plaza hotel, which I swear was the Movenpick 30 years ago, when we stayed there. I remember we stayed right smack on the river, in a new modern hotel, and lovely seeing the river traffic from our window.

Now, refurbished and looking quite lovely, I wouldn't mind staying there again.

The museum was unknown to me but proved to be interesting. It is a new-ish building near the Crowne Plaza on the east side of the river, with a large rotonda like tower and a special exhibit of Russian painters from ;the turn of the 19th to the 20th C. - none of whom I had ever heard of except Kandinsky.
Nevertheless though the paintings seemed dark and dreary (and why not, considering the political atmosphere in Russia at the time?) there were some interesting philosophies expressed in part of the exhibit.

Lunch at this museum proved to be delicious sandwiches: goat's cheese, rhubarb jam, arugula, red leaf lettuce and sunflowere seeds on dark bread. interesting combination, eh?

By the way, we could still use our Museumkaart from Amsterdam for entry in to this museum. That card is good for a year almost every place in the country. Take note Netherlands travelers.

Tomorrow is a lazy day at home, with interesting local qualities.

or a view of how the Dutch live.
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 04:14 AM
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"friend Jaap" not " fried Jaap". Sorry!
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:40 PM
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Just so I do actually finish up this report, I will give you, whoever is still reading, a concentrated version, and will be happy to answer questions.

Lazy day at home with rain off and on.

Living like locals, we went with Jaap to the Dutch version of Sam's Club or Costco, with very good quality, large quantity stuff. He goes about once a month for certain products he likes, for example a certain kind of orange juice, and certain wines.

In the afternoon he was nice enough to entertain us with a ride out to Ravenstein, which is one of those charming old Dutch towns, (go if you are ever near there!) It's a village on the Maas in polder land with a dike that one can walk or bike along.

There is a delicious looking gourmet shop, and a very up-market florist, as well as a very miss-able Stained Glass and Enamel Museum.

This was our evening to go to SENSE in Den Bosch for dinner. It was everything that the fancy expensive restaurant, the Posthaus, in Monnickendam, was not!

We had perhaps our best meal there, in very warm contemporary surroundings. The very large chef (gigantic, rotund) came around and chatted to the various tables, in a most delightful self-effacing way, telling us about various foods that he has been trying.

We had first a beet, white chocolate and sesame seed amuse-bouche. (I know, sounds weird, but was delicious) Then I had Cod with fresh green peas, can't remember the sauce but it melted in the mouth.
Main course was guinea fowl, with quinoa, done in a delicious way as well.
The cost for three was less than the cost for two at the Monnickendam restaurant.

Next day, rain again, we nevertheless drove to pick up Matty at the hospital, drove the nasty highway down to Antwerp, to go to the new Museum-an-de-Strom, a contemporary pile that looked good to me only because it was in an unusual part of town, near some docks, and we knew it would be dry inside!!

Matty, who is full of good ideas, and who was quite distracted worrying about her mother, decided we should try the fancy restaurant on the top floor of the museum.

We spent most of our museum time enjoying the views from on high toward the rain soaked streets while we drank delicious wine, and though ordering the three-course lunch, ended up with nine (9) courses.

Yes, they served us 5 little amuse bouches, one better than the one before. It was a real tour de force of a meal, followed by an after dessert course! Each course was delicious and very beautiful! an extravaganza. We were certainly finishing this trip on a high note!
We then raced thru the museum to see the current exhibit of Napoleon's impact on Antwerp. Much more interesting than we had time for.

I have to say, it might have been the best possible way to spend a rainy day.

After that I can only say that Antwerp is a huge city, much bigger than I ever thought, and it is well worth a visit, for the restaurant at this museum, called 'T ZILTE - and for two other places we just drove past:

the train station, and a long gorgeous residential street, justly famous, called Cogels-Osy Lei. You just have to Google both of these, and then you will know what I mean.

Tomorrow is our last day, and it was a mixed bag.
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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Last day we were driven up to Amsterdam area by our friends. Matty had the wonderful idea to go to Laren, a "Westchester" sort of suburb of Amsterdam, to the Singer Laren Museum.

I can heartily recommend Laren as an example of an up-market suburb, tho I imagine the commuting in to Amsterdam may be difficult. (Does anyone know?)

The Singer is a charming museum, the former home of an American industrialist, which houses a collection of Dutch Impressionists, of which there are few of note.

However, it has gracious gardens, and a nice small quiet lunch place, and, as usual, a rather good museum shop.

We checked out the center of town, and I think it would be fun for others to see.

All this done in the rain, on a rainy day, and then we were off to the airport where we met another Dutch friend. We decided to have dinner at the Sheraton, at the airport, as those in the know, thought it would be the best place.

Thank goodness we did, although, with all the driving, in Friday evening traffic on a rainy night was as bad as you can imagine, it ended up to be a rather late evening.

I say "thank goodness" because it was the most relaxed part of the evening, and of the last hours we spent in The Netherlands.

I must have booked the wrong hotel, because we ended up at the Mercure in the airport.

Warning: this hotel is way inside the airport, impossible to reach, and frankly, worse to leave. We had to go thru customs and security to get in (you must have a ticket and passport), and then in the morning, we had to go all the way out again, and start all over.

In addition, thought the room was very clean, and the bathroom large and spotless, there was NO window. I am somewhat claustrophobic, so it was a tough night for me, to say the least. The additional complication of having no breakfast available, and having to go all the way across a long passageway, find an elevator, go down 2 levels, walk across another long passageway, to find ourselves outside security, etc, really was a chore. For this extremely complicated hotel stay, (at least for those in our circumstances) we paid 149 euros. not worth it.

We flew Delta both ways, in Economy Plus, or whatever they call it, and were quite satisfied with both flights.

Sorry these report seems to have been a drag to get to and finish, so my apologies to those who have been kind enough to follow.

I can't decide if I did not take enough notes, or if I didn't pay as much attention, on the trip, or not enough funny/bad things happened, but I sense a lack of interest by readers.

Does anyone think that the only really, really popular trip reports on the Europe Forum seem to be those to Italy or France, (esp. Paris)? I can see why, if true, but I'd love some opinions.

Thanks for following ....
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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I must confess, taconictraveler, that I have been reading along since you first started posting your trip report, but never commented. I often read trip reports in the evening, when I just want to unwind and fantasize about travelling. Unfortunately, that's also when I just don't have the mental energy to write anything.

When I write trip reports, I don't write them for Fodor's, I write them for myself, to remind me months/years later of the little things we might forget. Then I come to Fodor's and share my reports, in the hopes that it will provide information for the inquiring traveler. I've found there is less Forum traffic during the weekends and particularly in the summer, so the timing of your posts could effect how many people will see it (try to keep it in the top 25, or 50). When I post a segment of a trip report, I usually do it on a weekday morning, and then if someone responds, I wait until it drops to below 25/50 until I respond back, so I can put it back up at the top. Sometimes it's all about strategy. But you shouldn't take it personal and think that people aren't interested... we are out here. Not everyone is a Francophile.

Now, about your report... I thoroughly enjoyed travelling along with you and your 7 cohorts. My husband and I were in Amsterdam in April/May for Queen's Day (the last one for a while) and can attest to the cold, damp days. We were supposed to go to the Flower Parade in Haarlem on April 20th, and decided not to after we learned it had been so cold in the Netherlands this spring that they had to import the tulips for the floats from Spain!!! (BTW, I'm still working on writing <u>my</u> trip report).

It was nice to read about many of the places I've already visited, and interesting to learn of many new locations I never knew about. Thank you for taking the time to post your report.

Robyn
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 07:10 AM
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Robyn: thanks so much. Your thoughtful post is so helpful in a number of ways!

I, too, have created trip reports for my own memories, and have copied and sent them to non-fodorite fellow travelers, for their remembrance.

And, in fact, I have often been surprised and gratified by the number of responses, but those reports have been mostly of Italy and France.

Furthermore, we have often had things go wrong, or unusual experiences, sometimes causing me to get carried away in the embellishment of the story (a la MaiTaiTom, one of my all time favorites!). Those postings get good responses.

This last trip, complicated funny things also happened ( reserving the van was definitely a "Playhouse 90" event, as was the search for the pick up place in the outer Mongolia of southeastern Amsterdam, but I was unable to take enough notes to regurgitate it accurately!)

Your strategy for posting is enlightening, hope to remember it.

I look forward to your trip report, as I am always interested to learn more and more about a country I have just visited.

Thanks, again, for cheering me up. Imagine a Fodor's post changing my whole outlook on a brutally hot day here in the Hudson Valley! And I thought I had my ego strength all sorted!
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 08:03 PM
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Robyn: regarding your trip weather, we arrived on May 4, and had 8 days of very good weather, lots of sun, one short rain shower. People said the weather had been cold and rainy, so I guess you really got in the middle of that.

Weather deteriorated again during our second week with our friends...not very good weather in Europe this spring and summer, eh?

I think lots of Fodorites have learned that!
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 04:05 AM
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I too have been following along since the start as my wife and I love Amsterdam and really should get out and see more of the Netherlands.

Your account was anything but boring and the title should win the award for most interesting TR title of the year!

Thanks for sharing your experiences. ;^)
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 12:01 PM
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Thanks, P.A. I knew there were a few stalwarts out there!

Too bad the title I was so tickled with got "outed" early ON, eh?
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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I guess I might qualify as one of the stalwarts since I've followed along happily. I agree that it was disappointing that your intriguing title was "outed" too soon.

Your trip reports are always interesting, and often entertaining. Keep them coming. Looking forward to Guernsey!
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Old Jul 16th, 2013, 05:08 PM
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MaineGG - thanks for your kind words. I enjoy your trip reports a lot!

We are seriously considering Guernsey as part of a European trip next year. We have been asked to join friends again on a transatlantic crossing, so we are thinking of also joining them on a weekend to the Channel Islands, before either going back to London, or another part of England, or who kniws where?

Unfortunately, though we have plenty of time, we are constrained more and more by money and age!
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