Pop Ups and Juniper

Since November 2014 I am popping up. It is an extra challenge for me. Not only do I have to think of a different MENU every week, I have to find a LOCATIONĀ  as well. But as so often, when one door (to a kitchen) closed, other ones opened. I was invited to the lovely logcabin cafe at Eisteddfa Fisheries, and cooked trout caught in their lakes. Oren nestled inside the Caernarfon town wall for an evening at the Royal Welsh Yacht Club. We sang st. Nicolas songs when I collaborated with Scoops Dutch Pancakes and Artisan Ice Cream. While children were listening to Rudolphs Farty Christmas story, I served sprouts at Palas Print bookshop.

indexThe help I get fromĀ  friends, neighbours and local businesses to keep Oren going, is like little lights popping up in these grey midwinter days. A true manifestation of christmas. And being forced to delve into my own creativity is like trying to find the evergreen between the treeskeletons on the barren midwinterland, another one of the christmas symbols. It is good to know that while death seems around us, we are still alive and part of nature’s everlasting cycle.

juniper_berries_16x9In Britain, I have read somewhere, the juniper tree is the only native evergreen. I’d like this to be true, I love juniper. it clears the muddy taste of my favourite vegetable beetroot into pure water and earth. The cleansing effect of juniper comes also to the surface when used in combination of sauerkraut (it gets rid of that overcooked cabbage undertone) and with game like venison (it cures it of its raunciness). The mean medicinal quality of junipers is diuretic, so it helps to purify our body as well.

indexI often get asked for the typical Dutch christmas meal is. I answer that it is not important what we eat, but that we celebrate it together. Maybe I should say ”Anything, accompanied by a ‘borrel’-Dutch shot of gin”. In a clear glass, preferable this upside down bell shape. For that little drink symbolises everything. The evergreen tree, the purifying water, the grain of life and the ringing bells which tell us of the eternal light.