Curly Kale and glorious Geranium

The geranium

The geranium

It is this time of the year that anyone with even a smidgeon of Dutch blood lusts after Curly kale in mashed potatoes with smoked sausages. Here the weather for this extraordinary dish has been perfect. Morning temperatures have been steadfast at 13c. Both heaters are switched on because it is now summer. I mean winter instead of summer. In Holland, fifty thousand people are expected to take a dip in the North Sea on New Year’s day. The sea water at present near the Dutch coast is a balmy 8c. Normally it is around 6c. As an incentive, curly kale with mashed potatoes and sausages are promised after the swim. Who can resist that? And it is all ‘free.’

At last year’s event a few gate crashers had invaded the event. Organisers became suspicious when the same people kept on claiming this delicious kale dish over and over again. They spoke in a funny Dutch accent. Some said they were Scottish, others thought they were Yorkshire men! In any case, who would deny Curly Kale to the hungry? This very Dutch dish is the pride of the nation, almost an institute. It used to be obligatory like National Service but was disbanded in 1982 when, with many migrants from Morocco and Algeria, the influx of foreign dishes became so great, the law on the obligatory Curly Kale was relaxed and abandoned. Curly Kale is now under threat from Tahini and Humus. The tradition of Dutch Curly Kale eating is probably more maintained in migration countries such as Australia and Canada than in Holland itself which has probably evolved dietary habits well beyond Curly Kale eating. If you see a lonely man in a shopping mall eating by himself and sobbing a bit, it could well be a home-sick Dutchman with his Curly Kale.

Boerenkool met worst Curly Kale and sausage

Boerenkool met worst
Curly Kale and sausage

It is curious that even in language the period of past migration often expresses itself through dishes and words in use at the time of peak migration. My Dutch is now seen as rather ‘funny’. I use words popular in the fifties with even complete expressions having been usurped by change in language usage. What hope have we got that meaning of words are not set in concrete? The very meaning can change. Kids use the expression of ‘that is really cool’, meaning very acceptable and nice, and has nothing to do with temperature.

It is just as well I have Helvi’s sense of beauty and steadfastness around. With her I can stay sane and focussed. Just look at that Geranium that she spotted outside a garden-nursery. What beauty and giver of peace and serenity. Just look at it!

Can it get any better?

A Happy New Year to all from
Gerard and Helvi

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32 Responses to “Curly Kale and glorious Geranium”

  1. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Argh. The Husband has planted non-curly kale in the veggie patch and now I feel deprived. But perhaps a dip in a warm bath instead of the freezing sea requires a different kale.
    Happy New Year to you!


  2. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Enjoy your curly kale, sausage, and geraniums as you welcome in the New Year, Gerald and Helvi. The very best to you. –Curt


  3. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I can’t speak for the sausage but I eat both kinds of kale. The curly and another that is sold is some kind of Italian variety, I think. It is rather odd looking. Kale is supposed to be one of the ‘super foods.”

    The potted geranium is beautiful and Helvi has a ‘green thumb” as we say over here in the states if one is good at growing plants.

    A happy New Year to you, Gerard and Helvi.



  4. Andrew Says:

    I think I’ll pass on the J J Kale, Gerard but hope you enjoy yours. A very happy 2015 to you and Helvi.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Ahh, now you’ve got me lusting after boerenkool met worst – and yes it is, absolutely delicious, I’d definitely try to sneak back for second helpings. Most Brits aren’t mad about kale, they think that it’s something that should only be fed to cattle but more fool them, the last fart’s on us!! Wishing you both a very Happy New Year – may 2015 be splendid for you. Love from us, from a very freezing hillside in Spain (just above zero as I type and the temperature is set to plunge to minus 5 tonight, brrrrrr) 😀


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It was cold here as well. Have had the heaters on each morning. Today summer seems to have arrived.Glad you like Curly Kale too.

      Grandkids are back and I just made a mountain of pancakes, also topped up my data allowance seeing the lure of their tablets coming to the fore again.
      Love to you Irish and all. Keep warm.


  6. Silver in the Barn Says:

    Greens, often collards, are traditionally eaten in the American South on New Year’s Day for good luck. Do you remember the photo I posted recently of a 1920’s Christmas Office Party? All the ladies in that photo had marcel waves! Happy New Year to you and yours, Gerard. Thanks for all the splendid laughs.


  7. Yvonne Says:

    I’ve just set up a couple of fans in my back yard to blow some of our warm air in your direction, Gerard. Can you feel it yet?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes by at least 29c right now. A miracle. It has been so cold here that memories of Curly Kale and sausage came welling up.

      I have been told people in Holland used to be scared of the Curly Kale Police (CKP) knocking on unsuspecting burgers doors checking compliance on the Curly Kale eating law. ( The dreaded mid-night knock on the door)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. la_lasciata Says:

    Is there a straight kind, then ….?


  9. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Happy New Year to you. The geranium is lovely, I can’t say the same about the sausage and kale… chacun a son gout.


  10. auntyuta Says:

    I love your pictures, Gerard. Wishing you and Helvi a very Happy New Year! 🙂


  11. berlioz1935 Says:

    I love kale with something smoked and your sausage would do me just fine. For half a century we lived in an kale-free environment. But lately Australia has discovered it to our delight.

    It is best coming fresh out of the garden still covered with snow. Some people put it in the freezer before cooking.

    A happy new year wishes you and Helvi a fellow kale eater.


  12. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I thought there to be only one kind of kale and we do eat it a lot, both in soup and not. But I will toss it into mashed potatoes next. Sounds good. I can’t speak for the icy plunge, but who can tell about these Dutchmen? I’ll bet their wives are home fixing the curly kale and potatoes.


  13. Patti Kuche Says:

    Happy New Year to you and your family Gerard! That sausage dish looks so good, as of course does the geranium. I often cook up kale, it seems curly enough to me, with mashed potato but that sausage is the crowning glory!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. chris hunter Says:

    Hey that looks delicious Gerard. At least your taste doesn’t go out of fashion like the language. A kid these days might look at the Curly Kale and liking what he saw say “sick”. Happy New Year to all!


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