Monday, 3 May 1999
The wok is on the stove. A group of Dutch is coming for a Chinese dinner ( tonight. My intention is to cook Huanggua Jiaorou. The cucumber and ginger are at hand.

The original recipe is Chinese. It's a familiar dish, often prepared, so no need to open the cookbook. The original recipes are not really conform reality. Some variation has grown over the years. The character is still Chinese, but something like a typical "Hen Kyan" style has emerged.

That mixed cultural identity also goes for the satay (.../recipe/satay.html) and surely for the guests. These Dutch are not true cheese heads. A couple of a Limburg lady and a Brabant bloke (Resume Rob Hendriks, TPF Assembler specialist), Dutch version of Tasmanians, has been living overseas for years. They are now visiting Holland as tourists. Another bloke is from "de Achterhoek" (The Dutch Outback). He has Indonesian, Swedish and Chinese blood and to much international experience to feel 100% Dutch. A few months ago he moved into Holland temporarily. A motley bunch it is.

The last time this group was together was back in 1996, in some Sydney BYO restaurant ( Time flies. Yet everybody is still quite up to date with all the latest gossip. Borders, time differences, and distances don't exist for e-mail gossip.

Dinner is vaerdig. Eating etiquete The rice bowls and chopsticks may hit the table. To my own astonishment I serve minced beef with capsicum and bamboo. The cucumber and ginger are still waiting, untouched. Apparently, I cooked on the auto-pilot. Well, so what. No worries.

After the typical Dutch desert of ice cream with custard it time to top it all wit a good Irish Coffee (.../#beveragesnon3.html). It is a delicate task that I leave to the Chinese-Indonesian Swede. He whips the cream with great craftsmanship and lets it slide into the hot coffee. His proficiency does not come out of the blue. In a few months he is going to marry an Irish lady, a fantastic cook. My congratulations in advance. Long live internationalism.

Till next week!