Cooking with Jean-Go

The little munchkins are sick again. Poor Sylvain is coughing like crazy! Kind of reminds me of when I was a kid. Every fall I got bronchitis – I think that’s what he has. So no more school or babysitter till the new year. That kind of puts a kink in my plans as far as getting my To Do list finished. I’ll make it work though, I don’t have a choice!

Tonight I finally went to Jean and Valerie’s for a cooking lesson. Valerie had to work a little late so it was just Jean and I who made supper. We made Waterzooi, a Belgian dish from Ghent. It can be made with fish or chicken, but Jean prefers it with fish so that’s what we did. I really liked it. We used a white fish that starts with an ‘L’ as well as craw-fish (crayfish?). It was super tasty. We also made stuffed bacon and leek croissants for Valerie’s family dinner on Saturday. I have pictures to prove I helped. I actually rolled all but, um, 5 or so. There were 32…before Jean and I each ate one ;). Waterzooi is so easy to make and is something I think is possible for me to handle as long as I don’t overcook the fish!

It was fun hanging with those two. They have this really awesome idea for Christmas tree ornaments. They have these mini crowns hanging from the branches. Hanging from each crown is a double-sided, laminated picture of different family members. Such an awesome idea and so creative!

I was right. My list keeps getting longer. >_< I have to go to the Commune again and get a piece of paper saying I’m leaving. Then I need to make a copy for Adeline to keep and send the other to the health insurance company here saying I’m leaving and they need to stop my coverage. So complicated. Not really, it’s just more work than I was planning on and I’m worried it won’t be very easy. Plus I have to write them a letter…in French. I wonder if this will be resolved before I leave? It’s all my fault for not taking care of it sooner. I know that.


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And we have teeth.

So Sylvain’s 2nd and 3rd teeth have broken through now. Hopefully he’ll start feeling better soon. Now he’s got two up top and one on the bottom. Oh my goodness! I have to get painting his birthday present…

I made fish tonight. I cooked it too high too fast so the pieces were all breaking apart, but it was edible. Bastien wanted the spaghetti from last night. Then he wouldn’t eat it. He ate a little, but Sylvain ended up eating a lot of it. His first time eating spaghetti! I told Bastien that I get it now. It’s Bastien who is the baby and Sylvain who is the older one. Bastien didn’t really like that.

And Sylvain is getting better at walking. I think he likes walking around holding onto a hand so he’s not really putting that much effort into learning how to do it himself. I don’t know. I just know that a lot of the time when we try to practice with him he’ll sit down. Is this normal? Probably. *shrug*

I have to include another The Hillywood Show® video. This one was just posted June 30 and is a parody of Rebecca Black’s song ‘Friday’ all about how they’re excited to see part 2 of HP and the Deathly Hallows. It’s hilarious. I watched the ‘making of’ video (which is almost half an hour) and I laughed so hard. These girls are so talented.




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Today Adeline went shopping with a friend. She took Sylvain with her and so it was just me and Bastien. It went well I think. He likes to yell inside and pull hair, so when he yelled (essentially in my ear because I was changing him), I yelled back. He didn’t like it and told me so. I told him that if he was going to yell at me I was going to yell at him. It was the same with the hair. He pulled mine, I pulled his (not hard of course, just enough to get the point across). I think it helped get a bit of the message across that yelling and pulling hair is not good. When we went for our walk though he was making all kinds of noise and I let him because we were outside.

So, other than that today was pretty normal. Almost another week has gone by. I’ve almost been here a month! Crazy. Oh and we had fish for dinner. Hence the title ^_^.

Here are the pics of yesterdays trek through the woods, like I promised:

Here are a couple of pics I promised from my Rain post:


These are hot and they have clumps of sugar inside! So good. You can buy other ones that are cold almost everywhere.

King’s Cake


Today, so far, has been a great day. I got up to help get breakfast and Bastien ready (although I slept in a little >_<), and then after I went back to bed for a nap….that took the next three and a bit hours. I didn’t realize I was THAT tired. Then again, yesterday was a very full day. Let me explain…

January 6, 2011

After sending Greg and Bastien off, I went to get ready for the very full day ahead of me. Adeline picked up the Gâteau des Rois (or King’s Cake) and then we were off to Louvain-la-Neuve. She had a doctor’s appointment so I stayed with her Mom and Sylvain. When she returned we were off to Namur to see Jean-Go and to get my tour of the city (the old part of the city). It was raining (while it’s not England, it still rains a lot!) and I was very grateful for my Mountain Equipment Co-op rain jacket! 

You may be asking; ‘why did Holly go on a walking tour of Namur in the pouring rain?’ Well, it wasn’t quite pouring….all the time, and you can’t control the weather, so if possible, just go ahead with your plans! We went to the old part of the city that is all paved with cobblestones and there are certain places cars can’t go, so it’s really nice to walk around. We went to the old market square and went inside this old church (which was beautiful in a lonely kind of way). Before doing much though, we went for lunch at this restaurant called ‘Le Royal’. It was….decorated with a lot of pink.

They even had Canadian lobster on the menu! I had this really great dish called Bouchée à la reine. It was chicken with mushrooms in a cream sauce inside this pastry bowl, with fries on the side.  There are always fries! With mayonnaise! So tasty. Did you know that fries were invented in Belgium? The art of double frying them for extra crispy-ness originated in France, but the story goes that fishermen were in the habit of deep-frying their fish right on the boat. One day someone said ‘hey, why don’t we do that with our potatoes?!’ So they did. They realized that what they really like about this process was the crispy-ness of the outside so they thought that if they cut the potato into strips there would be more crispy-ness!  And fries were born. (That is the story as best I can remember from Jean-Go telling me yesterday) After lunch is when we did our tour. I think we spent a little more than 3 hours walking in the rain. We did make lots of stops to take a look at things and we even went into a toy shop to warm up (this was Jean’s idea, I always knew he was just a big kid! ^_^). We saw a basilica that has a wine brewery in the basement and they have tours in October and November (which Jean put his name down for), so that will be neat to see. Jean took us by his university and we ran into this brand new building that looked very out-of-place amongst all the others. Jean was surprised by it because he had never seen it before and it looked quite ugly surrounded by the older buildings. We saw the ‘Arsenal’ which until just after WWII, I believe, was the arsenal for the army and it’s right along the river. Now it’s conference rooms and a university restaurant. We couldn’t go inside because it was closed, but Jean tells me that while it looks old and historical on the outside, on the inside it’s new (like a lot of buildings). Let’s see, what else. Now I’m not sure how correctly I remember all this, but Namur used to be a really fortified city (we didn’t get to go to the citadel, but we will some other time) and it’s on one of the main rivers in Belgium. This river goes all through Belgium, and out to the sea. Where the citadel is, is also where two smaller rivers meet as one, so it was a very important center back in the day.

We also went to a coffee shop and saw the coffee roaster outside. Did you know that before being roasted, coffee beans are green? Neither did I. They pointed out a liquor store (which is unusual, normally you can just by beer and other things in the grocery stores), which specializes in rare alcohol. There was a lot to see, that I don’t even remember all of it! I will definitely go back when my family comes later in the year, so they can see it. Hopefully it won’t be raining and I can get pictures without my camera getting wet!

Now I bet you’re all wondering what a Gâteau des Rois is? It is a very tasty cake that’s what! In Belgium on January 6, they celebrate the Epiphany, which celebrates the visit of the three Kings to the Baby Jesus. For more information you can check out this link We were invited to Adeline and Jean-Go’s mother’s house for dinner and cake, but before we that Adeline had already ordered her own from the local bakery (boulangerie). So now we have extra cake! (Which we actually had for breakfast…..yummm). It is cake on the inside and pastry (like pie crust) on the outside. Somewhere in the cake is baked an item (ranging from a bean to a plastic king! *except that plastic would melt, so of course it’s not plastic*) and whoever  gets the piece with the surprise wears a paper crown and is King for the day (or at least of the rest of the night). In Belgium, to make sure that the distribution of cake pieces and possibility of getting the special one is fair, they have a tradition of having the youngest member in attendance go underneath the table and calls out the names of the people around the table. At first Bastien wouldn’t come over so Jean-Go said that I would have to do it! (although they weren’t going to make me climb under the table) But, Bastien came over eventually. He wouldn’t go under the table though, so he just stood next to Adeline and said who should get each piece. Alas, I did not receive the special piece, it was Adeline’s Grandma who did. I would like to get a recipe for making this cake. It was very good! And you don’t even need icing.

January 7, 2011

I hope you all have enjoyed this post and maybe next January when I’m home I can make my own King’s Cake!

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