Monday March 24, 2014: Our weekend in photo’s

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We have had a lovely weekend away. I’m going to show it to you through photo’s.

Our house for the weekend and how it looks like on the inside

Saturday morning we visited two towns nearby, one had a little flee market and the other had a food market. There was a nice church in one of the towns. It was raining a bit in the morning and I didn’t take many photo’s.

In the afternoon it was dry and I took Bella for a walk around a lake. We met this little fellow:

Sunday morning we went for another walk to a little town close to the park where we were staying. R. can’t walk much because of an injury in the past but he went with us on this walk. The walk on Saturday he stayed in the house.

This town is famous because it’s called the book city. All the shops were closed but most of them had books outside. If you wanted to have one you just had to leave the money in the mailbox and you could take the book.

I have a question for my American friends because I’m curious. There’s a nuclear top held in my country today and tomorrow where most of the world leaders are present. This morning your president, Mr. Obama arrived in the Netherlands. It’s all over the news here because for us it’s special that this top is held here and that the American president is here. This morning he visited the “Rijksmuseum” where the famous nightwatch by Rembrandt hangs. He gave a press conference in front of it saying it was the most special place he ever gave a press conference. My question is: did you know he is here in Holland or is it just on the news here?

I’m behind on reading your blogs but I’ll catch up this week.

Photo a day challenge:

March 17: Today’s weather
Grey and cloudy.

March 18: Five years ago.
Five years ago, on March 30 to be exact, I went out for my first run ever. No one (including me) expected back then that I would still be running today since I have tried so many sports. But, even though I have ups and downs, I still love running after 5 years.

March 19: Cropped.

March 20: Letter.
A L made by the blades of our mill.

March 21: Full.
A field full of crocusses in the background.

March 22: Morning.
Exploring a litte flee market.

March 23: I’m loving.
Going for walks and explore new parts of my country.

March 24: One of kind.
I think everyone says that about their pet but Bella is one of a kind to us.

Thursday March 20, 2014: Running in daylight

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Our weekend has started. We both took a vacation day tomorrow and Monday because we are going away for the weekend. I booked a bungalow at a park in Winterswijk, a little of an hour drive from home. We have never been in this part of the country but it is supposed to be very pretty. We leave tomorrow afternoon and come home Monday morning. Of course Bella is coming too. The weather forecast isn’t too pretty but as long as it’s dry it’s okay. Of course I’ll share some photo’s next week.

Q&A from my last post:

Debby and Biz both asked about the mushrooms in the Beebox. Debby the white things in the black box are mushrooms and Biz I don’t really know what kind they are. I’ve had them before, they say they are seasonal mushrooms, and they taste very well.

Andrea asked if I sometimes see the same people on my various walks: no never. I have never seen someone twice on a walk. The trails I am walking are all over the country so that is logical I don’t see the same people. The organized walks are closer to home but never met someone twice there either.


Tuesday: Tapout XT Plyo

I think this program may be one of the hardest I have. I didn’t do the full workout (it’s 52 minutes) and I did the exercises on my own pace. Otherwise I would have kept up but in the wrong form. I’m pretty out of shape because I haven’t exercised regularly in months but I keep on trying these workouts, in the end it will go better.
Total time: 21 minutes.

Wednesday: Running

I was a bit late before I went out for my run and decided to do 3.2K (2 miles). I had no plan when I was going to walk and just would see how it would go. I ended up walking just once around 2K. It was a great run and the best part …. I CAME HOME AT DAYLIGHT!

Finally! It was still a bit dark when I started but during the run it got lighter and lighter and by the time I got home I didn’t need my lights anymore. So happy about this! Sure, in 2 weeks when we will have daylight savings it will be dark again for 2 weeks but for now: I’ll take it. No more running in the dark dressed as a Christmas tree for the next 6 monts!

Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:23:23
Weather: dry, not much wind, 9C (48 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: John Fogerty – Rockin’ all over the world

365 Days In Nature:

March 12: Last one from Saturday’s walk.

March 13: No, we don’t want to pose for you …

March 14: At the beach.

March 15.

March 16.

March 17: Flower Monday.

March 18.

March 20.




Tuesday March 4, 2014: I finally did it, I ran 5K

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Sunday R. and I went out for dinner with a Groupon deal 2 for the price of 1. We have been at this restaurant before. The food is great but the interior is great too. Part of the restaurant is like a library and we are always lucky to get a seat at one of the tables in that part of the restaurant.

Voice is still not good. I think it’s some kind of virus on my vocal cords. My lung capacity isn’t very well either. Lori, I know you are worried but don’t be, I’m just waiting another week to see if it gets better. I promise I will see a doctor next week if it’s still the same.


Tuesday: Running

I did it! I ran 5K today.

It didn’t matter I walked for a minute after every 2 songs. It didn’t matter I have a lower lung capacity at the moment. I didn’t matter it was the slowest 5K I have ever ran.

What matters is that I did it!

From here on I can work towards running without walking and getting slower. But after such a crappy year, just doing a 5K was a big achievement today.

Distance: 5.1 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:38:43
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 2C (35 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama.

Photo a day challenge:

As of the first of this month I’m also posting my photo a day on my Facebook page. So you might have seen them already but since not all my blog readers are FB friends, I am still posting it here too.

February 26: Light.
Taken July last year.

February 27: My view today.
Pretty boring because I was at work.

February 28: Reflection.

March 1: Yellow.
Of course this had to be Spring flowers.

March 2: Something borrowed.
I don’t borrow things so I use a very free interpretation of this prompt. I borrowed this little guy’s permission to take his photo.

March 3: My name is …. Franciska.
Female for “Franciscus” meaning Frenchman; coming from the holy Franciscus from Assisi. His birth name was Giovanni but after his father took a business trip to France, he started calling him Franciscus. So my name means “French girl”. The photo is the cathedral of Assisi that we visited in 2009 and where the holy Franciscus is laid to rest.

It’s funny that I never knew this after I looked up for today’s prompt what my name means. Of course it’s not why my parents gave me this name, I was named after my grandfather.

March 4: On my mind.
Thinking about articles today  for the next issue of our intercompany magazine of which I am the editor.


Sunday March 2

Carpaccio, followed by something with goat cheese, steak with stroganoff and crème brulee for dessert.


Monday March 3

T-bone steak, baked potatoes, grilled zucchini.

Tuesday March 4

Oven dish of chicory, mashed potatoes, ham and cheese.

Thursday February 13, 2014: Weekend!

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It’s amazing how many medals our Dutch skaters are winning at the Olympics. We already have won more medals than ever before and it isn’t over yet. They are really great athletes, all of them.

My weekend has started. Tomorrow my friend T. is coming over for her birthday dinner. As you might remember: we cook for each other as a birthday gift.

Saturday morning I have a 10K walk planned in a town that’s a 15 minute drive from here. Right now the forecast is that it will be dry in the morning so if it stays that way we will go.

I’m waiting for a message from K. Her little baby boy should have been born already but I guess he’s comfortable in his mommy’s belly. But it should happen any day now.


Thursday: Jillan Michaels Killers Buns & Thighs, level 1

Workout for the buns & thighs, 30 minutes (without the warm up and stretching) of 3 circuits, every move in a circuit was repeated. I could keep up with the exercises although I did the beginner version if that was available. Good workout.
Total time: 40 minutes.

365 Days In Nature:

February 8

February 9: Wanted to find some color on a cold, cloudy, windy day and I did.

February 10: I’ve been looking for flowers/color again today and found these, actually pretty close to home too.

February 11: This is what happens if you bring some bread at your walk :)

February 12: Sheep.

February 13: Bought 2 azalea’s last weekend to bring some colour in my living room.


Wednesday February 12


Noodles with pork, vegetables and Chinese herbs.

Thursday February 13

Sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and sausage (forgot to take a photo).

Tuesday January 7, 2014: Wish balloon

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We never buy fireworks for New Year’s Eve but I do have wish balloons for special occasions. But you can only light them when it’s dry and there’s not too much wind. It was raining on New Year’s Eve so we let it up in the sky on Saturday evening. R. forgot to make a wish but I didn’t. It went up in the air very high and we could see it for a long time high in the sky.

I had to go back to the hospital today for my results. As we say in Holland “niks, noppes, nada” meaning: nothing! This is good of course because it means I’m healthy. They could find absolutely nothing. We could do further research which would mean a day in the hospital for a bowel examination. But the doctor didn’t expect to find something then because nothing points in that direction. Since it’s a very unpleasant examination we agreed that I will take medication for the soft defecation and watch my food intake (meaning eat as healthy as possible). If my symptoms are still here after 2 or 3 months, we can always do the examination.

Am I disappointed? No, actually not. I was pretty certain the results would be negative again. I’ve come to peace with it. I’m not sick, I just have difficult bowel motion. It all points to an irritated bowel syndrome and there’s not much to do about it except eat healthy, exercise and get enough rest. For the moment I just leave it at this and hope the medication will help and it will get better. Apparently this is how my body works at this point in my life.


Sunday: Running

A perfect morning for a run: not too much wind and sunshine. I had to run 15 minutes twice and, it might sound weird, I knew I was going to make it. I had no doubt this time which I did have at other runs of this program. And I did make it. At the moment I’m slow but I don’t care. All that matters is getting to a 5K without walking, after that I can work on speed. It was a good run!

Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles
Time: 00:33:15
Running: 15-15 minutes (2 minutes of walking)
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 5C (11 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Pet Shop Boys – Go West

Photo a day challenge:

January 3: My town.

January 4: Words To Live By.
I actually don’t have words to live by but when I saw these glasses in the store I knew they described me: I’m a calm person, positive and love life.

January 5: Found.
Found Pinocchio during Saturday’s walk

January 6: Happens Everyday.
Go for a walk with Bella.

January 7: Upside Down.
My friend T’s daughter was willing to help out on today’s prompt.


Saturday January 4

Lunch: Celeriac-leek soup.

Dinner: Steak tartare with sesame seed, stir-fried pak choi cabbage with mushrooms.

Sunday January 5

Beef stew with mashed pumpkin-parsley.

Monday January 6

Green bean fantasy: green beans, sweet potato, bacon, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, almonds and cinnamon.

Tuseday January 7


First cookbook I used this year. I made lemon-garlic-honey chicken that I baked in the oven. We had baked potatoes and carrots/green peas with it.

Friday January 3, 2014: Happy 2014!

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We stayed at home New Years Eve like we have been doing for the past 3 years. We always went to friends but that always resulted in staying up way too late and have a hangover the next day. Besides that Bella isn´t really afraid of fireworks but she´s restless all day and evening and we rather stay home. It turns out we love it. I always have fingerfood on the table the whole evening, we put on the fire and just have a relaxing night at home. We both don´t really care about this evening and don´t really need to celebrate.

Happy New Year to all of you. Are you all glad that the new year has started and life is back to normal? It’s not totally normal for me because this is my last vacation day. Normal regular life starts on Monday and I can’t say I’m sad about that. I saw some of you have lots of snow now. I’m lucky, we hare having a very mild winter so far and there’s no sign right now that it’s going to get cold or that we get snow. For me it can stay this way all winter.

This is a long post because I have to catch up on the Photo a day challenge that I didn’t post on my Tuesday post. But no worries: lots of pics today :)

Beebox content week 1:

Apple-strawberry juice, apples, pears, eggs, beef, bacon, rocket salad, parsnip, pumpkin, mushrooms, pak choi cabbage, onions, celeriac.


Tuesday: Running

What else to close the year than to go for a run. I want to run on the last year of 2013 to close the worst year in running I had since I started in 2009. It wasn’t pretty but I did it. I kept scrolling through my Ipod for motivational songs like “The final countdown” (since it was the last day of the year), “The logical song” (running is logic, just put one foot in front of the other) (Supertramp), “No Surrender” (Bruce) at the part that was the most difficult, “The Edge of Glory” by Gaga and I finished with “Glory Days” by Bruce, hopeful for glory running days to come in 2014.

Distance: 5 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:36:44
Running: 8-8-8-8 minutes.
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 5C (11 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Bruce Spingsteen – Glory Days

Wednesday: Running

Where I closed the year with a run, I started the new year with a run too. I didn’t watch my pace because my running intervals are getting longer now. Finishing the intervals is more important than the speed. I completed this run too which was a bit easier than the one on Tuesday.

Distance: 5 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:37:01
Running: 10-10-12 minutes.
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 5C (11 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: The Doobie Brothers – What a fool believes

Photo a day challenge:

December 24: Wrapped
The historic boats called “botter” in my village are wrapped for Winter.

December 25: Best bit of your day
Spending Christmas with R., my Mom and Bella.

December 26: Where you slept
In my own bed at home.

December 27: What you’re doing now
Grocery shopping.

December 28: Something awesome.
I find trees awesome, especially the majestic ones.

December 29: Reflect, best bit of 2013.
There are many highlights in 2013, it was a good year. But for me the best bit is that I started doing long (organized) walks with my dog. We do 10K (6 miles) on these walks. It’s my best bit because I found out I love doing these long walks, so does Bella, and I see so many beautiful parts of my country.

December 30: You.

December 31: Celebrate.
Since I started running back in 2009 this has been my worst running year. Today I celebrated that, even though it was such a bad running year, I never gave up and I did that with a run. I look forward to a better running year in 2014.

January 1: Lunch.
This was on the table at my Mom’s house during lunch time. Typical Dutch treat on New Year: “oliebollen and appelflappen”. I didn’t have any however, haven’t had lunch at all today.

January 2: Begins with G.
Greylag Goose.

365 Days In Nature:

December 27: The weather was crap! Not a dry moment all day, couldn’t find anything interesting to photograph this day.

December 28: Winterwandeling Zeist.

December 29: Another photo from the walk in Zeist on Saturday.

December 30: Met the swan family again.

December 31: Beautiful sunrise on my last run of the year.

January 1: The sky during my first run of 2014.

January 2: It was raining and all of the sudden it stopped, the sun came out and off Bella (my dog) and I were for a walk.


Thursday January 2

Sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and sausage.

A year in my life: 2013 edition

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Summary 2013:

  • It’s been a good year for R., Bella and me. No big problems, just a happy life.
  • I didn’t exercise as much as I did in 2012.
  • As for running: this was my worst year since I started running back in 2009. But it’s not all bad because even though it was hard, I had to go back to training for a 5K, I never gave up and that’s positive. I am hopeful that 2014 will be a much better running year.
  • What has been really positive is that I discovered long distance walking with Bella and I can’t tell you again how much we both are enjoying that. I see so many parts of my country that are new to me and I love walking in nature. We will definitely continue this in 2014.

As usual on the last day of the year I give you my stats for the year, the best photo’s of our walks this year and some of my highlights this year.

Thank you my dear friends for your neverending support, your reading of my posts and sharing your own life with me. Although we live so far apart, I consider you definitely as my friends.

I wish you a happy New Year with lots of love, happiness, laughter and doing things you love to do. See you in 2014!


Number and time of workouts in 2012: 198 workouts, total time 111 hours and 12 minutes.
Number and time of workouts in 2013: 144 workouts, total time 71 hours and 34 minutes.

Total km’s/miles in 2012: 485.9 km / 303.6 miles
Total running time: 57 hours 31 minutes

Total km’s/miles in 2013: 351.6 km / 219.7 miles
Total running time 41 hours and 45 minutes

Races 2013:
March 3: Trappenbergloop Huizen, 5K / 3.1 miles, 34 minutes.

Walks with Bella:

2012: 244 walks, 135 hours and 35 minutes, 631.33 K / 394.6 miles
2013: 252 walks, 176 hours and 33 minutes, 887.33 K / 554.6 miles

Long walks:

May 25: Rondje Spakenburg, 8.26 K / 5.1 miles, 1 hour 33 minutes.

June 16: Weide Natuurwandeling Vinkeveen, 13.38 K / 8.36 miles, 2 hours 37 minutes.

July 6: Recreatietocht Utrecht, 10.77 K / 6.73 K, 1 hour 57 minutes.

August 13: Utrechtpad (Utrecht-Bunnik), 12.87 K / 8 miles, 2 hours 31 minutes.

August 24: Heidetocht Ede, 11.54 K / 7.2 miles, 2 hours 15 minutes.

September 7: Baarn & De Vuursche, 10.02 K / 6.2 miles, 1 hour 54 minutes.

September 28: Najaarstocht Soest, 11.85 K / 7.4 miles, 2 hours 8 minutes.

October 6: Herfstboswandeling Austerlitz, 5.96 K / 3.7 miles, 1 hour 5 minutes.

October 20: Herfstwandeling Leusden, 8.2 K / 5.1 miles, 1 hour 38 minutes.

November 2: Kootwijkerduin- en Veentocht, 11.36 K / 7.1 miles, 2 hours 12 minutes.

November 16: Winterwandeling Naarden, 11.92 K / 7.4 miles, 2 hours 7 minutes.

November 30: Pepernotenwandeling Leusden, 13.47 K / 8.4 miles, 2 hours 31 minutes.

December 28: Winterwandeling Zeist, 11.52K/7.2 miles, 2 hours 8 minutes.

10 years at my company

Weekend away to Rockanje

Birthday dinner for my friend T.


Happy Bella

We saw Bruce again in concert

At the wedding of a colleague

Dinner with colleagues

Dinner date with my friend K.

A day at the races

Vacation has started

Biking day



Christmas lunch

Friends forever

Friday December 27, 2013: Christmas 2013 in pictures

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We started Christmas with our traditional breakfast

I took a walk with Bella, it was a pretty day.

Spent time in the kitchen cooking

Bella’s favorite person (after us of course) came and had a treat for her

We had scones with mascarpone and strawberry jelly with afternoon tea. The scones failed (first time I made them) but tasted delicious despite that.

With my Mom

Our little family (crappy photo, my Mom isn’t the best photographer :) )

No Christmas without a fire

Boxing day we took a walk at the park at “Kasteel Groeneveld”


Tuesday: Running

There was a storm but it was dry and I decided to go for my morning run. I love running with wind but even I have to say: this was a tough one. My Garmin gives stats of the weather when I run in daylight and it says the wind was 40 K/hour (25 miles/hour). When I was running agains it, I almost stood still at times. When I had it on my sight I had to watch I wasn’t blown of the road. But when I had it in my back: AWESOME! Felt like I was flying. I usually have a pace of 6:30 to 7:00 minutes per K but at one point I let the wind pick me up and I couldn’t almost keep up with my own feet. I was looking at my Garmin and came close to a 5:00 minute per K at one point. Awesome run even though it was a slow one because of the wind.

Distance: 4.3 K / 2.7 miles
Time: 00:32:07
Running: 5-6-7-8 minutes.
Weather: dry, storm, 11C (51 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: P!nk – Runaway

365 Days In Nature:

December 21: A cold, grey, rainy day. Even the ducks are cold.

December 22: Windy but pretty day.

December 23

December 24: Storm, we went to the little sea in our village to feel the wind which we both love.

December 25: Pretty nice weather on Christmas day.

December 26: Walk at “Kasteel Groeneveld” in Baarn.


Monday December 23

Beef meat, cooked potatoes, red cabbage with apple.

Tuesday December 24


Rib-eye steak, baked potatoes, stir-fry with Brussels sprouts, savoy cabbage and leek.

Wednesday December 25

Christmas dinner:

Starter: Mushrooms with toast.

Main: Deer steak with port sauce with cherries. Potatoes with herbs out of the oven. Mashed potato-celeriac with mushrooms. Brussels sprouts with bacon. Stewed pears.

Dessert: Cream from whipped cream with lemon curd with some Greek yogurt and brown sugar on top.

Thursday December 26

Breakfast: Blueberry pancakes

Dinner: table grilling




Friday December 20, 2013: Christmas lunch

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My vacation officially started yesterday. I won’t have to go back to work until Monday January 6. I don’t have plans just relax, exercise/run and walk with Bella.

I went back to work today for the yearly Christmas lunch. It’s always so much fun that I don’t mind going back. As you can see I’m wearing the new blouse/top I bought 2 weeks ago.

The guy on the right is my new manager that I work for since September, he’s a great guy. I had to laugh when I saw the photo that one of my colleagues photobombed it behind us.

Beebox content week 51:

Apple juice, apples, pears, eggs, rib-eye steak, red cabbage, celeriac, leek, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, savoy cabbage, onion, beef meat, chicory, salad.

365 Days In Nature:

December 14: In my village.

December 15: The start of “bird week”

December 16: Swans

December 17: More birds

December 18: From the archives, took this on one of our walks in September.

December 19

December 20: Such a beautiful Winter day.

Friday November 22, 2013: Mishmash

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Today it’s R’s birthday which means we will have the same age for the next 6 months. Did you know we were both born in 1968 and exactly 6 months after each other? I was born on May 22 and he on November 22. We don’t celebrate our birthday for the past couple of years, instead we always go out for dinner together. I bought another Groupon (2 for the price of 1) for the same restaurant where we went on my birthday. We will get 2 appetizers followed by a 7 course dinner.
Sunday morning my Mom and my MIL will come over for coffee and pastry to congratulate him, but that’s all we do.

I will get a different Beebox as of next week. They have a new one: the low carb box. Now I’m not eating low carb but I like the content of this box more. It has the same fruits and veggies in it but I now get a bread and often potatoes every week. In the other box that is replaced with eggs, cheese and meat for 1 dinner every week.

After my footpain earlier this week (which is over now) I decided to buy good walking shoes yesterday. I had already planned this but at the end of this year. I bought them now because I think my cheaper walking shoes caused the pain. I will use those for the shorter walks with Bella on weekdays. The new ones I will use at the long walks.

And we finally bought a new freezer this morning. My freezer broke down about 6 weeks ago and R. couldn’t fix it. This is not something I like to go shopping for but I started missing it more and more. I often have leftovers that I had to throw away because I couldn’t put it in the freezer. I have a little one above my refrigerator but we use that to store bread and meat for the coming week.

Beebox content week 47:

Pears, spelt bread, apple/strawberry juice, apples, garlic, broccoli, rocket salad, pumpkin, Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, shanghai pakchoi, sauerkraut, leek and potatoes.


Wednesday: Running

My foot hurted when I got out of bed and I thought about not going. But decided to go and give it a try and I have to admit it went pretty well, my foot wasn’t bothering me during the run. I had to cut it a bit short because I miscalculated the route and was back home before I was done.

Distance: 3.9 K / 2.4 miles
Time: 00:29:04
Running: 2-3-5-5-5 minutes.
Paces: 6:28 – 6:12 – 6:27 – 6:32 – 7:14
Weather: dry, not much wind, 0C (32 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Wet Wet Wet – Sweet Surrender

Friday: Running

My 2-weekly day off so I could run in daylight. But it was raining a little bit but not hard enough that it bothered me. It was cloudy and pretty cold but perfect running weather. The run itself was okay, the last 2 parts were pretty hard for me.

Distance: 4.4 K / 2.7 miles
Time: 00:31:21
Running: 2-3-6-6-7 minutes.
Paces: 6:16 – 6:32 – 6:27 – 6:33 – 6:41
Weather: rain (drizzling), not much wind, 3C (37 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Elvis Presley – Suspicious minds


Wednesday November 20

Recipe from one of my cooking magazines: Mexican ovendish. This was very good and I’m going to make it again someday.

Thursday November 21

“Boerenkoolstamppot”: kale with mashed potatoes with a sausage.