Friday, June 25, 2010

Poffertjes in Amsterdam

DSC01632 poffertjes restaurant


That was the answer when I asked the kids what they were looking forward to when we go to Amsterdam for a few days on our way home from Africa.

We stayed at a hotel on Stadthouderskade across the canal from Leidseplein. Poffertjes are usually sold from street carts in the fall and winter, but as luck would have it, directly across the street was the Poffertjes Restaurant.

DSC00490 poffertje restaurant

I don't know what the connection between carousels and poffertjes are, but many poffertjes stands and restaurants feature carousel decorations.

DSC01508 poffertjes restaurant

DSC01509 poffertjes restaurant

DSC01506 poffertjes

What are poffertjes, you ask? They are tiny pancakes, about the size of sand dollars. If you're familiar with the Danish Æbleskiver, it is similar in size except that Æbleskivers are perfectly spherical. Poffertjes are flatter, cooked on a special shallowly-dimpled griddle. This one looks like it's been in service for a very long time.

DSC00497 pofferty griddle

DSC01634 poffertjes flipped

Once they are browned on both sides the poffertjes are ready to serve, one dozen at a time...

DSC01636 plating poffertjes

...with a tiny pat of butter, a small dash of powdered sugar, and just a tad of whipped cream. The strawberries clearly make this a health food.

DSC01637 poffertjes

The only way to eat them is with reckless abandon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Macro Monday - Matilija Poppies

IMG_2043_1982 Matilija Poppies with buds

The genusRomneya bears the largest blossoms in the poppy family. Its showy flowers, up to 5 inches (13 cm) across, are the largest of any plant native to California. Its common name is Matilija poppy, pronounced either ma-TIL-i-ha or ma-til-EE-ha. Growing to a height of eight feet (2.5 meter), it is no surprise that this tall poppy is also known as the Tree Poppy and dubbed the Queen of the Wildflowers.

The Matilija poppy is a native of Southern California and Northern Mexico. It is a great choice for drought tolerant landscaping because, once established, it requires no additional water. The largest stand of Matilijas I have ever seen grows a few miles south of Palo Alto, along Highway 280. Sorry, no photos - it wouldn't be safe to take pictures while driving and there's no place to pull over.

I found these in full bloom next to Genencor's parking lot in Palo Alto.

IMG_2039_1978 Matalija Poppies

IMG_1950 Matilija Poppy

Each flower has a circular cluster of bright yellow stamens surrounded by pure white petals, evoking the image of fried eggs sunny-side up.

IMG_1953 Matilija Poppy

The blossoms are perched on tall spires that like to dance in the breeze. I had to stand on my tippy toes, hold my breath, and wait for a lull in the breeze to take the close-ups of the blooms.

IMG_1951 Matalija poppies

I wanted to show how their delicate ruffled petals look just like crepe paper.

IMG_1951 Matilija Poppy

The Romneya genus was named for Rev. John T. Romney Robinson, an Irish astronomer of the early 1800's. The Matalija poppy may have been named after Chief Matalija who lived in Ventura County. To read a folk legend about him and his daughter, click here.

For more Macro Monday images, visit Lisa at Lisa's Chaos.

Other sources
Map - Jepson Flora Project
CalFlora for information on wild California plants
Jepson Flora Project at University of California, Berkeley

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

IMG_2175_2013 Father's Day Gift

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is "soap-on-a-rope."
-- Bill Cosby
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