Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tag Team Expat Kitchens

I have teamed up with 3 other expat bloggers who will also show you their European kitchens. 

When I first moved here we had a very tiny kitchen ... here you can see the most of it.  Not seen in this picture was the washing machine, door to the backyard and the door to the shower-room (yes we had a perfectly planned out house - hear my sarcasm).

Notice the small beer fridge (bottom left) - this required almost daily visits to the grocery store (which is very normal in Holland).  Above my fridge is our potable gas stove top where only three of the four burners worked.  This type of stove tops are also very normal here.  At the end of the kitchen is my big microwave that also doubled as an convection oven and under that my dryer that died with in a few years.
This small kitchen suited us fine at the time.  We didn't have much money, any extra money we did have went into vacation trips to Canada. 
One thing that bothered me the most was that I love to BBQ but BBQ's here cost a lot of money and we just could not afford anything big or with quality.  We would buy a BBQ use it almost daily and have to buy another "affordable" one a year later.

Luckily we were able to find a good deal on a bigger good quality one at a time when we were both making more money to buy our selves a much deserved big BBQ so now we are cooking on a not so typical Dutch BBQ.

As you saw our fridge was also very small - what we would call a beer fridge in Canada (just the right size to keep some beer in). One year we got a good tax return back and decided it was time to get a decent size fridge which I will give you a tour of.

(when I speak of Lidl - I am talking about our grocery store).  This was before doing our weekend groceries so usually my fridge is much more fully stocked. 

Over the years my cooking appliances also got an upgrade and now we are cooking with fire and electricity...

Another appliance I could not live with out is my coffee maker.  It's a little different than the ones I have seen back in Canada so I will also let you see how it works.

The only thing that has really downsized over the year is my counter top.  I liked my old one much better.  This one came with this house and we have not yet gotten around to replacing it with something else that we prefer.  This is my whole kitchen work area (still very small but my kitchen area is much larger).
(close up of the counter top)

What is typically found in the Dutch kitchen this time of the year is a bouquet of flowers.  Flowers are crazily cheap here which makes it irresistible for me to buy a bouquet to bring a bit or spring in side.

Please go see what are in my other blogger expat friends kitchens

Sonya - An American living in the Netherland

Rena - An American living in Germany

Lytha - An American living in Germany


American Cloggie said...

How fun! What a really great post idea :)

Sonya said...

We have the same counter tops and I also had that portable little stove when we first moved here! LOL I am so JEALOUS of your stove and oven! love it..I also want your Tony Roma BBQ..Im serious about that..LOL

Loved your kitchen!!!

Candee said...

LOL Sonya - am I going to have to check your bags before you leave next visit?
I'll see what I can do about getting you some Roma's but I can't promise anything ;-)

Sonya said...

I'm gonna stuff one down my kids pants..LOL I could also hear your canadian accent..tee hee.

Frau said...

love your kitchen, I would kill for your stove. Mine is like an easy bake oven only not pink!

lytha said...

wow, from looking inside your fridge i am amazed. first of all - hellmans mayo (best foods) ---where in europe can i get this? holland? ok, i'm there! i cannot live without it, and yet somehow i've tried.

bbq . i am waiting for the day when real propane bbqs become available in germany. you know, with the huge grilling area, top shelf for buns, and a side burner for a pan of something. i am a serious bbq person myself, and i am in a very bad place here.

back in seattle i had this killer bbq and used it constantly (in the rain) and i had to sell it on my last visit home. my heart was breaking as they drove off with it.

all those tony romas sauces, you got them in canada, right? cuz i'm forever on the hunt for good sauce here. i am so woefully disappointed by the typical bbq sauce sold here.

teriyaki sauce? is that from canada too? that is another must have for me that i have not found here in europe.

pourable yogurt - i found pourable pudding was awesome!

i think the germans are pretty good at the dairy stuff. cheese, etc. i'm in love with the "holland" cheese that to me tastes and looks just like swiss. but i was sure thrilled to find cheddar at the british week at lidl!

we have the same english muffins, i love those things. i have no idea what the germans call them.

those mini pancakes you have are great, i bought them once.

your fridge seems to have a section for pop - cool.

you mentioned a mustard/mayo mix sauce. we used to call that "may-moo" back home, isn't that what they use on big macs?

it seems like you have more available to you, or it just could be that you are a smarter shopper - i'm new here. but holland is not that far away, and i will go there for my mayo! a 3 hour drive is nothing for good mayo.

oh, and i love your counters and i think we have the same exact under-cupboard lights!

one more thing - i love your accent!


Candee said...

Frau - I totally hear ya! I had one too and finally told my husband that if he doesn't get me a big girls stove and oven then I won't be cooking him any big man's meal!

Lytha - yes I bought the Hellmans here in Holland at the "Jumbo" Supermarket. I assume they have it at all supermarkets but I have only been at two and know that they stock their stores (in Deventer and Zutphen).
The Teriyaki honey wok sauce I bought at one of the grocery stores here too - I believe it was Albert Hein May have been Jumbo.

The Tony Roma does come from Canada.

Are there no BBQ's in Germany? You might have to do some shopping in the Netherlands for that too! There is a decent selection at most garden stores and a smaller selection at do it your self stores here.

My husband suggested we host a BBQ this summer for all my expat friends and expat bloggers. Tony Roma sauces will be served ;-)

lytha said...

i would love to come meet you for a bbq! just pick a date!


Sommer said...

I love your kitchen!

Orangesplaash said...

Coming here I realised the importance of the coffee machine, back in India people are much more into tea! Nice post..