At Oom Anton and Tante Simone's on Christmas Eve.
At Christmas, the Dutch "go gourmet." I feel a little embarrassed posting this here, but we actually had two Christmas dinners; one with Oom Anton's family on Christmas Eve, and one with Oom Leo and family on 2nd Christmas Day (Boxing Day). What can I say? My family is good at feeding people.
In the middle of the table, there is a grill, and everyone is able to choose and roast their own pieces of meat and vegetables from a great variety. There is french bread and herbed cheese. Everything is delicious. The best sort of slow food, and very interesting for the children.
Cousins. Baby L is the same age as KE; 6 months. I had always thought my baby was big for his age, but L was bigger, so I'm guessing they're both about normal.
I was saying this to Oma one day, and she said, "Comparing babies. I used to do that. But by the time they're two, they're all at the same place - walking, talking, they have their teeth. We really shouldn't do it."
Waste of time, I guess!
Oom Leo's dinner, held at my cousin Petra's, finished early, so we had lots of time to talk and play. The children played in the ball pit (I know! Who has a ball pit!?), while we set up an everlasting game of Parcheesi. It wouldn't have taken so long, but we refused to look up the rules.
"When Kevin plays a game," I revealed, "he gets the rules, and when someone does something questionable - say, money when you land on free parking - he reads them to everyone!"
My cousins were appropriately horrified, and agreed that it would be best to hide them when he wanted to play.
He didn't play, though; he was deep in discussion with Arjan, trying to figure out the difference between Reformatjie and Hervormde. I'm sure I didn't spell those right, by if you can figure it out, and you know the answer, please comment!
They sit down to play this. How civilized!
We asked about turkey. "You cannot buy a whole bird here," said Oom Leo. "In your grandmother's time, yes. She had a special pan - "
"A roasting pan?"
"Yes; really big; you could cook the whole bird."