Hendrik de HondJuly 16, 2009
Frits and Regine invited me for dinner the other night. They offered to pick me up before dinner and drop me off at our home afterwards. Frits lives in Leiden and has Peugot cabrio and, because it was a beautiful day, we drove with the roof open. Luckily for me Monling had suggested to bring a scarf because the wind was cold.
They invited me for a typical Italian dish: Risotto. I asked Frits on the way over whether or not he had bought all the ingredients for risotto and he answered “Not yet but I have most of them”. Ever since my speech at their wedding in which I compared Frits’ character with the stages in the recipe for risotto am I called “Mr. Risotto” I knew what to buy.
First we went to their home.Upon arrival I went straight in to admire their (young) dog: the French Bulldog you can see in the picture above. He’s called “Hendrik the dog”. They keep him in pens outside, inside or in their bedroom. He is so lovely. They bought lots of toys for him but “Hendrik de dog” is most interested in a toy called “Gumba” or something like that. He is so lovely (or did I say that already?).
When I was about 16 years old, we also used to have dog. A black Labrador called “Kevin of the Keep”. But once I married with Monling she transformed me into cat lover. She managed to even transform my dad into a cat lover even though he used to throw all kinds of things to cats. So much influence my dear wife has :-).
After a while we went to the supermarket and bought there everything we needed: a yellow and green paprika (pepper), some mushrooms (champions), a green zucchini, butter, etc. When we finally got home Frits carried a big bag of shopping into the house.
He put a chair (with pillows) in their kitchen and started to do what I was saying: put the “broth cube” (I really don’t know how to say “bouillon blokje” or is it “vegetable beef-tea cube”?), add the finely chopped garlic and onions, add rice (real risotto rice) and so on. When we were finished 25-30 minutes later we could enjoy a perfectly cooked vegetarian risotto with yellow peppers and zucchini.
Afterwards we had some truffle cheeses that Bas and Marcus had brought me from Italy. A truffle cheese called “Crutin with Black Truffle” from Beppino Occelli and a truffle cheese from “Caseificio facchini Walter” Sigillo Loc (Parco del monte cucco in Umbrie). The first cheese is still on the menu of the restaurant “Cantina della Vetra” in Milano. They were both delicious.
Thanks to Marcus and Bas for the cheeses, thanks to Frits and Regine for the invitation to see your “Hendrik” and have dinner with you!