As of 9 September I’ll be 26 and museums in Antwerp will go from being 1€ to 8€. So now every Tuesday and Sunday until my birthday I’ll be visiting at least one museum. Today is The Rubens House!
This week has actually felt like it is really Summer here in Antwerp. What better way to celebrate than with Vietnamese Summer rolls? Sunday is always my day off, so I took advantage of the sunshine and visited China Town. Although it’s called China Town, maybe Little Asia is a better name because they sell food from all Asian countries, including Vietnam. It’s also the only recognized China Town in Belgium!
China Town is located close to the Central Station and the Koningin Astridplein. I passed the fair on my way. There always seems to be a fair somewhere in Antwerp.
The 21st of July is the Nationale Feestdag van België. The south of the Netherlands proclaimed independence to form the Kingdom of Belgium (the official name) on the 25th of August 1830. This was the start of the Belgian Revolution, which ended on the 14th of July 1831. Leopold I became the first king of Belgium the 21st of July 1831, and every year on this day everyone celebrates in Belgium.
But because the 21st was on a Saturday this year, I went to the Netherlands to spend the weekend (it’s rare that I have 2 days off in a row!). Koen and I had a relaxing time in Roosendaal, enjoying good wine (from Grand Vin, of course), food, and weather.
Friday the 20th
A few nights ago Koen made Thai shrimp green curry for dinner. Thai food is all about the balance of flavors: sweet (coconut milk and brown sugar), sour (lime), spicy (red chili peppers and garlic), and salty (fish sauce). Of course we added a lot of cilantro!
I have fond memories of my Grandpa’s fried okra, and as a Southern girl, the only way I wanted to prepare my okra was to fry it! So tonight I made a Southern dinner for Koen and me: BBQ porkchops, fried okra, and mashed potatoes. I also feel it’s worth noting that I used American barbeque sauce (Sticky Fingers’ Habanero Hot, my favorite, that my mother brought me in April). If you buy barbeque sauce here, whether as a sauce or even as a chip flavor, it tastes completely different – and to me, not nearly as delicious!
Last week I got together with a few friends to enjoy the weather. Lately in Antwerp we’ve actually been able to see the sun! We decided to go for drinks in the south of Antwerp at Café Zurich. The carnival was also going on, so we had an interesting view haha.
A few nights ago Koen and I had Cobb salad for dinner. Cobb salads are typically American, so I wanted to make it for Koen – plus a lot of his favorite things are in it! In order of the rows I made, from left to right, the ingredients are: avocado, boiled egg, bacon, tomatoes, chicken, and Roquefort, all over mixed greens with a red wine vinaigrette. The salad was a success and in Koen’s top 5 of dinners I’ve ever prepared!