Prepare Your own Thai Curry Paste

Food is one of the subjects next to photography to continue with this blog.

Recently I got Thai Food infected by a very enthousiast niece who did an Internship in Bangkok for 6 months and loves Thai food. So I bought the Dutch translation of Thai Food and Cooking by Judy Bastyra and Becky Johnson.

A US reviewer wrote on Amazon:

This lovely book is artfully produced, with 2-3 attractive photographs per recipe, both of the food prep and the finished product.

This isn’t just a cookbook. It is a primer on Thai history, cooking techniques, ingredients, equipment, and more, with over 60 non-recipe pages.

The recipes are given both in metric and US measurements. For example: 900 ml / 1 1/2 pints / 3 3/4 cups vegetable stock.

The recipes are explained with clarity, so that even if one is unfamiliar with the dish, it’s easy to follow the instructions.

This book will help you produce beautiful, interesting, simple, delicious Thai meals.

I tried a recipe for a red Curry with shrimps and tempeh using a ready made red curry paste from an asian supermarket… Delicious and quickly prepared… Alas the book has no recipes to make your own paste. According to some people you should taste your own home made Thai curry paste. So I did some online research.

Just want to share the blog from Char, called Woks and Skillets, with 3 easy to make Thai Curry pasts:

  1. Thai Red Curry Paste
  2. Thai Yellow Curry Paste, and
  3. Thai Green Curry Paste

Enjoy!

2021 Mille Miglia

The 2021 Mille Miglia was postponed to Juni 2021. I was able to take photo’s of it for the fourth time and on two days. One while the cars passed Arezzo in the thrird leg an the next day, when the car passed Monza.

On Flickr there is an album growing 2021 Mille Miglia

After my first Mille Miglia experience, the 2017 version, that I watched when the contenders passed the Furlo Pass, a pass in the Via Flaminia where under Vespianus they already dug a tunnel for the road, I got realy hooked . See my first 2017 Mille Miglia Flickr Album

In 2018 I watched them pass just north of Pesaro when driving to Pesaro. Album on Flickr: 2018 Mille Miglia

In 2019 I watched them pass Corinaldo. Probably the most beautiful Borgo (little City) of the Marche, or maybe the whole of Italy.2019 Mille Miglia (Corinaldo)

The photo’s above were taken in Immola of an Arnolt Bertone Bristol Bolide of 1954.

Here co driven by a Dutch Prince, Prince Berhard of Orange, who is a real estate tycone by his own merit and owns the Zandvoort Circuit that will be home to a F1 race this year.

Very apt now that Dutch F1 driver Max Verstappen is number one of the 2021 F1 Driver’s championship.

Dutch Oven


The photo shows a Petromax Dutch oven.

Time to resume blogging here. Covid and other activities have been the cause of slow to non-posting. I want to share a rare phenomenon. Dutch Oven. Quite well know in the USA and in other countries, but not so well known in The Netherlands itself, the country where the Dutch live…

A Dutch oven

(not to be confused with masonry oven) is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Dutch ovens are usually made of seasoned cast iron; however, some Dutch ovens are instead made of cast aluminium, or ceramic.

Some metal varieties are enameled rather than being seasoned, and these are sometimes called French ovens. Dutch ovens have been used as cooking vessels for hundreds of years. They are called casserole dishes in English-speaking countries other than the United States (casserole means “pan” in French), and cocottes in French. They are similar to both the Japanese tetsunabe and the sač, a traditional Balkan cast-iron oven, and are related to the South African potjiekos, the Australian Bedourie oven and Spanish cazuela.

History
Early European history

During the 17th century, brass was the preferred metal for English cookware and domestic utensils, and the Dutch produced it at the lowest cost, which, however, was still expensive. In 1702, Abraham Darby was a partner in the Brass Works Company of Bristol, which made malt mills for breweries. Apparently in 1704, Darby visited the Netherlands, where he studied the Dutch methods of working brass, including the casting of brass pots. Darby learned that when making castings, the Dutch used molds made of sand, rather than the traditional loam and clay, and this innovation produced a finer finish on their brassware. In 1706 he started a new brass mill in the Baptist Mills section of Bristol.[5] There, Darby realized that he could sell more kitchen wares if he could replace brass with a cheaper metal, namely, cast iron. Initial experiments to cast iron in sand molds were unsuccessful, but with the aid of one of his workers, James Thomas, a Welshman, he succeeded in casting iron cookware.[7] In 1707 he obtained a patent for the process of casting iron in sand, which derived from the Dutch process. Thus, the term “Dutch oven” has endured for over 300 years, since at least 1710. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Researching Food History agree that several very different cooking devices were called “Dutch ovens” — a cast-iron pan with legs and a lid; a roughly rectangular box that was open on one side and that was used to roast meats, and a compartment in a brick hearth that was used for baking.

American history

American Dutch ovens changed over time during the colonial era. These changes included a shallower pot, legs to hold the oven above the coals, and a lid flange to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food. Paul Revere is credited with the design of the flat lid with a ridge for holding coals as well as the addition of legs to the pots.[citation needed]

Colonists and settlers valued cast-iron cookware because of its versatility and durability. Cooks used them to boil, bake, stew, fry, and roast. The ovens were so valuable that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor. For example, Mary Ball Washington (mother of President George Washington) specified in her will, dated 20 May 1788, that one-half of her “iron kitchen furniture” should go to her grandson, Fielding Lewis, and the other half to Betty Carter, a granddaughter. This bequest included several Dutch ovens.

Westward-bound settlers took Dutch ovens with them. A Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest between 1804 and 1806. Mormon pioneers who settled the American West also took along their Dutch ovens. In fact, a statue raised to honor the Mormon handcart companies who entered Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in the 1850s proudly displays a Dutch oven hanging from the front of the handcart. The Dutch oven is also the official state cooking pot of Texas, Utah, and Arkansas.

Mountain men exploring the American frontier used Dutch ovens into the late 19th century. Chuckwagons accompanying western cattle drives also carried Dutch ovens from the mid-19th century into the early 20th century.

Dutch history

A Dutch oven, or braadpan, as it is used in the Netherlands today

In the Netherlands, a Dutch oven is called a braadpan, which literally translates to roasting pan. Another name for it is sudderpan, which literally translates to “simmerpan” or “simmering pot”. The design most used today is a black (with blue inside) enameled steel pan that is suitable for gas and induction heating. The model was introduced in 1891 by BK, a well-known Dutch manufacturer of cookware. Cheaper and lighter in weight than cast iron, it proved to be a revolution in the kitchen.[18] A braadpan is mainly used for frying meat only, but it can also be used for making traditional stews, such as hachée. Cast-iron models exist, but are used less frequently.

Source Wikipedia

With the traditional enamelled Steel pans the use of cas iron pans dwindled, however we have enamel coated cast Iron braadpannen as well. Also Creuset a French cast iron pan producer has acquired quite some marketshare in braadpannen in The Netherlands.

A typical Dutch brand is Dru:

Dru itself still exists but now produces gas stoves and fires for homes.

Booking.com claims Dutch Pandemy Subsidy

Dutch origin

As a graduate from Twente University Geert-Jan Bruinsma founded the company as Bookings.nl in Amsterdam in 1996. It has since grown into a multinational with a turnover of 8.5 billion euros and a stock exchange listing in New York City. It employs more than 17,000 people in 198 offices in seventy countries. In Amsterdam, more than 5,500 people work from no fewer than twelve offices; about three-quarters of them are expats. In 2017 Booking.com recorded a net profit of 2.9 billion euros. That is considerably more than other Dutch big companies such as Heineken, Philips and Akzo Nobel.  Every day, the company processes some 1.5 million hotel bookings around the world. For each booking, the hotel owner pays an average commission of between 12 and 18 percent to Booking. The company earns so much money that the former Dutch CEO Mrs Tans quietly grew into one of the highest paid CEOs in the Netherlands.

Mrs Tans has been “promoted” to a fully paid but unclear job in which she works from home. She is succeeded as CEO by a certain Mr Felon who has been parachuted by the current parent company (Fomerly Priceline, recently renamed into Booking Holding…). Mr Felon has an annual salary of approximately 20 million Euro.

Dutch papers bring stories that the company earns so much money that they even hire people simply for the reason of hiring people only. They start with not doing anything. The whole infrastructure of its money generating sites is coded in Perl, which according to current tech guys is a completely outdated scripting language, but Booking cannot afford to change its software for a more modern language….

Dutch tax holiday

According to Quote:

There’s another reason Booking is so loyal to our capital. By remaining in the Netherlands, the company can benefit from a particularly favorable tax regime. In recent years, Booking has concluded a number of successive tax rulings with the Dutch government, according to annual reports of its parent company. The most recent ruling, from September 2017, stipulates that Booking may share “part of the income” under the so-called “Innovation box”.

This is an arrangement that has existed since 2010 and is intended to allow companies to invest more in technological innovation. On the income in this box, companies do not pay 25, but only 7 percent profit tax (up to March 2018 it was even 5 percent). The annual report published by parent company Booking Holdings in February shows that the tax benefit for Booking is enormous. In 2018 alone, the company received a tax discount of $ 435 million in the Netherlands, or about $ 385 million. Thanks to this bait from the state, not only will Booking’s headquarters remain in the Netherlands, but all income generated worldwide by the company will immediately flow to the Netherlands before being taxed elsewhere. “In fact, Booking does the same as for example Nike,” according to Dutch Member of Parliament Paul Tang:  “At Nike, it also seems as if the Hilversum office sells an incredible amount of tracksuits and sneakers all over the world. The point is to achieve as much revenue as possible in the Netherlands. “In this way, Booking has received a tax discount of more than $ 2 billion from 2010 to 2018 thanks to the Innovation Box, according to the annual reports of the parent company. Converted, Booking received almost 1.8 billion euros from the tax authorities as a gift.

Abroad, this tax arrangement now creates anger. Australian Michael Hibbins, who worked for Shell for many years, recently calculated in a blog that Booking in his country evaded between $ 100 and 200 million by diverting Australian income tax-free to the Netherlands, where they were taxed only to a limited extent thanks to the Innovation Box. “The (Dutch, ed.) Government has levied a 5 percent tax on income that should have been declared in other countries. By doing this, the Netherlands has shown itself to be nothing better than well-known tax havens such as Singapore and the Bahamas. “In Hibbins view, Booking, together with the Dutch government,” manipulated the system to actually create the benefit of a tax haven. “

The Pandemy

The pandemy hits Booking hard. In March its turnover was down to 15 % of the March 2019 turnover. It hase huge debts because of its recent purchases of its own shares. A perverse method to keep the share price artificially high in order to maintain the top’s huge bonusses.

In order to keep the economy a bit working Dutch Government will subsidize 90 % of wages for a couple of months provided there will be no lay offs of personell.

In a recent zoom meeting with personell in Amsterdam, Mr Fogel who himself has had the Covid 19 virus announced that Booking will apply for that subsidy.

One can imagine that there are several Dutch who try to prevent Dutch Government to grant this subsidy, especcially as the shareholders have taken billions of dollars as dividends from this mega earner recently……

Maybe Dutch Government has to adhere to its own rules with regard to the Pandemy Sunsidy, but I believe  the Dutch Tax authourities should look into the issue of the company rightfully claimed the Innovation Box tax rebate…..why not treat them in the same way as the Dutch tax authorities treated the parents who they believed wrongfully claimed childcare tax rebates???