Netherlands, Antilles :: Geography Postcard Album - Eva Varga

February 17, 20121
 Facebook. One of the benefits of this popular social networking site is the ability to connect with friends and family.  Frequently, friends will post that their plans to travel. Alternatively, many will also post while on vacation from their destination.  When they do this, I am not shy to speak up and ask for a postcard.  

When a friend was in the Netherlands, Antilles for business a month ago, he was eager to lend a hand in our geography studies.  Not only did he send a couple of postcards, he also posted a picture on his Facebook wall of the mailbox into which he mailed the cards.  How cool is that?!

Map of the Netherlands (Europe)

When I showed the kids the photo, they immediately wondered if the cards had been mailed from Scandinavia as the red box reminded us of those we’d seen in Denmark.   I informed them that my friend was in the Netherlands Antilles and I shared another photo, one taken on a beach.  They were immediately intrigued.  “Weren’t we at an airport in the Netherlands, Mom?  Why does it look like Hawai’i?”  Indeed, we had to change planes in Amsterdam and we’d had a discussion that it was the capital of the Netherlands, sometimes referred to as Holland.

Our postcards
 The arrival of the postcards on Valentine’s Day lead to further intrigue.  “It does look like Hawai’i!” they exclaimed.  “So where is Curaçao?” 
Map of the Netherlands Antilles (Caribbean

Curaçao is an island in the Caribbean just north of Venezuela.  The island is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its capital is Willemstad. The official language is Papiamentu.  Though the origin of the island’s name is debated, it has a history rich in the slave trade and piracy, like most islands of the Caribbean

Upon researching the country for our fact sheets, the kids both proclaimed that they wanted to go there on our next tropical vacation.   If only we could win the lottery for they desire to travel to all the places we study.

A few recipes we’ll try soon.  🙂

KeshiYená (Stuffed Cheese) 
Adapted from The Jewish Kitchens of Curaçao
1 small Edam cheese (2 to 2½lbs)
2 lbs. shredded cooked chicken
3 tomatoes, chopped and peeled
2 sliced onions
1 garlic clove
1 chopped green pepper
¼ cup sliced olives
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon parsley
¼ minced hot pepper (or hot sauce to taste)
½ cup raisins and chopped prunes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
5 eggs
Slice the top off the cheese and reserve. Gently scoop out the inside, leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch shell. The cheese should resemble a hollowed out pumpkin. Sauté the remaining ingredients, except the eggs, in the butter; simmer for about 20 minutes. Beat 4 eggs and stir into the mixture. Spoon it into the cheese shell, replace the top and spread remaining beaten egg on top to seal. Grease a shallow baking dish and fill it with about 1 inch of water; set the cheese in the dish and bake at 350° F for 1 to 11/2 hours. The cheese will expand and flatten slightly but will keep its basic shape. Serve piping hot, cut into wedges. Leftovers are good reheated.

Funchi (Corn Meal Mush)

Adapted from The Jewish Kitchens of Curaçao
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup corn-meal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Mix the cold water, corn-meal and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the boiling water and butter or margarine. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Continue for another 3 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon. Mixture is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and it is stiff in texture. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Tutu (Corn Meal With Black Eyed Peas)
Adapted from The Jewish Kitchens of Curaçao
1 cup corn-meal
16 oz. packaged dry black-eyed peas
6 cups water
3 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups funchi or corn-meal
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
Cook the black-eyed peas in the 6 cups water until soft. Drain.
Add 3 cups of water to the peas and bring to a boil, then use a whisk or “lele stick” to break the peas. Add sugar and salt and whisk again. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
Add corn-meal, and in a combination of beating and mashing the mixture, blend it well to avoid lumps using a wooden spoon. Reduce heat. Continue the beating/mashing technique until the meal disappears and the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Add butter when done and either invert on a platter or use an ice cream scoop (dipped in water before each scoop) for individual portions. Serve with butter and cheese.

One comment

  • mom*2*riley

    April 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Eva- we would love to help you with your postcard exchange! If you are still in need of South Carolina, we would be happy to excvhange postcards with you! We are participating in the environmental exchange boxes and can be reached via the westridgeacademy at homail dot com address. Please email me if you are still in need! 🙂 Erin

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