Right after Sinterklaas we jumped (together with the rest of the country) into the XMAS feeling. We installed our XMAS tree and decorations and ordered our XMAS greeting cards on-line (you can expect one in your mailbox in the coming weeks).
Unfortunately Matías has been ill most of this week. he had a bad cough and some light fever. So we kept him home most of the week. As always we were lucky that my parents (and on Friday my brother) jumped in to help us out. After almost a week inside, he is fully recovered and ready for school tomorrow.
There's no change in the terror alarm levels, but since everybody gets used to it life goes on (luckily) as if nothing happened. The XMAS period also brings plenty of XMAS markets everywhere. And there too, luckily, things go as they should.
Marina could enjoy one of these markets today in Antwerp while I stayed home with the kids. Marina did not go on her own, she willingly acted as a tourist guide for Javier and Carine. Javier is the godson of Abuela Eva (he is the son of an ex cleaning lady of Eva and Daniel and they build a friendship relation over time). Javier and Carine arrived on Thursday in Belgium and they will spend a whole month touring Europe. After visiting Brussels and Bruges on their own. Marina took them on some more Brussels visiting yesterday and Antwerp today. They also spent some time at our place. I scored some good points while they visited since I did the cooking both on Saturday noon and evening. And for dinner I prepared them some Carbonnades a la Flamande. Now I must admit that during the week it is always Marina who cooks. But in the weekend i take over from time to time, and so too this weekend. It seems they liked my basic recipe:
1kg of beef cut into squares of 3cm
1 big onion cut in small pieces
1l of dark brown beer
salt and pepper
cook the meat in a little oil on a high fire until nicely brown on all sides adding the salt and pepper.
cook the onion until golden brown
put everything together into a big pot and add the beer (make sure to add all the sticky bits from the pans in which you cooked the meat, this adds to the taste). Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or two. This will turn the meat all soft
At the end you can add some flour to thicken the sauce.
Serve with French Fries
This week there's only a picture of our XMAS tree and a picture of Alex and Matías together on the sofa while Alex reads a story to his brother.