Parsley (Dutch: Peterselie)

by Jennifer on

Parsley

As Marion and Rob are currently on Lesbos, it is maybe a good moment to speak about parsley. Oh, there is a connection between parsley and Greece?
Yes, there is! For the ancient Greek parsley was a symbol of joy. Laurel wreaths were made of parsley and worn at festive.
A combination of parsley and oregano was considered a cure against a hang over.

It were the Romans who spread parsley over Europe.

Anyway parsley (Petroselinum crispum), or “peterselie” as we call it in Dutch, is a species that belongs to the family Apiaceae.
Parsley is native to the central Mediterranean (southern Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia). There are nowadays many cultivated species available.

Fresh parsley sprigs or chopped leaves are very often used as garnish of many dishes. Chopped leaves are also often used in soups and stews.
Sometimes it is even used as a snack. It has indeed a very nice flavor. Try it someday, you may like it.

Fresh parsley contains relatively large amounts of minerals (especially iron and silicon), as well as B-vitamins and carotene. The vitamin C content is exceptionally high (80-300 mg per 100 grams).
This only goes for fresh parsley. Dried parsley contains a lot less vitamins. So fresh parsley is always preferred over dried ones.

Apart from all mentioned before, parsley is also beneficial for your health.
Parsley is anti-inflammatory. Regularly eating parsley can help to prevent inflammations.
Parsley supports the digestion. If your digestion is not optimal, by, for example, a mostly sedentary existence, parsley supports the digestive process and reduces the risk of stomach ulcers.
It provides a clean, fresh breath.
Despite good oral hygiene you can suffer from bad breath. Eating parsley helps you to get a fresher breath. Parsley contains quite a bit of chlorophyll; a substance with an antibacterial effect. This substance fights the wrong bacteria in your mouth.
And these are just some of the positive effects of parsley.

There, how a simple herb as parsley can be so special!

Jennifer

 

 

 

(Photo was published in the public domain, see Public Domain Pictures)


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The stars above

by Rob on

Now the darkness has covered the island, the temperature has become very nice. Very welcome after the heat of the day.

Mel, Marion and I made a very nice walk in the neighborhood of Mel’s house. Just 5 minutes away from her house and the darkness is complete. Then, looking up to the sky, something unknown to The Netherlands anymore, shows… a sky full of bright and playful stars!

The heavy “light pollution” in The Netherlands hides the beautiful star filled skies from us. Even in the sparsely populated parts of our country, it is nothing like as hereupon the hills of Lesvos.

It is amazing to see how many stars there are in the firmament, all differences in brightness and size. Just imagine that the star closest to us, apart of the sun of course, is still 4.2 light years away from us. The furthest known star is 13.4 billion light years away (Hubble 2016). Just try to comprehend that!

I tried to make photo’s of this wonderful sky, but I failed in that! Next year I have to bring a tripod to capture this awesome phenomenon!

On my iPhone and iPad I have an app called “Starwalk 2”. This app has many nice features, but there is one I really love: if you hold the device in any direction it will show the current firmament including planets, stars, satellites, deep space objects and more.

The pictures below are things we have seen tonight. It was really awesome how we could match the information given by the app to the real sky!

Ah well, both Mel as Marion are dozing slowly away into sleep. Lets get some sleep I would say!

Petra Petra Petra Petra Rob

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The town of Petra.

by Marion on

Today Rob and I walked through the town of Petra. Petra is a town in the northern part of Lesvos and where we rented our studio for this vacation.
Petra
This is what the Wikipedia says about Petra:
Petra (Greek: Πέτρα meaning rock) is a former municipality on the island of Lesbos, North Aegean, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Lesbos, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located at the northwest of Lesbos and comprises the villages Petra, Skoutaros, Stypsi, Lafionas, Ypsilometopo and the settlements Petri and Anaxos.

Petra Church
Mel would still do an article on why the town is named “rock” and the connection to the lovely church of Petra (Mel, gentle reminder 😁).

The costal town lies at the foothills of mount Lepetymnos. This gives a magnificent view on the town.

Petra is a town with many nice small streets with lots of shops and taverns. A real pleasure to walk through. Many typical Greek buildings showing a diversity in building style, but all with the typical red roofs.

Petra Street
The main road of Petra leads directly along the sea, very nice for walks. Especially when the wind plays with the sea.
East of the town there is a very nice sandy beach. Great for swimming and tanning. And there are many nice restaurants near.

Such a nice town!

Marion

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Is The Bible 100% Accurate

by Sanne on

Is The Bible 100% Accurate? This pastor believes so. And I, as you may already have suspected, I don’t think that this is correct.

The video below is created by Alex J. O’Connor (or Cosmic Skeptic, which is the nickname he goes by. He is a science enthusiast, atheist and vlogger. I have seen this video already about a year ago. By pure coincidence, it popped up on my screen today. And while watching it, I realized that I still love it as the very first time I saw it.

I really like it how this young man makes his view on things clear. While being very respectful, he makes his opinions very clear. I admire people who are capable of doing this.

So just as Alex I don’t believe the bible is 100% accurate. Far from that even.

Enjoy the video. And if you don’t agree with what he says, which is completely acceptable, please show the same respect as he does.

In the YouTube video there are a number of links mentioned, please find them below:

Sanne
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So cold and wet…

by Marissa on

I really wonder what is wrong with the summer of this year, it is so cold and wet. Right now the sun trying to break through, but this morning it was raining. As it was yesterday.
And the temperature is also way too low for the time of the year.

Almost every week I go once or twice swimming. We have over a very nice indoor swimming pool, a real swimming paradise. There is tide bath, herb baths, sauna, solar stations, whirlpool and anything else you might want in a swimming pool.
It is not a real big distance to the swimming pool, so mostly I go there by bicycle.

Yesterday on my way home on my bicycle, it suddenly started to rain again and quite heavy. Before I reached my apartment all my clothes soaking wet. The wind was rather nasty. So I felt freezing cold.

At home I jumped right away under a warm shower. I always shower at home after swimming to was my hair properly, but this time I needed to get warm again. The shower help me to get on a normal temperature again.
But as said, this kind of rain and temperature is not normal for this time of year. So I hope we will have a nice after summer this year.

When I returned to my living room, I saw some photo’s I made during our vacation on Lesvos last year and I realized what I am missing so much… that nice warm sun shinning on my skin, bikini’s and shorts. Beaches and long drinks. Long walks along the hills. BBQ’s in the garden of Mel.
So yes, I don’t like cold weather. I don’t like rain and wind.
I am born for the sun!!!

So happy that we can go back to Lesvos next year. Maybe the area of Sigri or Skala Eressos will be nice according Mel. She will join us then there.


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In 2015 around this time of the year I placed a message on Facebook related to Marion’s and my vacation to the island of Lesvos. It was after a long time that we would be going there again.
On one of the photo’s of the area where we would be staying there was an island visible and for no clear reason that the island got me interested.
When I found the island on Google Maps my interest even became stronger as it showed two buildings, a road and a pier.
We were thinking of a small farm, but we let also our fantasy run wild. Maybe a millionaire was living there. Or maybe someone was murdered there and now it was haunted.
Through a map of Lesvos that I had bought I found that the island was called “Agios Georgies”, which translates to “The Island of the Saint George”.
And we learned that the island had a nickname: Rabbit Island.

Rabbit Island Rabbit Island

Sadly during our vacation of 2015 we didn’t get a change to visit the island. But we made for up for that in 2016, when we visited with our best friends Lesvos. We had a great day and night on Rabbits Island. Again, I like to thank you Mel for making that wonderful experience possible.

The first thing we learned last year was that the building on the island wasn’t a farm, neither the house of a millionaire or a place that is haunted. It is a small chapel, of course dedicated to Saint George.

The name Rabbit Island finds it’s origin in the fact that somewhere in the past people released rabbits. There are no natural enemies for the rabbits on the island, so the rabbit community grew… well, as rabbits ;-).
No natural enemies, except the humans of course. In the last century people from the surrounding cities hunted all the rabbits until there were none left any more.

But recently someone has placed rabbits on the island again and he is taking extra care of them by feeding them and bring them fresh water when needed.
So Rabbit Island has its rabbits again!

The island offers a small pier to dock your boat, a nice beach and a secure place for a BBQ. And that, is apart from the chapel, all there is.
We had there to most fresh fish I ever tasted, caught and cleaned that morning.

The ladies enjoyed the beach to tan. And of course we took the opportunity to snorkel there, a very nice experience.

I have really great memories of this time we spend on Rabbit Island. Most likely for never to forget. If possible we would like to visit the island together with Mel again!

Below you can find more photo’s that we made during our visit at Rabbit Island. When you click on all the real photo’s (so not on the two Facebook screenshot) a larger version of the photo will be displayed. Enjoy!

Rabbit Island

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The missing heartbeat!

by Marion on

Heartbeat

Over the years I developed a small habit. Rob sleeps at times on his back. So when he is asleep I crawl up to him and lay my head on his chest (sorry guys with your perfect “six packs”, this is a comfort you never will be able to give in this way!). As automatically he put his arm around me, which gives me a very secure feeling. And with my head on his chest I listen to his heartbeat.
For some reason I find the rhythmic sound of his heart very relaxing. It helps me to fall asleep.

So a few years ago I was listening to the soft beating of his heart when it suddenly stopped… to continue as normal after one or two missing heartbeats. It scared me for some moments, but Rob’s normal beating heart made me rest assured.

But a few weeks after that it happened again and I became worried. It felt to me as a heart defect.
Without telling Rob I consulted my family doctor. When I told her about my worries she laughed softly and told me how awesome caring I was. But this was nothing to worry about. According her everyone has this… She, me, Rob and everyone else.
She told me to see this as that the heart takes a moment of rest, some kind of break of all the hard work. And if the hearts pick up its normal work, then everything is very fine.

Yesterday I was listening to Rob’s heartbeat again. And it stopped. I noticed that I was thinking “Okay, you had your break. Now back to work!”. And at the same moment the heartbeat returned. I had to grin and I believe that I fell asleep with a smile on my face!

Heartbeat

 

 

(The used picture is released to the Public Domain, please see Public Domain Pictures)


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RSSYesterday Marissa asked me if there was not an easy way to see if something new happened on the weblog or the forums. I was happy that I was able to say that there is indeed something for that: RSS, which stands for “Really Simple Syndication”.

Let me explain what RSS is. With RSS you can register to a news feed and track the changes. That sounds cool, but doesn’t really explain anything.
A news feed can be any online source with changing information, such as a weblog, forum or vblog. Oh wait, we have a here a weblog and some forums. So that is a good start.
So with RSS we will be able to see what has changed here on our weblog and forums.

So how this all works. Well, it is not that difficult.
First, lets have a look with what application we are going the results of the RSS stream. There are special applications, as “Feed Reader” the view the RSS content.
Nowadays every self respecting mail client supports RSS.
But every modern browser also supports RSS, directly or through a plugin. I prefer this way as a browser is often already active.

You can see if a site supports RSS by the symbol at the top of this article or by a text referring to it, as on our weblog (see the picture below).

RSS

Activating an RSS feed is simple. Click the RSS symbol or the link provided with the referring text, select where the RSS feed should be stored, confirm your selection and you’re done.

RSS

An RSS will not only show the latest content, but it will also show if you have read already.
But here is a little catch: The article will only show as read when the article has been opened, reading while browsing the articles will not let RSS mark the article as read.

Both the weblog and our new forums support RSS.
The weblog supports 2 RSS feeds: One for articles and an second for comments on articles.
Our forums also has two RSS feeds, one for the public forums and another for the private ones.
Maybe needless to see, you can see the content through the RSS feed. So the private articles and forums can only be accessed when to proper rights are given and when logged into them.

RSS

I hope this helps and when there are questions, please let me know! And oh… there are many site out there that support RSS. Use it, it is very handy (at least I think so).

Rob
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Miranda vs supermarkets

by Jennifer on

Miranda vs supermarketsVisiting a supermarket with Miranda is always fun! It is really Miranda vs supermarkets :-)

She really dislikes, how people squeeze hard in a bread to feel it is really fresh. Or how people go through the packages with cold cuts to get the one with the latest “best before date”, not realizing that they take all the other packages out of the cooled environment. And there are so many more examples.

Mir really refuses to buy food items at the supermarket. Things as washing powder is okay with her, but food.. no way! So for the bread we go to the bakery, for meat to the butcher, for vegetables and fruits we go to the greengrocer and so on.
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, the quality of the food at the specialized stores is much better and mostly more free of all kinds of additives to make it longer useable. Sure the prices may be a bit higher, but that is it well worth according Mir (and me as well).

So yes, taking Mir along to a supermarket is a fast way to get her grumpy. This morning again.
Mir went along to the supermarket to get the things that we normally buy there (as washing powder and such things). I warned her not to do so because it would be bad for her mood. She assured me it was okay.

When we entered the supermarket, I saw already that Mir’s face changed. There was a plate with orange segments and everybody was grabbing it. This goes against every hygienic rules Mir knows.
I told her to go and have a coffee at a nearby restaurant and that I would come there when I was done. No need to get in a bad mood this way.

I know that there are people who find this all ridicules, But please realize that “food” is Mir’s profession, she has to be serious about it. And consider what if she wasn’t that serious with the food that she might prepare for you…

And of course, every human is allowed to have his own little piece of craziness :-)

Jennifer

 

 

(Used photo was released to the public domain, please see Public Domain Pictures)


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About black olives…

by Miranda on

OlivesLast week Jennifer and I had a visitor that stayed for dinner. Our quest enjoyed the dinner very much, but there was one thing she had a remark about: The olives that I served with the dinner!
According her these olives weren’t of the best quality. As she always had these shiny uniform coloured black olives. Those were the real good ones and those more greenish pale coloured I had were not.

I had some bad news for her!

The olives I served were brought back from Lesvos by Marissa and Richard, who spent their vacation there.

The thing is those deep dark shiny olives don’t exist, not by nature anyway.

Maybe lets first see what the difference is between green and black olives. The colour shows how ripe the olives were when they were picked. Green olives are picked before riping and black olives when they are ripe, which is when the colour turns black.
Lets right away make a point here: Ripe olives are not black, they are more dark purple and are not uniform in colour (how much depends on the species). So these ripe “black” olives are not the deep black uniform coloured olives you can buy in the supermarket.

The shiny black olives from the supermarket are really green olives that are treated during the curing with calcium chloride salts, iron salts (ferrous gluconate). This gives them the dark shiny colour and they are this way faster edible.

There are some health concerns about calcium chloride salts and ferrous gluconate going around, but I don’t know how serious these have to be taken. But a fact is that olives treated with this salts lose in taste. This special strong taste the olives normally have is lost and that is a big pity. So taste was sacrificed here for how the olives look.
Of course the big Olive Companies in California will try to convince you other wise. But those who have tasted the “real natural” olives from Greece or Italy know better!

Olives

And oh, since our visit to Lesvos the Kolovi olive is my favourite, closely followed by the Kalamata.

For your trivia: Olives are fruits. Yes, they are *SMILE* .

Miranda
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