Mother's column – Looking for a wide audience


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo PixaBay

"Hey, are you not that mother who writes columns?" The blonde woman behind the stand is not the first tonight to recognise me. And I'm not even surprised, because the winter fair seems to be a place where readers of my columns are likely to be present. After all, we are at the middle of the Dutch Bible belt, and a winter fair without loud music and worldly pleasures is the kind of outing Christian families like, a wholesome place of entertainment.

At the entrance, a campfire crackles; inside the building, it smells like pancakes, and in cosy stands, entrepreneurs from the region sell their merchandise. While the children queue up at the balloon modeller, I walk past stalls full of Tupperware and Jemako cleaning supplies. And I marvel at beautiful gift items made of natural materials and stylish business cards in neutral tones.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).

One of the vendors is the odd one out. He sits under a large umbrella behind a white table, on which homemade cookbooks are displayed. "All Indian dishes", he says from behind his impressive hanging moustache. "You won't find this anywhere else." He tells about the delicious meals his wife Cherie could cook. After her death, he collected and compiled all her recipes as a dedication to her memory.

And now he is at our winter fair, looking for a wide audience to enjoy his wife's cooking skills. Unfortunately, his cookbooks cost 15 euros each - not exactly cheap. Besides, I don't have that much money left in my pocket. But if I hurry home and put the kids to bed, who knows, I might be back just in time before the market closes.

An hour later, panting from the fast cycling, I arrive back at the venue. Everyone is already cleaning up. The little table and the beach umbrella are also gone. Disappointed, I walk back to my bike. But then I see an umbrella base disappearing in a small car in the parking lot. "Sir, can I still buy one of those cookbooks?" I shout, still panting. The gentleman is also puffing, because it is quite a task at his age to load the heavy boxes full of cookbooks back into his little car.

Long story short: I am now the proud owner of an amateurishly designed but unique cookbook. And I am happy to share a little with you all on this platform, so that the recipes of Cherie will be known far beyond the Dutch Bible belt. This is how you make Pisang Goreng, according to Cherie. Cut four plantains lengthwise and widthwise. Take a packet of pancake mix and make a creamy paste with water and an egg (the quantities are up to you). Dip the banana pieces in the batter and deep-fry them until golden brown. Delicious with fried rice or vanilla ice cream!



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