Dutch painter Karel Appel (of

Dutch painter Karel Appel (of Cobra fame) spoke passionately about colour tonight on VPRO’s ‘Of beauty and consolation’. The music played was Nina Simone’s version of Ne Me Quitte pas, and other selections of opera (I Pagliacci) and classical music, including the beautiful Kol Nidre. “You can talk about it a lot, but in front of a good canvas you shut your trap. I sometimes go and see ‘The man with the turban’, by Rembrandt. It’s in New York. When you look at it, you approach the secret of life…’ So far the best part of the series.

Super quote from my favourite

Super quote from my favourite comedy on BBC at the moment, Gimme Gimme Gimme (starring Kathy Burke and James Dreyfus): Thomas says: ‘I want my men to stand up for something… not to be so far back in the closet they’re in fucking Narnia!’

I’ve often wondered why the

I’ve often wondered why the Irish and the Dutch seem to get along so well and I’ve boiled it down to this: we are possibly the only people in the world who eat kale. The Dutch of course have their ‘boerenkool’, which is a hearty mix of kale and potatoes. Served with a tasty smoked sausage. The Irish have Colcannon, which is… a hearty mix of kale and potatoes!

Colcannon for 6
1 1/4 lbs. Kale or green Cabbage, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 1/4 pounds peeled and quartered potatoes, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 cup cleaned and chopped leeks white part only, 1 cup milk, pinch of ground mace, salt and ground pepper to taste, 1/2 cup melted butter (use real butter)

Simmer kale or cabbage in 2 cups water and oil for 10 minutes, drain, chop fine. Boil potatoes and water, simmer till tender. Simmer the leeks in milk for ten minutes till tender. Drain and puree the potatoes. Add leeks and their milk and cooked kale. Mix. Add mace, salt and pepper. Mound on a plate and pour on the melted butter. Garnish with parsley.

Kale hash -(Boerenkool) serves 4: 3 pounds kale, 1/4 pounds bacon, unsliced, 3 pounds potatoes, pared and diced, 1 pound smoked sausage links, salt to taste.

Cover kale with boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes. Drain. Chop. Reserve. Cook bacon in 1 inch boiling water for 30 minutes. Add
potatoes and kale. Cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Lay sausage on top. Cover. Simmer for 15 minutes longer. Remove sausage and bacon. Keep warm. Drain and mash remaining ingredients. Add salt. Mix well. Serve topped with bacon and sausage. (Most dutch add a dollop of gravy and vinegar to taste)

So there, united by kale we are.

I once heard a story of some Dutch people serving English friends boerenkool. They refused to eat it, insisting kale was for pigs!