Bringing the learning home (Australian Learning & Teaching Council)


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In Arnhem, the Netherlands, all the exchange students live together in a five storey building called Honigkamp.  Feel sorry for the neighbours!  Every Sunday night we organise amongst ourselves to host a national dinner – so far we’ve enjoyed Mexican, Spanish, Turkish, Hungarian, Canadian and of course Australian.  There are only two Aussies here, myself and Kristie from Brisbane, and we represented very well.  Vegemite sandwiches (Aussie chocolate!), self-made lamingtons (did you know one key ingredient is only found in Australia?), fairy bread and Kristie passed out before midnight.

The photos are of: Dutch Stephanie trying Vegemite; Kristie; Mexican night (complete with moustaches and tequila); the family Turkish dinner; Batu cooking his spring roll thingos.


9 responses

  1. tonialeannegray

    Hi Will — love the moustache — thought it might have been for Movember — But then discovered it was an appendage for your Mexican night?

    What an ecclectic intercultural melting pot you have in your dorm! Even more amazing — the way you are sharing your culinary expertise.

    Now – what essential ingredient for lamingtons couldn’t you find in the Netherlands? I am guessing the spongey “sponge cake” … but ….?

    Enlighten me please.

    November 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    • OK my bad – we attempted to make chocolate crackles and THAT had the missing ingredient! Copha is only found in Australia. We tried to use honey with chocolate covered rice bubbles – didn’t work. Neither of us had lamington making experience, and our kitchen lacks an oven (also a key ingredient), so we did cheat and bought a sponge cake then coated that in coconut and cocoa. We were very impressed with ourselves.

      November 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm

  2. tonialeannegray

    Alright – copha is a scarce commodity — wonder of that is the case in the rest of Europe… or even the America’s for that matter?… food for thought… will ask the others.

    Looks like you’re a candidate for Masterchef when you return.

    November 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    • jangothard

      Have you guys seen the Spanish Apartment (also known as the European Pudding) about a bunch of international students living in an apartment in Spain? very funny!

      Sound like a riot all round – love the pickies. Are you meeting many locals?


      November 9, 2010 at 2:40 am

  3. Unfortunately we have barely met any locals! It’s similar to my friends experience in Sheffield where the international students hang out together. But the classes we attend are just for international students so there never really is any opportunity to mingle. The handful we have met are super nice though, and I’m definitely going to exploit them when I have to give a presentation in dutch!

    November 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

    • jangothard

      Interesting and sad in a way, but not really surprising, if you are doing international classes. You must have developed some ideas sbout Dutch culture though? or is your experience quite removed from things Dutch altogether – apart from the cheese and the buttocks that is…


      November 9, 2010 at 10:43 am

  4. tonialeannegray

    OK Will – throwing down the gauntlet.

    The CHALLENGE is OUT … time to escape the ‘international house’ safety net .. and start seeing what really makes your host culture tick.

    Get outside the bubble (that goes for everyone else reading this post) .. and tell us more about the local culture, traditions, landscape, sports, media, politics, heroes, arts, music — the list is endless…

    best wishes

    November 9, 2010 at 10:07 pm

  5. Haha I know just how you feel with the cooking! I’m in the US at the moment and attempted lamingtons the other day and they failed epically!

    I went to the store with an American friend of mine and found my self constantly having to “translate”. Icing sugar = confectioners sugar, dessicated coconut doesn’t exist! and cocoa powder is that weird brown powder in a tin in the flour isle. I also couldn’t find sponge cake anywhere and had to settle for angel food cake so when the lamingtons were done it was like eating chocolate and coconut covered air! Safe to say I was not impressed but my American friends loved them and all I could keep thinking was that’s not how they’re supposed to taste!

    I may attempt Anzac biscuits in April but I don’t know if I’m game to challenge the ingredient search haha 🙂

    December 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    • jangothard

      Yes, I understand completely! When we lived in the States for six months my two daughters (then aged 9 and 10) were desperate for familiar things like sausage rolls, meat pies and just regular (to my mind tasteless, but you know what I mean) sausages! couldnt get them! that was when we began to appreciate just how very British our ‘Australian’ cuisine is – much more so than I had realised, even given the influence of post war non-British and more recent Asian immigration waves into Australia.

      But on the plus side – so many different cultural foods to try out! Not just recent immigrant introductions (all the wonderful pickles and meats etc) but local foods (we were in the South) like hopping John, succotash, barbecue boil ups with nothing grilled in sight, grits – all very different. Took us a while to realise that ‘biscuits’ (served with gravy) were just the same as scones. Loved Thanksgiving food but even my sweet tooth kids drew the line at sweet potatoes with marshmallow as a vegetable side dish!

      If you ever find out how much a ‘stick’ of butter is – let me know!


      December 12, 2010 at 1:37 am

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