Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)

tomato to prevent peeling skin sunburn
But trust me on the sunscreen – Baz Luhrmann

This is the story about why my husband chased me to the other side of the huge three person kingsize bed when we were on our first far-away trip to Costa Rica. You would think it would be full of romance and joy and passionate nights. It was. And then it was not.

Because I really suck at scuba diving. Really, I blame it on that. No elegant ‘just show the scuba tube’ thing for me. Some parts of me are simply unable to stay under water. Yes, my dear. I have a floating butt. And with a floating butt, you can put on sunscreen all you want, you’ll get sunburnt. As hell. As the brightest red you’ve ever seen.

You’d be surprised how much you need your derrière. To sit, for example. It was the reason why we paid for a comfortable taxi instead of taking a bumpy boat trip to our next location. Because my dear lord, sitting was highly painful. Even walking was, as there is quite some skin attached to the upper back legs, that had decided not to stay under too. Some solidarity issue that I could not really appreciate. But after a day of rest, we took a slow walk in the woods nearby, with a guide that spoke a lovely, slow kind of Spanish and had the opinion that the slower you walk, the more you can see. And Costa Rica is not the place to be running around. Maybe he just said it out of compassion, but it he made his point. We saw so many gorgeous things on that walk. That guy managed to keep my husband happy and I actually enjoyed the hike.

And then the itching started. And the peeling skin. I went to a local pharmacist who sold me the strongest after sun he had and gave me some zinc powder to help with the itching. Local people told me to put ripe tomatoes on it to prevent the peeling skin. The after sun helped for a few minutes, the zinc got me through the night and there was peeling, but I honestly think the tomatoes saved my skin. At least a part of it, because that was why I was banned to the other side of a kingsize bed.

I survived. We survived. It’s a funny story. And I never get to swim again without being painfully aware of my butt.

What has been your worst sunburn ever?

Pasta para P

Sometimes a rush and some basic ingredients create the most wonderful dishes. And one of them became the absolute favorite of my husband, hence the name. The secret ingredient? Lots of fresh dill, I’ve already tried it without and it honestly makes all the difference…


  • Cook pasta. I like to use rigatoni for this dish, but penne or any short, ribbed pasta would do.


  • In the meantime, cut up some spring onions, slice a bunch of ‘candy tomatoes‘ (it’s a kind of very sweet cherry tomato, but longer, like a teeny tiny version of roma tomatoes – it has to be really sweet) and toss them in a pan, pot, wok, whatever. Let them simmer and get warm.


  • Add mascarpone, one big spoon will do for now. Season, but be careful with the salt…


  • cause you’ll add your cooked pasta, along with little slices of smoked salmon. Keep some of the salmon apart to sprinkle over it once done. Now it’s the art to make it come together, the pasta just coated, the salmon just a different color, and heaps of chopped dill. Make sure everything is warm, but don’t overdo it.


  • Serve in bowls or big plates, sprinkle with the rest of the salmon and a bit of leftover dill.
  • Enjoy. Take seconds. Thirds. Fight over the last spoon.