International Dinner Project: Holland (Executive override)

Dutch Night

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sunday night saw us all going Dutch!

The boy’s Oma (Grandmother) had a couple of projects prepared for them when we arrived down country on Saturday afternoon. As part of the theme they were making Dutch flags and pinwheels (windmills!). You can just make out Sam holding his ones in the group photo. I did my best to explain why the Dutch flag is basically the French flag turned sideways. So by the end of the day we had a large pile of flags and windmills.

Making flags and pinwheels

The kids were quite excited about Dutch night, and since it was my executive override, they decided they didn’t need to help in the kitchen and could go off and explore the local playground, and try and convince their Aunty Rachael to let them have a go in the spa pool.

Dutch Brown Bean SoupDutch Wholegrain Bread

Bruine Bonensoep (literally Brown bean soup)
Volkorenbrood (literally whole-wheat bread)

When we first decided on Holland as our dinner country, I said to my wife, that the first thing we need to have is soup.

When we first started dating, and I met her parents, they would have soup at the beginning of every meal. It was a little strange, here I was, in the heat of a summer, meeting the (then) new girlfriend’s parents, and having a hot soup on a hot humid day – but to them it was quite normal, so when in Amsterdam/Rome….

The job was finding a good traditional Dutch soup, not just some chicken noodle variant, and Bruine Bonensoep fitted the bill, just from the ingredients it looked quite tasty. I have quite gotten used to having soup these days! And the one thing you need with a good soup is a good soup bread! I’ve become quite adept at kneading dough of late, so 15-20 minutes of kneading didn’t phase me. This bread needed to rise and be knocked back 2-3 times – so I was back to the old “put-it-in-the-warm-car-trick” for an hour each time. Worked a treat, in fact it rose a little too much the last time…  but it all worked well.

The boys were either going to love the soup or hate it – and that didn’t necessarily hinge on its flavour – more on their attitude, as they get tired in the evening, so we made sure that dinner was served pretty much at 5.30pm on the dot – otherwise the witching hour would start and they wouldn’t eat buttered bread if you put it in front of them… 😉

Perfect timing didn’t save the soup though – while it was a hit with everyone else (i.e. all the grown-ups), the boys were more interested in another Dutch delicacy, normally reserved for the breakfast table. Vruchten Hagel on bread. This was another strange thing from our trip to Holland for our honeymoon – Vruchten Hagel is pretty much fruit flavored cake decorating sprinkles, and at breakfast in Holland (where you don’t have toast, just bread) you put these icing sprinkles on your buttered bread – I definitely had no problems with that!! We just happened to have a packet of it lying around in the pantry by some strange coincidence…

So with the entree for Grown-ups, and the breakfast entree for the kids sorted it was onto Mains…

Slavinken - Bacony goodness

Slavinken (herbed pork mince wrapped in bacon)
Veges (yup, nothing fancy, just some typical veges)
Appelmoes (Apple sauce)

I think I can pretty much say, rather safely that when you wrap something, anything really, in bacon – it’s going to be popular. Easter eggs wrapped in bacon would probably taste good! This was quite an easy dish to make, and once I figured out how to wrap it using the very skinny rashes of bacon we bought from the supermarket we were away – 15 minutes later, dinner time! I think we’ll be having that again! Lucky Undcle Derek gets to keep the leftovers – although there were only a couple.

Accompanied with steamed veges, and appelmoes. Now, appelmoes – the Dutch seem to have it with almost anything, Derek and I are both kiwis, and we inherited the english tradition of having Apple Sauce only with pork, and we both agreed we were allowed to have Apple Sauce with this meal since it did contain pork – doesn’t hurt that Apple Sauce is good – I think I used to steal the baby food apple sauce from our sons when they we little!

Ryan loved it so much he ate Sam’s as well! Little Sam had overdosed himself while no one was watching on three pieces of chocolate cake from afternoon tea that we had left out, add that to the Easter eggs, and he wasn’t really feeling up to eating much.

Strained yoghurt and raspberryDutch Apple Doughnuts

Hangop (literally Hang Up)
Oliebollen (literally Oil Spheres – so Doughnuts sounds more appetizing!)

Hangop is named because the yoghurt traditionally used to be hung up in muslin cloth to strain the whey out of it. Then sweetened slightly, and a strained blitzed raspberries poured on top with a couple of raspberries and mint leaf to garnish. Simple to make this dessert, and I think it’s another one I’ll be making again, it was beautiful. Oma made the oliebollen, apple doughnuts with sultanas – and made a lot – we did our best to finish them off – but luckily they taste just as good the next day!

Even though Sam felt sick from over-chocolatation – he managed the hangop, and half an olibollen – Ryan and Ethan had a couple of oliebollen each, and Ethan had hangop, but Ryan is rather particular about what type of yoghurt he will eat, and if it’s not in the purple container I won’t push it – tongiht was a win anyway – he had pretty much everything.

Everyone agreed that it was a very enjoyable dinner – and I was made to leave the recipes behind for Aunty Rachael!.

Koffie (you guessed it! Coffee)
Speculaas (literally spiced – Spiced biscuits!) RECIPE
Drop (Salty licorice)

Boys with Dessert

Coffee is big in Holland. When we were over there I think on one particular day when visiting Jocelyn’s family I had 12 cups of coffee… sure helped with the jet lag – plus it goes really well with Speculaas.

And Drop, what can I say about drop – it’s licorice, it’s salty! There’s also a honey licorice, standard licorice, salt and double salt. And they’re all in different shapes, cats, farm animals, coins, the double salt are like ingots with SAL written on them.

Sam’s eyes went wide and he said “those are really salty!” He stuck to the normal ones after that.

I think I need another coffee!

And a postscript to the night – Sam’s sweet tooth got the better of him, he had a great night, but involuntarily ejected the chocolate cake a little before midnight. But strangely enough the yoghurt seemed to stay down. After that he slept well – as did we all!

Recipes on their way shortly.


11 thoughts on “International Dinner Project: Holland (Executive override)

  1. Pingback: IDP#29 Iceland: The 12 hour Thunder Bread | The International Dinner Project

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