Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blog #6 Dutch Delicacies

Hello All!

An update on Dutch Delicacies combined with Corri, Trixie, School and a few other things!

Corri.....my sort of only friend/neighbor seems to have either moved passed the banana bread fight or has forgotten about it. Jur and I ran into her on the street two days ago and she asked us to buy her a bottle of booze. Jenever! Dutch Gin (Dutch Delicacy).Very strong stuff. You should try it. My friend Michael visited me from the States and he drank a bit too much Jenever (not knowing what it was) at a neighbors gathering and passed out (he says fell asleep) on their lawn furniture. They took photos of him and keep them on their living room table for all their guests to see! Jenever, however, in moderation is wonderful! I recommend it.

School....well after three weeks of going on Tuesday nights for 3 hours I am happy to announce that we are on autumn break! Thank God! I was worn out. Although I do plan to study over the break. It has been recommended that I start to read children’s books to learn my Dutch. I feel a bit awkward reading in bed the Dutch version of Sesame Street while Jur is reading James Michener's Texas. (Which by the way I would never read anyway. It is WAY too long).

Beatrix (the Queen).... I am very committed to meeting with The Queen. I will keep you regularly posted on my progress. Why does Elizabeth get the entire world’s attention over there in England and her Cousin (2nd really) gets so little coverage? I want to become Queen Bea's American liaison! (BTW if any Dutch readers out there know her or know someone who knows someone who knows her, will you please tell her I said hello and inform her of my liaison offer, Danku). So I know where her office and home is, now I just need to know her schedule. In the meantime I am getting to know the family. Mainly from tabloids but I am trying to improve my sources. I do know that all Royals and descendants of Royals wear a special ring that indicates they are of Royal blood. I am looking for those suckers everywhere! I have developed a Dutch ring fetish. The other day Jur and went to see Julie and Julia. It was in a nice theater, pretty close to Trixie's Palace and the film seemed to attract a more sophisticated crowd. You can order bottles of wine (and beer) and they give you little wine glasses (Dutch Delicacy). It was fun hearing wine bottles pop open during Julie and Julia. Well, just as the lights dimmed for previews this distinguished older, nicely dressed woman with puffy hair and a gentleman were escorted in by a man in a suit. My heart skipped a beat. I thought IT'S HER! I dropped my bag of Dutch gummy candy I was so excited. I was pretty sure I caught the twinkle of jewel covered ring on her hand as she walked in but it all happened so fast. I watched her try to make her way in the dark but it turned out the theater was too full and only two crummy seats in the front row were available so they left the show. I whispered to Jur “I think that was Beatrix" and Jur whispered back "I am sure they would have reserved seats for the Queen, Ken." Yeah, that makes sense. Maybe it was one of her sisters or cousins or something. They're everywhere. I am so close I can feel them. I am GOING to meet her and you all will be the first to know!

Food..... I have wanted to write many things about the food culture (and some might say lack thereof) here in Holland but now after seeing Julie and Julia I am thinking I should try to introduce the Dutch to Mastering the Art of American cooking! This would be a whole other blog. Hell, do you know that they do not have Chocolate Chips here (American Delicacy)? No Chocolate Chips. Seriously. None. Anywhere. I have talked about this for months with everyone I meet (and I am sure it will be something I bring up to the Queen when we meet!) I even considered breaking it off with Jur and moving home just because there are no Chocolate Chips here! (I was having a bad day). No Chocolate Chips seems barbaric. Anyway, I will try to be positive about the Dutch (I do not think Trixie likes me talking bad about her peeps) so I would like to say that there are some WONDERFUL Dutch dishes I have had here in Holland and inspired by Julie and Julia I plan on letting Americans know about them . If you would like the recipe just hit me back and I will send it to you! Heck when was the last time you had friends over for a Traditional Dutch meal? (You can even make a joke about it being Dutch treat!)

Here are my recommendations:

Zuurkoolschotel (Dutch Delicacy)
Fruit boiled sauerkraut with ham and bread crumbs, pineapple, served with mashed (and then baked) potatoes and for dessert baked apples with rum and warm vanilla sauce!

Jachtschotel - I think that means Hunters Pie(?) (Dutch Delicacy)
Seasoned meat, apples, onions, and then a mashed potato topping and baked in a Dutch Oven (Delicious!) (This one takes time) followed by Dutch Appeltaart! Yummy!

Witte Asperges met Ham en Eieren (Dutch Delicacy) (This one is seasonal)
White Asparagus, Egg, Potatoes, Ham and melted butter. (Delicious!) Followed by poached fruit and yogurt whipped cream.

In the meantime....here is my big news.... I am preparing to host 6 Dutch people for their FIRST Thanksgiving meal. (Not the Queen, I assume, this year but maybe next year) (Beatrix if your reading please know that you are invited!) Also one English (sort of) Gentleman, named John (friend of Jur's) who lived in the States for many years and gave me some sob story about how depressed he gets every year on Thanksgiving. He has somehow weaseled his way into getting to make the stuffing. He is already overstepping his boundaries. He even had the nerve to ask me how I was decorating the table and in which way do I plan to cook the Turkey! If he does not simmer down I just may sit him at the kiddies table. Anyway my Dutch guests are excited and are even taking the day off work to come. I told them Thanksgiving is sort of an all day affair. I will keep you posted on this as it approaches. I am getting a few things shipped in from the States. (Thanks Mom!) The Dutch seem shocked when I told them that everyone in America is pretty much eating the same thing on that day, SOOOOO I was thinking (hoping) I could get some of ya'll from all over the States to send us (me) some pictures of your past Thanksgiving table/meal to show all of them how you do it! Will you? I want to knock the clogs off them! Oh and I am nervously excited (and a bit embarrassed) to be introducing the Dutch to Green Bean Casserole. I think I will let the English guy do this one.


  1. Hiya
    Just came across your blog via another expat :) I live in Utrecht (7 years)
    How about peppernoten? Or pea soup?

  2. Ken, another great blog.

    Is your mom sending you a turkey? Hilarious.

    I remember when I hosted my German friend's first Thanksgiving many years ago. You should have seen the look on their faces when the turkey came out. Classic moment!

    Whatever you do, you have to make mac & cheese. I have my own great recipe("Smack ya' Mama Mac" - because it taste so good, it'll make you want to SMACK Ya' MAMA!!) that people love. Let me know if you'd like for me to send it to you.

    By the way, if the Brit becomes too overbearing make sure you tell him, "Back the fuck off lobster tail!

  3. Sadly, I was a slacker and didn't blog about my actual Thanksgiving last year (with a Dutch couple in attendance), but I did mention a bit of my search for certain items: http://oranjeflamingo.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/thanksgiving-adventures/

    In the end, we had the full turkey (outrageously expensive), cornbread dressing, coconut milk sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and a variation on the green bean casserole (I used the Indonesian fried onions to top them). I made cranberry sauce, too, if I remember, and pumpkin pie and pecan pie. I'm probably forgetting something. The best part was, as always, the turkey sandwiches that followed for the next week or so!

  4. Jenever, my favorite. I drink it every night before I go to sleep and think about my father, who drank to much of it. And I once sat in the queen's chair in the Ridderzaal. She wasen't there though....

  5. Let this "overbearing Brit" set the record straight... There was no weaseling, just a polite acceptance to a gracious offer and it was merely a discreet inquiry as to the decor which, note, has already borne fruit but it's your blog so go ahead with poetic licence but reader beware.

    Oh and Ken, you have to tell 'em about the liquoice sprinkles on bread at some point, I was sure that would have made the list.