All posts filed under: Netherlands

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Monday Meal Review: Netherlands

THE SCENE The cakes blow in the breeze. Three girls squirm under the clothesline, each watching their slice sway in front of their nose on a long piece of twine.  Every once in a while an overeager child reaches out her hand and grabs for a slice, her eyes fixed on her parents guiltily. Whenever she is caught, giggles gaggle through the air. When the time for the koekhappen comes, we place our hands behind our backs and count off. One. Two. Three. Each child cranes her neck and tries to bite the cake. No one succeeds on the first try – the slices bob and weave like bumper cars. Eventually even the youngest gets a bite; the children’s cheeks glow and eyes sparkle with the success of it all. For me, the best part of this evening is sharing the fellowship of threading the cake on the line together, the anticipation and watching the joy build in everyone’s eyes, and laughing as we struggle to eat a simple piece of cake. So many times …

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Dutch Potato Salad | Huzarensalade

If I were to make a potato salad, it would not be loaded up with mayo, nor would it be heavy as a brick. No. My picnic table would have something far more glorious: I would make this Dutch potato salad. She’s full of bright, juicy apples, smoky cubes of ham steak, sweet corn, and tiny, salty gherkin slices. She’s an entire meal, surrounded by tender lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, more gherkins, and whatever else you’d like to nibble on. Radishes? Sure. More apple slices? Absolutely. Steamed asparagus? That’s totally Dutch. Swap the ham for beef? Yes, yes. Want to eat your potato salad in a lettuce wrap? Do it with a smile! When all is said and done, and you look down at your plate, you’ll find a fairly healthy meal. This is the perfect platter for any party. I can see it at a baby shower or bridal shower luncheon. And, of course, as an easy summertime dinner. Perhaps in the company of some rabbits. Some Dutch rabbits. Or maybe just at your …

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Dutch Sprinkles n’ Bread | Hagelslag

If you often crave a dougnut but wish it could come without the bellyache, come with me to the Netherlands for breakfast. The quickest way there is with hagelslag, or a “hailstorm” of sprinkles, on buttered bread (no need to toast it). While it sounds incredibly unhealthy, dutch sprinkles are high quality treats and there’s even guidelines for what can be called hagelslag. Most are at least 35% cocoa with 100% cocoa butter (this means there are no weird fillers, like vegetable oil, as you’ll find in cheap sprinkles). For those of you more than an arm’s throw away from the Netherlands, any good quality sprinkles will do the job. For those who can’t stand it and wish to try the real thing, a quick search for hagelslag will get you what you need – there’s all sorts from white chocolate, to dark, and from anise flavor, to even berry. Tip: Next time you visit a friend, put a variety of sprinkles in a basket with a loaf of homemade bread and good quality European butter, and …

Ontbijtkoek

Dutch Spice Cake on a Rope | Ontbijtkoek

This spice cake creates so much joy, it should come with trumpets and streamers. Cake on a rope. So simple, and yet so brilliant. Every child will tell you: this is the stuff dreams are made of. All over the Netherlands, the Dutch nibble on swaying ropes of cake in honor of the Queen’s birthday. No hands allowed. This wildly popular event is called a koekhappen. Weather permitting, many lucky children enjoy a koekhappen on their birthday as well. One of our readers, Sylvia, told me a bit more about the Koekhappen: Koekhappen is a great game for kids. A birthday game, but an old-fashioned game as well that is done everywhere in Holland on Queen’s Day. The Royal family usually visits a specific few towns/villages in a certain region on Queen’s Day alternating them every year and celebrate the Queen’s Birthday. It’s still a day of many traditional games, singing and showing (local) talents. Certainly do this ‘koekhappen’ with Ava. Go for it and enjoy! Here’s Ava, desperately trying not to eat the cake before I …

How-to-play-koekhappen

Menu: The Netherlands

This week’s menu  is a compromise between Dutch taste and the inferno I’m currently living in. That’s right – it’s here: 105F degrees in the shade. This is the weather that requires me to be doing one of two things: swimming or hiding out in the air conditioning. I’m a little surprised 105F has joined us in June, but that’s what’s happening. And we’re all sweaty. While I couldn’t serve ice on ice (although I was tempted), I found a summery-festive collection of dishes to try. They’re simple and sweet, so you can spend more time laughing with friends. What sounds good to you?* Dutch Potato Salad | Huzarensalade [Recipe] This is not your grandmother’s potato salad. Unless, of course, she’s Dutch. In all seriousness, this salad is an entire meal. She’s not only loaded up with sweet corn, salty gherkins,  tart apples, smoky ham, and fresh parsley – she’s also surrounded with an assortment of salad items like cucumber, carrot, tomato, lettuce, and hard-boiled egg. Dutch Spice Cake on a Rope | Ontbijtkoek  [Recipe] A much beloved …

Windmill. Photo by Gouwenaar.

About the food of the Netherlands

If you like windmills, green pastures, unusual architecture, a dollop of Indonesian culture, and being way, way below sea level, then our week at the Dutch Global Table is for you. But first, let’s start with the basics. We have lots of names to keep track of. The country goes by the Netherlands and Holland (Holland being reserved for when her territories are also being referred to). Regardless, her people are called the Dutch and 25% of their land is below sea level and twice that no more than 1 foot above sea level, giving the country yet one more name: “The Low Country.” It’s funny to be spending a week on the food of Netherlands during 101F days, since this isn’t really her element. In fact, there’s a wintery-crunchy-leaves-snowy-skies sort of feel to the place which is reflected in the food. Most Dutch food is hearty and homey – sausages, potatoes, soups, stewed meat (hachee), and thick brown gravies. They are known for a fantastic potato salad, loaded up with all manner of goodness …