I finally had a day off yesterday. The next issue of DUTCH is pretty much on its way to print, my next column for En Route only needs some polishing, and I have rounded off a few interesting translating assignments. So what did I do during my ‘breather’? I started with a long run. It was fabulous weather, so I really went for it. It felt like I was flying! Unfortunately, I think I need to cut down on my sessions a bit because later that evening my knee was killing me. I honestly don’t know how I slept. Major bummer. It’s better today but still not 100%. Good reason to schedule an appointment with the physiotherapist, which is what I did this morning.
Before the knee pain hit. however, I had a chance to give the house a good scrub. The French doors were filthy! As I was scrubbing them I wondered why I had gone running — it was one heck of a workout! But all my efforts were well worth it. By the end of the day, the house was tidy again, the floors were clean, I had done several laundries… and I even managed to squeeze in baking a cake! One with booze!
For those of you who aren’t Dutch or don’t live in the Netherlands, the cake has brandy-soaked apricots, known as ‘boerenmeisjes’, which translates to ‘farmer girls’ . It is a popular treat in the north of the country and usually enjoyed in a small glass on special occasions. It i also used to top pancakes or ice cream. For added color, I added in some fresh raspberries. The cake has a lovely tender crumb and is perfect with tea in the garden on a sunny day… or scarfed on the couch with one’s feet up after a long day playing Cinderella! Enjoy!
Cake with ‘Boerenmeisjes’ & Raspberries
- 100g soft butter
- 130g raw cane sugar, plus 2 tbsps for sprinkling
- 2 eggs
- 150g boerenmeisjes (brandy-soaked apricots), chopped, plus 2 tbsps brandy
- 150g Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 220g all-purpose flour
- 125g fresh raspberries
Butter and flour a round 20cm springform tin and preheat the oven to 180C. Cream the butter and sugar with a standing or hand-held mixer until pale and creamy. Add in the brandy from the boerenmeisjes and the eggs one by one while continuing to beat. Fold in the yogurt using a wooden spoon. In a bowl, combine the baking powder with the flour. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in the boerenmeisjes and raspberries and pour the batter into the tin. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsps sugar. Pop into the oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.
When the weather starts to get colder and the days shorter, there is one Dutch product, one delectable indulgence, that constantly preoccupies me. It may well be one of the few things I love about autumn and winter, and it is as much an iconic part of the country’s culinary fiber as stroopwafels (syrup-filled wafers), raw herring or chips with mayonnaise. Only it’s that much better, if you ask me.
I am, of course, referring to Dutch rookworst. The thick, juicy and delicately spiced sausage always manages to tempt me and occasionally makes me forget any kind of dietary restraint.
Hey! Welcome to Friday, and if you’re celebrating Halloween (like I am) happy Halloween! Since moving to the Netherlands in 1997, I haven’t missed celebrating one single US holiday yet. Keeping these traditions has nothing to do with fear of missing out on a party or finding a good excuse to cook a festive meal….although. It’s about honoring who I am, and about passing a little bit of that on to my daughter. Hubby has always been a good sport and is very keen on doing things like carving pumpkins or watching crappy scary movies. He’s less keen on me decorating the house in early October, though.
So what else is on my mind today besides making a ghoulish meal tonight? Well, mainly, where we will be headed for lunch tomorrow. I have been checking out a few options (most of them relatively new), but I’m still not quite sure yet. I might also just pop on over to De Foodhallen in Amsterdam (if not tomorrow, soon). However, a review will not be necessary, in my honest opinion. Just do a search on Google and the positivity from other foodies abounds. That it rocks our socks is beyond obvious.
Earlier this week a friend asked me if I get paid to write these reviews, or if I eat for free. No, and no. Yes, I have been paid to write reviews in the past, and sometimes my reviews are based on places that I am invited to visit, but the opinions are solely and completely mine. I don’t announce where I’m going beforehand either, as I don’t want any special treatment whatsoever. And last but not least, I’m not out to make friends. If I think your restaurant bites, I’ll make that obvious. But, again, that’s only my opinion. If you disagree with what I write, I’ll still love you just as much.
One thing I will probably start doing soon is blogging in Dutch again. Not on another blog, like I did in the past, but here. Everything under one roof. I write mostly in English (also on social media) because I feel that by doing so, I can reach a larger audience. But, on the other hand, I like writing in Dutch just as much. Besides the work I’ve published in Dutch for magazines such as Vriendin and Bouillon, I was also having a ball writing restaurant reviews for an old blog in Dutch a few years ago. Curious? Have a look here, here or here. Perhaps I’ll start by publishing a book review here in the near future. Stay tuned.
Before signing off and going for my pre-lunch walk (damn, is it really almost November and 16C outside??), you might be wondering what’s in the photo above. They’re rice cakes from the organic brand Zonnatura. These are coated with milk chocolate and coconut and ended up in my shopping basket this morning after a mad sugar craving. I wasn’t very hopeful (not a rice cake fan), but these turned out to be pretty good! PS: no one paid me to say that.
Happy weekend and ‘see’ you Sunday!