End-of-the-week Ramblings


It suddenly dawned on me yesterday. Next weekend is Thanksgiving, the week after that Sinterklaas. Almost time to buy a Christmas tree and decorate the house…
Seriously. The days are whizzing by too quickly. It’s not a cliché, it’s the truth. And with that truth, I’m starting to go into slight panic mode because I haven’t ordered a turkey, done any Sinterklaas shopping or planned any holiday menus.
So today is Friday again. The day after Beaujolais Nouveau 2014, to be precise. I purchased a bottle yesterday, like I do every year, and kept my fingers crossed. Last year was horrible. One bottle went down the drain after the first sip and another one, a present, ended up as cooking wine. This year our first bottle (because yes, I probably will be buying another one) was a Joseph Drouhin. I was quite pleased. The wine was balanced, with mild tannins and aromas of ripe strawberries. We enjoyed it with duck rillettes spread on slices of  thick sourdough.
I guess Beaujolais Nouveau time will always be synonymous with the start of the holiday season for me. Hence, the realization that I better start getting my act together. But when will I get around to doing that? This week has been packed, and the work load is pretty hefty for the one ahead, too. I am currently working on four culinary productions, all of them due in two weeks. That’s 24 recipes to be written, tested and adjusted. Not complaining at all though. It’s what I love doing, but what that basically means is that I’ll be working evenings and the whole weekend. In fact, this weekend I will not get around to doing my usual restaurant review because I will be spending the two days testing in the kitchen. And because I will be celebrating Thanksgiving the Saturday after that (I live in the Netherlands, remember?), I won’t have a review for you again until Sunday, December 7th.
One of the things I’ll be squeezing in next week is a press event for the HEMA, a popular Dutch chain store with branches in seven other European countries. They will be showcasing their holiday collection and I cannot wait to see it and tell you all about it. I just couldn’t pass up that invitation.
And with that, I better get started. Can you believe I haven’t even had coffee?? A day of writing English pie recipes awaits! PS: If you’re in Holland, grab a copy of Vriendin this week. Included are six of my delicious (and easy) Mexican recipes. The huevos rancheros is highly recommended for Sunday brunch! Extra tips and background information to go with the recipes can be found here.
Have a fab weekend!


On Dutch Rookworst, with a French Recipe

RookworstWhen 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.