We are back from our Dutch vacation and happy to be back in the dry heat of Puglia. The weather in Holland was nothing to complain about, lots of big fluffy clouds, little rain and even though I lost my jacket within the 1st 24 hours of my trip, I didn’t end up having to buy a new one! We ate very well the whole time we were there, enjoying simple breakfasts and lunches and delicious dinners, eating lots of fish, pancakes and Indonesian food. There were plenty of frites (fries), cheese and hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles, see above photo), this is now my daughter’s favorite food.
We ate pancakes for dinner two nights in a row. I followed my Om Matti (my grandmother’s cousin) and ordered the Noordzee, with little Dutch shrimp, salmon, capers and a lemony hollandaise sauce. I ordered an apple raisin pancake for my daughter, she seemed a little confused by it and preferred eating my salmon, I thought she would have loved having breakfast/dessert for dinner, but she apparently wanted dinner. We ended up at the same restaurant the next night, on our own and I ordered the same fishy pancake, it really was too good to not have again, though I wish that I had tried something different, savory pancakes are a very special treat.
We started our days with a typical Dutch breakfast and usually continued the day with a typical Dutch lunch, they are basically the same thing. Brown bread and rolls with butter, cheese, hagelslag, a little ham, and a few other tid bits. At lunch with my Om Jaap he took a piece of brown bread, spread butter on it and then put a piece of ginger bread on that and ate it with a knife and fork. I was tempted to take a picture of his bread sandwich, so Dutch, but didn’t want to offend. I remember loving these breakfast-lunches as a child and then slowly growing tired of them after a few weeks of the same thing. I didn’t tired this time, the butter is is tasty, the bread is hearty and deliciously fresh and the cheese is wonderful. I am sorry I didn’t bring any back with me.
I also indulged my daughter, and myself, and ate a lot of patat frites, french fries. I don’t think there is any other place in the world that makes fries like they do in Holland, and I love the fact that they put mayo on them and not ketchup, and they they are served with tiny wooden forks, the Dutch aren’t too fond of hand food.
I love Indonesian food, and after all of the years that the Dutch occupied Indonesia, there are some wonderful Indonesian restaurants in Holland, unfortunately my friends and I didn’t choose one of them. The flavors were exciting, we had a mackeral that was steamed in a banana leaf, stewed squid and some salads with lots of spice and peanuts. The service left a lot to be desired, and so did the meal, there will be other chances for good Indonesian food.
One of my best meals out was in Utrecht at a little restaurant that my friends knew. The atmosphere was cozy and the food was delicious. It also helped that my daughter fell asleep in her stroller on the walk to the restaurant and slept through most of the meal. We shared an appetizer of a salmon tartar and then ordered mussels with fries and a baked fish with vegetables. Delicate flavors and delicious.
I cooked a few pastas while I was there, one which is perfect for a small kitchen and people who want to wash as few dishes as possible, the other was a taste of Puglia in Maastricht!