Sunday, January 08, 2012

A Dutch treat

Wow, the holidays are over! It was a mixture of long, lazy days of hanging out and days packed with activities. We had a very quiet Christmas at home (although Christmas day was spent cooking and eating non-stop) then a few days in Victoria visiting my sister. More quiet time at home, an interesting New Year's Eve on Seymour, a couple of days of reprieve, then back to work. Things are in a bit of a crisis at work right now so I have been entirely absorbed by it all. In fact, I am at work right now (Sunday afternoon) waiting for an event to start and catching up on my laptop in the meantime.

Now for the bit that refers to the title of this post. Dutch treat. Back in my childhood I used to enjoy the unique but wonderful Dutch treats and candies. There are lots of these, most notably licorice (in many, many shapes and flavors) as well as 'speculaas' (spiced cookies), 'hagelslag' (chocolate sprinkles), 'beschuit' (a very light and airy round crispbread) and 'boterkoek', an incredibly rich butter-laden type of shortbread. Imagine a very fresh slice of white sandwich bread slathered with butter and covered in chocolate sprinkles. This makes for a wonderful breakfast item :-)

Dutch bounty: licorice, Sambal Brandal (roasted Indonesian chili paste), speculaas, hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and chocolate covered kruidnoten (tiny little spice cookies)...
Every once in a while I will receive a care package from my mother (usually around the holidays) or I will find a Dutch store somewhere and I will be stocked up again, ready to munch away. Yesterday we went to New Westminster to attend the opening of Wild Rice (more about this in a later post), I knew there is a Dutch store there. I made a beeline for the place when we arrived and it sure is glorious:

The first stop was the Wall of Licorice:

This stuff is an aquired taste, most Canadians abhor it, including Connie. I am happy to say however that Kai loves it. It must be genetic :-). He filled up his own baggie from the plethora of choices available.

Tea is also a big part of the Dutch tradition (well coffee trumps it entirely but I never drank coffee when I was young), I am a big tea drinker at home. I tend to buy loose leaf tea from various places and bulk buy my favorites:

Right then, to finish off this post something entirely unrelated but I managed to snap such a cute picture of our new cat Jude that I simply have to include it. Happy New year!

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