Tuesday, November 27


One thing which can definitively be said about the Dutch: They like their deep fried food. From the kaas souffle, to the loempia, and onward to the borrowed Belgian snack--frites with mayonnaise, there is very little that the Dutch won't fry in fat. The snack shops and kiosks and train station automats are a celebration of all things hot and dripping with grease. This is serious comfort food at its finest.

Tonight after work I saddled the bike to make a quick run to the grocery store, hoping for inspiration in the what-to-make-for-dinner department. It didn't arrive timely. I walked out of the store with only apples and laundry detergent in my basket.

And then a plan presented itself.

Our Elise--nanny, savior, freedom-from-diapers-deliverer, and friend--is spending her last night on Dutch soil. Tomorrow morning she will finish packing her bags and the two of us will then schlep them together to Schipol airport. Unbelievably, the three months of her allotted tourist visa stay have flown by, and it is now time for her to return to the sunny skies of Arizona. But I realized tonight I just may have been remiss in her education and culturization of Dutch life. Yes, I had failed to feed her a frikandel.

A sausage of sorts, perhaps better described as a minced meat concoction in tube shape, this mass of mystery meat is dropped into the friteur and cooked to gross greased perfection. Personally, I like my frikandel slapped onto a bun and smothered in peanut sauce, but you can eat them plain too. And how can you leave Holland without such a treat?

Without hesitation tonight, I rode my bike down the street to the corner snack shop, stepped in and placed my order. Upon arriving home I plopped the feast upon the table for the kids and their au pair.

I have to admit, it was all pretty much finger likin' good. I only hope that given the grease consumed it will serve to stop up my tear ducts and allow me to say tot ziens to the princess in the morning, with some sort of dignity.

I am going to miss her company something fierce. We all are. And while I attempt to adjust to life without my Elise, I will most assuredly be looking for some comfort.

Hey! Will someone please pass the ketchup?


  1. A good send-off. Give her something to come back for. My son would return to Holland for the Belgian frites with mayonnaise alone. ;-)

    Seriously, though, I'm sorry Elise has to go home. For all your sakes.

  2. Another post like this and I am off to 't frietkot for frietjes, a kipcorn and a kaaskroket.

  3. If I lived in Holland I would be the size of a house, what with all that delicious unidentifiable brown stuff they deep-fry and serve up. Yum. And don't get me started on poffertjes, chocolate, stroopwaffles, oliebollen, apple pie, etc etc.

    I am clearly a woman obsessed...

  4. Mmm...I must now visit Holland. Because if there's anything better than sausage, it's deep-fried sausage. It's like the Illinois State Fair! :)

  5. I'm really, really missing my mama's loempia, but you know what I'd kill for? Sauseisje broodjes! Yum!!!!

  6. I'm sorry you have to say goodbye to Elise :(

    Your post made me miss all my favorite Dutch foods.

  7. And what about bitterballen? And kaassoufleesjes? And the Indonesian imports Nasi and Gori in their little deep-fried patties? And..., and...,...? Surely if you have missed out on indulging her in these treats then she won't be allowed to leave already (hint, hint)?

  8. I am so sad Elise is leaving you and your brood. But it sounds like you are giving her a proper send-off!

    I, however, would rather not try frikandel if/when I come visit you!!

  9. Feed me frikandel (or any kind of meat) any time! I love a kipcorn, but the frikandel is definitely on the second place! Sorry you have to say goodbye to Elise, but maybe she's hooked on fikandellen now, and she has no choice but to stay.

  10. I'm sorry your Elise is leaving. I'm sure she'll miss all of you as deeply as you'll all miss her.

    As for deep-fried foods, my arteries were hardening just listening to the descriptions--of course, I was also drooling . . .

  11. Yeah, remember that whole part about me wanting to come and visit you in Holland? I take it all back... I'm pretty sure I just threw up. And then passed out. And knocked my head so hard that I'm not actually sure if the throwing up and the passing out really happened.

    But, um, I'm pretty sure that you served such poison out of love, right?

  12. Wow, it seems just like yesterday you posted to say she was coming. Those months went by fast! I'm sure she's going to miss you as much as you miss her. Great way to send her off, though!

  13. Wonderful send-off! lekker, lekker, lekker! (about the only dutch word I still remember!)