Being Dutch

First Bitterballen of 2015

Yup… it’s been a while… but yesterday we ate BITTERBALLEN. Not just any bitterballen… oven cooked bitterballen!

Huh? I know, me too! I didn’t even know they existed until a couple of weeks ago when we spotted them in Albert Heijn. We just got a new oven, you see. (How I have lived without one for 8 MONTHS is beyond me… but I did!)

So, we were perusing the pizza aisle in AH (The Dutchie’s favourite food groups are chicken and pizza!!!) and when we spotted them, of course, we HAD to try them for ourselves!

OVEN bitterballen... what the heck!?

OVEN bitterballen… what the heck!?

I get the fact that they’ve already been deep-fried. I’m not trying to be healthy or something… bitterballen are a treat and that’s the way they’re staying! The reason that oven bitterballen excite me is because we don’t own a deep fryer. I just won’t allow one in the house! (Otherwise we’d both be the size of a house!!! His 3rd favourite food group is vlammetjes!)

So, let’s give these bad boys a whirl!

IMG_2941

My precious little balls of heaven.

It says to cook them at 220-250° for 8-12 minutes. Which we did, but they still weren’t flaming hot in the centre and the outside wasn’t crispy enough, so we ramped it up to 250° for another few minutes and that did the trick! We could hear the sizzle!

And… the final result!

De-lish!!

Dee-lish!!

They tasted fab! Just like you’d get from any kroeg (pub), but in the comfort of your own home. I’m going to give them a well-deserved 7/10. The coating wasn’t quite as crunchy / crispy as you’d get from only deep-frying and the filling was good, but not spectacular.

However you just can’t beat that feeling of going into a pub and being served bitterballen alongside your borrel. It’s much more gezellig!  I would buy them again – but only for a party or something – what else would Bitterballenbruid serve!?! 😉

Would you try oven bitterballen? Or have you already? If so, what did you think?

Hayley x

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Being Dutch – Part 3: The Bathroom Calendar

Go into any Dutch person’s toilet and the thing you are most likely to see is a calendar hanging on the back of the door. This is not any ordinary calendar. It is the Dutch birthday calendar or verjaardagskalendar

Toilet Calendar

Never forget a birthday again! What with the Dutch being so tight I mean, thrifty, this calendar is perpetual so it doesn’t have any days of the week or years. That way, they can use it year after year without the need to replace it. After all, people’s birthdays don’t change – so it’s very Dutch, very logical.

And why in the bathroom (or toilet!) I hear you ask!? Well, without going into detail… it’s a place where you go every day and have some time and space… Kinda makes sense, don’t you think? Forget the hallway or kitchen – bathroom calendars are the way forward!

Forgetting a birthday is a major no-no in the Netherlands so this handy calendar relieves you of making such a huge faux-pas. And speaking of… NEVER EVER write your own name on the calendar (unless specifically asked) as this also constitutes an enormous sin in the Netherlands.

You’ll be able to tell if you’re considered a good friend / member of the family once your name has been entered on the birthday calendar. A proud moment! And if not… unfortunately you’re not considered a keeper (yet!) 😉

Hayley x