Monday, 29 November 2010

White Edition: Warm Woolen Mittens

Today, out of any other day, the maiden snow has finally decided to fall. That makes today officially winter. A week before, we'd just found traces of snow on the twigs and leaves everytime we woke up in the morning. Still, I always found snow so magical. To me, it means fairy tales; Cinderella, Snow White and The Sleeping Beauty. At least, that stands true until I experienced my first snow; cold and numbing. Little did I know that the worst is yet to come and it came to me a year ago. I was walking from the bicycle shed into a building. That day the snow was several inches thick so each time I took a step, I felt like a giant with a very big feet. I felt relieved when I reached the doorway and walked straight in absentmindedly. Suddenly, everything around me was crumbling down. Haha, it was just me, alright, falling butt first down to the floor. It felt like I was sliding on a buttered floor, when it was actually compacted snow stuck in between the sole of my boot. So, my advice is, always dry up the sole of your shoes on the doormat before entering a building. Believe me, the pain was unimaginable.

Besides that, the Dutch way to survive winter without having to fall on your ass is to eat a lot of ‘Snert’ or ‘Erwtensoep’ or split-pea soup in English. It’s a winter dish and I have to make them one of these days to help keep me warm. Over here, the concept of soup means pureed concoction. So, do not expect to find bits and pieces in your pea soup. The Dutch have a unique way of checking whether a split pea soup has turned out good or not - stick an upright spoon into it and if the spoon remains upright, then it is perfect. Snert is usually eaten with sausages or rye bread topped with spek*. Of course, you can diversify and make your own version of Snert but why peas? Why not other vegetables? Peas are winter vegetables like cabbages (spitskool), kale (boerenkool) etc. which means they taste the best and the sweetest in winter. Also, for an Asian twist, I think rice congee* can be the best substitute for pea soup. You can add chunks and both share the same thick texture. Or you can just stick to dishes that you are used to. If those can't keep you warm enough, perhaps, tea or hot chocolate with drops of marshmallows can!!

Wow, it’s a blanket of snow outside and the snow has stopped falling. So, I guess this means curtain call. Doei*, see you later, alligator.

P/S: Sometimes it puzzles me why would people limit their food choice according to season. For me, why not have them anytime anytime we want it, right?

*Rice congee: Bubur Nasi

*Doei: The Dutch way to say ‘bye’

*Spek: smoked Dutch bacon


  1. Nice Kak Fatima, i like the way you analyze the stuffs going on over here :D

    From now on I will always subscribed with your blogs :D!!

    P/S: By the way, its "Doei", "Dooi" means something e:g het sneeuw is dooi(melting) ;)

    aight :D

  2. aaaa..ok ..thanx amir..i'll edit it again...


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