Rotterdam and food

Rotterdam was great!

It was busy the whole time...over 800 visitors/guests coming on board Sunday and 1200 visitors/guests on Monday(estimated). Dutch Mercy Ships office and Rabobank were onboard for a look at Mercy Ships thru media, tours, and testimonies from some of our leaders and founder Don Stephens.

But for me...well lets just say it was more cooking. We are now baking fresh bread for the crew since we will be doing quite a bit of sailing now, two weeks with a stop here and there. Audry and I put on a lovely breakfast sunday morning with a southern twist (because I could). Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy and all the other things like dry cereals, oatmeal, and fresh fruit (and coffee, tea, orange juice, things of that nature) were put out by the dining room crew.

I don't really want to run down the whole menu for the last couple of days but to mention a few things. Five dutch volunteers came in for the lunch on monday to help us with the preparation of 'lunch' dutch style. We have various rolls and buns (sesame, poppyseed, wheat, cinnamon raisin -no, not the dessert kind in the U.S. more like dinner rolls-, etc...) that were prepared with ham and gouda (cheese that is pronounced here in Holland as How-Dah with a throat clearling hard H) that we americans pronounce as goo-dah. They like one slice of meat, and one slice of cheese. They do not like it piled up, and they also like the bread buttered. Some sandwiches were made with just the Brie (another different kind of cheese) and no meat on them. Also the addition of thinly sliced cucumbers, lettuce, and tomato were involved. Now I am sure that I have not covered all the diferent kinds of sandwiches and ways they prepare them, but this was just to give you a good idea. Also potato chips as we call them are usually eaten as a snack, and not with a no potato chips. They did however eat a 'salad' that was very close to a potato salad that we enjoy in the U.S. but it was more like our potato salad made with mashed/whipped potatoes.

Later that evening we prepared some hors d'ouevrs (appetizers) including bitterballen with is unique to the Dutch. Bitterballen is like a thick roux with veal added to it, chilled, rolled into balls (little smaller than golf balls) then breaded and fried ...usually served with our yellow mustard. Very iteresting indeed! But it tastes great! I was surprised at how simple they were in concept (at least to me) but I must confess that it would have been to many to make with little time to do it so we bought them frozen locally and fried them in the fryer. But this will be a neat thing to try out at home or for guests with a great culture and story to go behind/with it.

Maybe as I have time we will talk about other great dutch snacks like fries and peanut sauce (or mayonaise is a big sauce for fries too, I find the mayo' to be a bit different though) and I will certainly get around to talking about my favorite, Stroopwafel!

* Bitterballen are a savoury Dutch meat-based snack, typically containing a mixture of beef (minced or chopped), beef broth, flour and butter for thickening, parsley, salt and pepper. Some recipes also include nutmeg and/or curry powder. The ingredients are combined and cooked, then refrigerated so the mixture can firm up. Once firm, the filling is then rolled into balls roughly 3 cm in diameter, and battered in a breadcrumb, milk and egg mixture and deep-fried. They are typically served with a ramekin or small bowl of mustard for dipping. Popular on Dutch pub menus, bitterballen are very similar to kroketten in their ingredients and preparation/cooking methods, as well as flavour, though kroketten have a distinct oblong sausage shape, with a similar diameter, so kroketten are larger.-- Wickipedia

...cook, chef, culinary sponge, traveler, volunteer, missionary.