Archive for the ‘Dutch culture’ Category

For Sinterklaas this year some of my coworkers challenged everyone to bring a treat containing speculaas – the Dutch version of gingerbread spices. So what’s an expat Canuck to make? Obviously: Speculaas Nanaimo Bars! As a Canadian, Bringing Food From My Country presents a challenge because, well, Canadian Food usually ends up looking Italian, Indian, […]

The Netherlands possesses a quaint plurality of towns named “Zevenhuizen” (Seven Houses). There are at least three: Zevenhuizen near Leiden, Zevenhuizen near Gouda and Zevenhuizen near Groningen. On top of that, there are also Driehuizen (Three Houses, near Alkmaar) Vijfhuizen (Five Houses, near Haarlem) and Negenhuizen (Nine Houses, near Delft). Weighing in for the even […]

Delicious, delicious Indonesian eggplant! Everytime I go for rijstafel I secretly hope that these melt-in-your-mouth chunks wallowing in a sweet-tangy-chili sauce will appear in one of the little dishes. Of course, I won’t always live five minutes away from Toko Mini and Surakarta, so I’ve been working up my own version. Other recipes didn’t really […]

I am on vacation with Boyfriend in het buitenland. We speak English together at home, because I am lazy and because I am much more charming in English, but Boyfriend’s Dutch is fluent and mine is competent. I hadn’t really anticipated what a perk it would be to share a common language which, outside the […]

This is Stad van de Zon, near Alkmaar. Evidently I wasn’t the only child who spent hours carefully bulldozing the terrain into perfect little squares…. Too bad there wasn’t any space left over for a Braun Llama Dome!

It was 26 C yesterday, so all of Leiden was out sitting on terrasjes, bbqing in beer crates or, if between the ages of 8 and 13, a drunk university student, or simply a goofy foreigner who spontaneously decided to pack a swim suit, swimming in the canal. Later on, some obnoxious Leiden frat boys […]



As the folks over at have pointed out, there is nothing more wonderful to Dutch people than skating outdoors on natural ice. Now, I don’t feel very Dutch: I talk too much, I eat hot smelly food for lunch and I start conversations with strangers in the grocery check-out line. But back in February, […]