Monday, January 12, 2009

An Old Fashioned Dutch Winter

is what we have been experiencing lately. The painting is by Hendrick Avercamp and dates from 1609. And here are some pics of ice skating fun dating from 2009; 400 years later and not much has changed.
Young and old are still to be found on the ice, even baby in its pram.
Quite a few people came by bike, a very ordinary way of transportation if you live in the Netherlands. Even our Prime Minister goes out on his bike, and the Queen.
This is what the ice looks like after people have been skating on it.
And this is what most Dutch people are eating either on the ice, buying it at a Koek en Zopie kraam (Cookies and Punch market stall), or as soon as they got home; snert aka erwtensoep (pea soup) that has to be so thick that your spoon will stand straight up in it. If you want to try your hand at making your own traditional Dutch pea soup you will find a recipe here. Snert is one of the best Dutch comfort foods as it warms and fills you up after a long hard day of skating. And for desert there is pannekoeken (pancakes) with spek (bacon) and stroop (treacle).
As quite a few people have expressed an interest in Dutch oliebollen after I wrote about them in my previous post, they will find a recipe for oliebollen here. Hmmm, my blog is turning into a culinary blog it seems.
At a Koek en Zopie kraam they usually sell hot chocolate, hot sausages, snert, coffee, tea, cookies and cakes and oliebollen. The latter will only be sold in November and December before the New Year starts, not after as it is traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve. Zopie is not sold anymore as it's hard liquor (its either made from warmed beer, brandy and eggs or hot tea, rum, sugar, lemon, raisins and almonds) and quite a few people got drunk on it, very drunk. Skating and drinking don't mix, so quite a few accidents happened on the ice when zopie was served. Nowadays you can often buy a glass of mulled wine (glühwein) at a Koek en Zopie.
It's been quite awhile since we had a real old fashioned winter like we're having now with hoarfrost, snow and heavy frost (between minus 10 and 15 C). Can't remember when we were last able to skate for more than a week on natural ice.
And it all looks so pretty outside.
A swan flying over in the late winter afternoon
Sunset
My garden looks lovely too,
and I've put out extra food and water for the birds. They need a bit of pampering now and as the water keeps freezing I water them regularly, at least three times a day.
It's not only us humans who've been having such fun in this magical winter wonderland. But more about this doggy fun another time.

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

32 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Since it rarely gets cold enough to freeze ice thick enough to skate on here I have rarely skated on ice. I begged for ice skates when I was a child, only to get them and used them one time before growing out of the skates. I never had another opportunity.

Over the years I have romaticized in my mind about the joys of ice skating as seen in some of the Dutch Masters paintings.

It is a joy seeing your photos and knowing someone living my dream.

I can't wait to see the pictures of Tara and her siblings romping.

Lis said...

Schöne Fotos, auch wenn es jetzt so langsam reichen würde mit der Kälte! Wir hatten heute Nacht schon wieder -17°, aber wenigstens scheint tagsüber die Sonne. Seit langen ist auch wieder mal unser kleiner Fluss zugefroren, das hatten wir schon seit ewigen Zeiten nicht mehr.

LG Lis, die sehnlichst auf wärmeres Wetter wartet

Carol said...

Beautiful pictures, though I get colder than I already am just looking at them, and now I'm hungry, too.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

jodi said...

Fascinating to see how your winter is continuing to be very...winterlike; I don't recall seeing such snow and frost etc in your posts in the past, or not for such long periods of time. The photography is completely exquisite.
I've never had Dutch pea soup, Yolanda, but it sounds awesome to me, especially since it has leeks in it, of which I'm quite fond. Dutch friends of mine who were dairy farmers used to make Oliebollen as a special treat, which I loved, but my favourite sweet treat from The Netherlands was always Speculaas. We can get them at the Dutch Canadian shop locally, but they aren't homemade and somehow lose something in the packaging and etc.

Layanee said...

I love pea soup! Your hoarfrost is quite heavy and thick and it always provides great photographic material doesn't it. Too much snow here to skate but I did go cross country skiing with #1 yesterday. #1 is first child-female. Great fun.

Brimstone said...

Ondanks de alcoholvrije zopie waren er maar zat ongelukken op het ijs. Zelfs een minister met een gebroken pols :-)

Leuk log met alle Nederlandse gewoontes. En ik kijk uit naar die van Tara en familie.

Arabella Sock said...

I love pea soup too and will always refer to it as snert from now on - such a fantastic word with a hint of onomatopœia about it.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Yolanda ! .. We were lucky enough to experience this type of weather when we lived in Schinveld/Brunssum .. in South Limburg province. It was between '95 and '99 .. Our Dutch landlord was so concerned about the cold he came over to inspect the pipes in the house ! They had that amazing canal race because all of the canals were frozen for it.
Your pictures are gorgeous .. and I have a few Dutch prints of such a winter .. seeing your post has brought back so many memories .. thank you !

shirl said...

Hi again Yolanda:-)

Wow… what wonderful images of the Dutch enjoying the outdoors! It’s not often you get to ice skate outdoors in my part of Scotland – it has been done though on a nearby Loch.

Ah… yep, cold days and home cooking just go hand in hand! Tasty images and recipes too – you are spoiling us ;-)

Great to see the birds and dogs enjoying their treats outdoors. Your garden is still looking magical – I can’t believe how long it has been like this. Have a great week :-D

nikkipolani said...

Brrrrr! I feel the need to eat thick hearty soup after reading your post and looking at that winter sky.

If you have emailed me to claim your cat quiz prize, I haven't received it... stuck in spam perhaps? Hope you are feeling better and completely over the flu.

Hanneles paradis said...

You have cold too, i love pancakes, with ham or jam, soup is nice in wintertime. Kram.

Karin A said...

Yolanda, it really looks spectacular and wonderful! I love the winter weather and wish we had it too now (and not rain as usual). Soup and pancakes are favourites! Take care and have a wonderful week!

Victoria said...

Yolanda, posting a picture of that pea soup almost qualifies as cruelty. It looks so good! Lovely pictures of the frozen landscape too. Ponds are frozen here too, but not so thick, so there are lots of notices everywhere saying "Do not walk on the ice".

Cheryl said...

Yolanda...bad girl...you stopped that post at the best bit.....soooo cute those little doggies.....

We to are having the coldest winter for three decades.....I really do not like it, it is soooo cold......

Your garden does look pretty....hoar frost does create some stunning scenery

Margo said...

Mooie foto van de zonsondergang.

Eigenlijk wel jammer dat dit winterse tafereeltje voorlopig weer voorbij is.

Casbah Kitten said...

Pea soup! YUM!! I love the photos of people skating...that's something I've always wanted to try. But for now I'll just try the pea soup recipe.

Frances said...

Hi Yolanda, you have made even frigid weather seem like frolic filled fun! The landscape is indeed quite lovely too. And those traditional dishes look yummy, I am in the mood for pea soup too!
Frances

easygardener said...

Interestingly my newspaper (The Guardian) published a large centre spread photo of people skating at Kinderdijk in the Netherlands. Lots of windmills too, which made it look rather magical!

Chookie said...

Oh, I am filled with envy! The frost on the grass is so pretty, and skating outside must be delightful. On the other hand, it is a lovely warm day here today and there is a watermelon in my fridge...

Gail said...

YE,

It has been years since I have seen a frozen pond...college, in other words a long time ago! Beautiful photos...it sure looks cold where you are. The soup and pancake sound delicious to me and would be comforting after being out in that cold. gail

healingmagichands said...

I grew up in the mountains of Colorado skating on ponds and creeks. I did a lot of fantasizing about skating on the canals of the Netherlands a la Hans Brinker. Sure enjoyed the real life pictures, and especially the ones on the previous post of all the hoar frost. Beautiful.

Matron said...

I just love those old Dutch master paintings, particularly that Winter scene! Hasn't it been an unusually cold Winter here? Wonderful photographs, and I look forward to seeing more of Tara!

gintoino said...

Lovelly winter pictures yolanda! We are having quite some cold this winter too with subzero night temperatures (which is albsolutely not normal in the Algarve). That pea soup looks delicious! Maybe I will try it one of these days.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hi Yolanda lovely winter pictures it looks like you have colder wheather then I have. I have +5 today and no snow at all.
We are having Peasoup this evening and perhaps a few pancakes to go with it. You usually served peasoup every Thursday before in the old days but that tradition slowly fades away.

Take care/ Tyra

Bendz said...

Hi,

Simply superb.
Nice shots. The header image is fantastic.
:-)
International Insurance Web World

Poppins said...

You have more winter weather than we here in the south of Sweden. Right now it warm and grey outside. Skating on the canals looks great. I would like to try the pea soup and see if it tastes like the Swedish pea soup.
Love
Poppins

Anna said...

What atmospheric seasonal photos. Warm and hearty food must be the order of the day after venturing out in those conditions. Like Arabella Sock I like the word snert which rolls off the tongue so perfectly. I will make a note of the recipe. A few years ago my husband and I stayed at a campsite on the outside of Arnhem. It was within walking distance of a pancake house where we certainly dined in style. It is making me hungry just thinking about it :)

Flighty said...

What a terrific wintry post, and I love that photo with the swan in flight!
I thought it was cold here but I'm glad that it hasn't been that cold!
Take care! xx

Ewa said...

this is so funny to see that your pictures do not differ too much from paintings 400 y.a. - actually your pictures look like paintings themselves :)
cold here as well - ice thick enuf :)

Annie in Austin said...

Your old-fashioned winter looks like fun for skaters, Yolanda. I can remember my dad taking we kids to skate on a frozen pond when I was a kid, which makes me smile. Since you say the good ice doesn't happen every year, many whoever sells ice skates in your town is smiling, too!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Libby said...

Sorry I've not been around for awhile, one or two things rather took over our lives.
We have had the most beautiful frosts as well, but sadly that has all gone and we are back to the usual rain!!!

Kylee said...

I love pea soup and yours looks very yummy! These are good soup days, aren't they?