Sunday, December 17, 2017

Get busy baking! (I really should)

It's that time of the year -lovely speculaas smells should be wafting from my kitchen, trays and trays of cookies ought to be cooling down while I whip up frosting...but no such luck. Once again, the holiday season has snuck up on me. Every single year, when the first day of December hits, I have great plans to show off my culinary prowess: this year, I tell myself, I am going to do it all. For the Sinterklaas celebration I will bake gevulde speculaas, speculaasbrokken and kruidnoten.

And then, I seriously mean it, between then and Christmas, I will bake a Kerststol for every weekend breakfast, make borstplaat to set out on the living room table for guests, I am going to make kerstkransjes to hang in the tree, and while I am at it, I may give schuimpjes a go. Not because they are necessarily a part of the winter holidays, but because they're so nice and light to eat.

And I, every December, solemnly SWEAR that THIS year, I will fry enough oliebollen, appelbeignets and sneeuwballen to share with friends so that we can all enjoy a great celebration and ending of the year.

But what happens e-v-e-r-y single time? That's right, life interferes with my carefully planned baking schedule! See, it's December 17 now, and what have I accomplished so far? Of all the amazing and lekkere plans, so far I've only tested a new oliebollen recipe (I decided to stick with my own) and made a small batch of gevulde speculaas. But I promptly forgot to take it out of the oven after baking, so it was harder than a rock (I still ate it because nobody else was going to make one!).

Today, I am finally baking a Kerststol (yay me!) for the first time this season. This year, again, nobody has seen (or will see, for that matter) any kruidnoten or speculaasbrokken emerge from my kitchen, unless I buy them from a Dutch store, and you can forget about the borstplaat altogether - it's not going to happen this year!!! Geef mijn portie maar aan Fikkie, like my mug says!

On one hand it bothers me that I can't get everything done that I wanted to - but I also realize that, while I am not in the kitchen, I am tending to work, school, pets, students, family members, friends and life in general. And that's okay, too. This holiday season will still happen, whether I bake or not!

Perhaps you are a kitchen goddess with all the time in the world, or maybe you are a bit like me, happy when life takes a step back so I can bake some of our heritage recipes that remind me of home, family or loved ones. Regardless of where you are in the baking spectrum, enjoy the upcoming holidays, don't be too hard on yourself and do the best you can! There is always next year :-)

What's baking in your kitchen this week?


  1. Next weekend I will be making: kerststol, worstenbroodjes, speculaas, en gevulde koek. Maybe some advocaat too! ��

    1. What a wonderful weekend it is going to be! I may join you in the advocaat making - let us know how the weekend turned out!

  2. I'm trying to see if I can make Spanish rice,lasagna, ginger beer, and slagroomtaart for the first time.

    1. Wow! Are all those a first? This sounds like a feast! Are you using champagne yeast for the ginger beer?

  3. I am baking pepernoten, gevulde speculaas and banketstaaf all for the first time and taking on my Oma's tradition of supplying the appelmoes, again for the first time. We live in Australia and I'm loving wholly embracing the Dutch side of life!


I welcome your comments! Please be so considerate as to include a name, as anonymous comments will be deleted. Comments will appear as soon as they are monitored (usually within 24 hours). If you have a direct question, please consider emailing me at nicole at thedutchtable dot com for a faster response, or post on our Facebook page.