Happy Second Christmas

Kerstmarkt
It’s still technically Christmas — the Dutch celebrate Tweede Kerstdag (Second Christmas Day) today — so I thought I’d share a few photos taken from last weekend’s kerstmarkt (Christmas market) that was held this year behind the stadhuis (city hall, the big building in the background, also the location of the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht if you remember my postings from earlier this year).

We went to the market twice: once during the day and again in the evening to take in the lights. Of course, we were also enticed back by the witte gluhwein (a spiced, warm, white wine) and more poffertjes. This time, the poffertjes were made in the back of a converted car that was absolutely brilliant! The poffertjes were excellent, too.
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
There were lots of places to get food, stalls set up with gifts, a little shed with books free for the taking, and a charming swing merry-go-round, along with a bouncy castle for the kids that was shaped like a snow globe.

The market was nice during the day, but really came alive during the evening, even at the end of the weekend and a weekend with less than stellar weather. It definitely helped get us a bit more in the Christmas spirit.

I hope you’ve all had a good first and second Christmas and wish you all happy holidays.
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt

In Praise of Poffertjes

Poffertjes
Somehow, despite the number of years we’ve been here, we had never gotten around to trying poffertjes. I’ve been familiar with them since our first year here and have seen bags of them for sale in the grocery store, and restaurants set up at the summer kermis (fair) dedicated to them, but somehow we’d never tried them. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw that this year, Neude would be home to a poffertjessalon this winter season. I knew the time had come to finally try them.

What are poffertjes? They’re sort of like mini pancakes (silver dollar size, for my American readers), but puffier. They come topped with butter and lots of powdered sugar. You can get other additions, as well, including a few liquor options such as rum and advocaat.
Poffertjes
Sorry for the less than stellar photo, but we dived straight in when the plate arrived and I was lucky to remember to get even one photo before they were all gone. They’re really tasty, without being overly sweet, despite all the powdered sugar. They reminded me a little bit of the beignets I used to eat in New Orleans at Café du Monde.
PoffertjesPoffertjes
For a temporary structure that is put up and taken down to travel around, it’s surprisingly nice inside. There are rows of long tables with tablecloths and centerpieces, and the décor is full of old-fashioned charm. The poffertjes are made at the very front of the structure, but unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of it. They’re made in a special pan with shallow holes specifically for the poffertjes. You can get small pans for home use, but the stalls use large table-size pans. You can see an example (and read more about the poffertjes) here.
Now that I know just how good they are, I’m sorry we waited so long to try them!
Poffertjes