Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la
Has been the season for office Christmas parties, fa la la la la, la la la la
The company my husband works for is likely to rank pretty highly on ‘best companies to work for’ lists, and I think their Christmas parties must be among their staffs top reasons to work there. Ben has worked there for nearly 10 years, and ‘other halves’ have been invited to the Christmas do (and have been paid for) for all but one year, so I have been to quite a few of their dos, and I can safely say that this year they excelled themselves: we had a weekend in Amsterdam.
Unusually for me, I know a fair bit of trivia about Holland: that it is the home of clogs, tulips and windmills, quite a bit about artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt whose work I studied on my Art History degree and that Anne Frank’s family’s secret annexe is there. I love their stroopwafels when the Christmas markets arrive in town, but besides stroopwafels, I don’t really know anything about Dutch cuisine.
Oh, except that I hate Jagermeister and the bountiful Jagerbombs that Ben’s work promised to pay for whilst on our weekend away. I sensed a challenge creeping up on me … what do the Dutch really eat, and is there a way to make Jagermeister taste palatable, let alone nice? I wanted to learn more about Dutch cuisine, so challenged myself to come up with a full Dutch-inspired meal; and, because I was treated to an ice cream maker for Christmas, I have come up with a pudding for the latter part of the challenge. The menu I’m thinking of is:
Smoked ham hock terrine with a mini savoury gouda stuffed croquembouche
Pan fried herring with pickled and roasted beets and a dill salad
Chocolate cake with rum-roasted pineapple and Jagermeister ice cream
Before I go any further I should mention that I haven’t actually made this yet, the holidays and a crazy amount of staying with the folks has taken over. However, despite thinking it’s going to work, the uncertainty, intrigue and hope is enough to get me to tell you about it and be quite excited about giving it a shot (no tenuous pun intended), wish me luck, I will be making it when I get home.
I know, why would you want to taint such deliciousness that is ice cream with Jagermeister? Well, despite really, really not liking the liquorice-like German liquor, in ice cream I reckon it is probably quite nice; I am afterall a firm believer that adding sugar will generally improve many things. I must say that I had not partaken in too many Jagerbombs when I came up with this, indeed I am not the only one to have had this idea, I was inspired by this Jagermeister sorbet and this Jagermeister ice cream.
I will report back in January but, in the meantime, here are a few pics from Amsterdam. The challenge is on!
Amsterdam must-see: Anne Frank’s family’s secret annex – a very haunting and emotional experience
Quintessential Amsterdam: canals
Quintessential Amsterdam: bikes – the picture shows the lower section of the bike flat (a huge multi-story car park for bicycles!)Last but not least, quintessential Holland: windmill (you could see these adorning many a stall at the Christmas markets)