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Dutch basics

March 14, 2008


I had my usual lunch today – milk, cheese, and some bread. To some, this may seem a little on the basic side and probably a little boring.  I suppose it is a little boring. Yet, these are my three main staples in the fridge and I maintain a steady supply of these three items all year round. Come to think of it, in my 33 years I don’t think I have ever turned down a cheese & bread lunch. This, I am sure, is proof that I am a Dutch native through and through.

Anyway, as I was eating my lunch and reading the Real Simple travel edition (Machu Picchu, Peru, anyone?), I was thinking back to a time in school when I was about 5 years old or so and just been given the exciting assignment of making a supersized Mother’s Day card.  Putting my paints, crayola’s and bright sticky blue glue to work, I proudly declared that: I love my mum because… [this was a fill-in-the-blank assignment]…she gives me bread.  Well! This prompted an immediate response from my mother who made sure to share quite clearly to the teacher that her daughter also gets plenty of cheese.

And so a tradition is passed on, from mother to daughter, outside on the school playground on our bycicles (I am sure it was raining, too).

The Dutch (not all…but most of them) love cheese – so I couldn’t resist picking up a little Dutch cookbook at a store that had the quaintest little cheese recipe.  From “The Art of Dutch Cooking” (2001) by C. Countess van Limburg Stirum, here is a little Dutch appetizer:

  • Butter
  • 4 slices black rye bread
  • 3 slices creamy cheese

Indeed, the Dutch basics.

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