Sunday, February 12, 2006

The olde recipe book

Okay here we go. The title refers to a cooperation, a wholesale dealership called Haka, short for “Handelskamer” and had its base in Rotterdam. Haka evolved in the supermarkets Coöp and resulted over the years in the now familiar C1000. By the way, did you know the Haka is a Maori war dance, and the New Zealand All Blacks perform this ritual at the beginning of their rugby games? Maybe you remember the Adidas commercial. I know I would run from the field, that is, unless I was Scottish of course and had a devastating answer to all this display of power….but I digress (::grins and chuckles::). Let’s talk shop again; recipes! What strikes me in this book is the traditional Dutch fare on one hand; the recipes your mother or grandmother used to cook like braised beef (draadjesvlees) or split pea soup (erwtensoep), and on the other hand dishes which we now regard as luxurious/modern. Oysters? Charlotte Russe? Bavarois? Caviar? Truffles? French cheeses? Keeping in mind this book was published in 1938, it makes me wonder… Didn’t they know a war was coming, or did they choose to ignore the depression?

Again, reading this makes you aware that in fact over the years we made a 360o turn. Like our grandmothers did, some of us are back to baking our own bread again, making our own jellies and preservatives and taking pride in doing so (or be frowned upon by the rest of the world; why don’t we buy the stuff ready-made =:-0). I know Oma made a white loaf now and then, and we (my sister and I) devoured the whole loaf in one session. Or, we would beg for fries and she would peel potatoes and make her own, in a little pan over the stove. Magic! She could even make croquets! Made a
jelly out of a shrunken apple and a left-over orange, or apple sauce, or her own egg-nog. (That was a tricky one I remember, it curdled sometimes and she would laugh and tell a story about an old friend on a tiny farm –tante Geert, always in flowered dress, apron and on sturdy socks so she could easily slip into her wooden clogs- she could make “advocaat” with her eyes closed, it would never curdle on her!) These might be the recipes we could make nowadays, looking for the recipes in modern cookbooks. But do you know how to dress a hare or rabbit, pluck a chicken? Or gut and clean a fish? Oma knew (and did it too)! And this book is telling you how!

Uh-oh, still no recipes…. I will, I promise…Today I’ll try to make one of the recipes in the book, and post about it, but you know, I started out to show some of the recipes and then…well…got lost … sort of.

1 comment:

  1. The book sounds fascinating-it looks like it has some elaborate illustrations, too. I'm looking forward to the recipes.


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