Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sint came knocking

So last Wednesday was Sinterklaas, accompanied by Pakjesavond (gift night).

At 8am - before it was even light out - I woke up to the lovely sound of a typical mobile automatic organ (above). It was playing the typical Sinterklaasje song. These things are all over the place, but not usually outside my front door. This is what it sounded like:

A few minutes later, there were hundreds more children and their parents all lining the bike path you see in the video (yes that's a bike path, not for cars). Apparently Sint himself was making an appearance on my street! 

These are pepernoten (and other sweet things). The zwarte pieten throw them at the children and the children try to catch them - or pick them up off the ground and eat them. The children are always excited to get pepernoten. 

The highlight of the morning Sint show included one of the Zwarte Piet belaying down from the roof of the school. (Apparently, Zwarte Pieten are good at this because that's how they get down the chimneys and deliver gifts.) All of the children shrieked when they saw the Piet coming down. It's all for the children, you see. (That's what every Dutch person has told me when we talk about Sinterklaas.)

In honor of the celebration of a Dutch cultural event, I decided to have a very 'Dutch' breakfast. I remember eating this with my Oma, at any time of day: bescuitjes met boter en hagelslag (hard, crunchy bread with butter and chocolate sprinkles). YUM! That evening, Elliot and I read poems to each other (should I post them?) while eating hutspot and boerenkool -- two very Dutch dishes that involve potatoes, carrots, kale, and more potatoes (it was just alright). We had a lot of fun, though, and I'm getting excited for the holidays!  


  1. I think there is nothing more dutch than beschuit met hageslag. When I met the boy (in an airplane, none the less), he had brought a packed lunch of.. you guessed it, bread with hageslag in case the airplane food was bad.

  2. And don't forget the muisjes!


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