Friday, December 11, 2009

Dag Sinterklaasje, Dag, Dag Zwarte Piet

Every year I say I'm going to celebrate Sinterklaas, but then I end up being too lazy to actually do anything about it. But not this year. Sinterklaas officially made his first trip to the Sutherland home.

Sinterklaas is the Dutch precursor to our beloved Santa Claus. (Note: all of these details are likely incorrect, as I don't really know what I'm talking about.) He comes on a boat to Holland from Spain in early December with his little helper Zwarte Piet and then on December 5 he visits everyone's house, bringing presents for good little boys and girls.

What makes Sinterklaas better than Santa Claus is that instead of just giving naughty kids a lump of coal, Zwarte Piet smacks the bad kids with his chimney brush, shoves them in a bag and takes them away to Spain. (Which doesn't seem like such a bad thing in the middle of the winter.)

Anyhoo, though our festivities were meager, we managed to cobble together a few Dutch traditions for the big day.

Oh, the Oliebol

On Friday night, Traci found a recipe for oliebollen (direct translation: oil balls), a Dutch treat that's only available during holiday season. It's just a giant hunk of dough, fried up and dipped in powdered sugar.

We were wise to do our Fry Daddy-ing in the garage, as it certainly stunk up the joint. It was well worth it. Dee-licious.

Our Wooden-less Shoes

Little Dutch boys and girls put their wooden shoes by the chimney before they go to bed. Sinterklaas then comes down said chimney and fills the shoes with treats.

We have neither chimney nor wooden shoes in our home, but we did stick our Vans by the front door. We left some carrots and celery in Paige's shoes as a gift for Sinterklaas's horse. Paige found this strange, but participated nevertheless. She also wrote a brief, but poignant letter to the Sint (kort maar krachtig, hoor).

"Dear Santa. Love Paige."

Succes! Het is Gelukt!

Though we certainly didn't adhere to strict Sinterklass protocol, the Big Guy found still managed to find us. Come morning time, he had taken the vegetables for his horse and left a poem (in our handwriting) and a chocolate letter for each of the kids.

Paige seemed pleased that Sinterklaas had been to our house. Curtis was happy to walk around the house with a giant letter "C" hanging out of his mouth. I was happy that we now have a new family tradition for the 5th of December.

Piep, piep, hoera!


erin said...

wat leuk!

you could always come up to seattle...there is a dutch town called lynden near the canadian boarder and they have a sinterklaas parade every can get chocolate letters, speculaas popen, poffertjes, olliebollen, apelflapen...alles en nog wat! : )

ps - you do know about the waffle and frites place in salt lake, right!?

Abbey Harper said...

How odd, we discussed this at my crazy crafting ladies dinner tonight.

Carolee said...

Wow, your oliebollen turned out much better than my attempt last year... yours are actually round.
RB was very pleased when Calvin's Catholic school announced they would be celebrating Sinterklaas and asked that kids bring in a shoe to school. To his disappointment though, the nuns left out the part about naughty little kids being taken and sold as slaves. strange.

su-tang 3000 said...

I guess I should have disclosed that the oliebollen pic was stock photography. When I upload our personal pics you may be slightly less impressed. Delicious nevertheless.

Unknown said...

Wij hebben ze allebij gezein bij het Hollandse Winkel dit jaar. 't Was hartstikke leuk!

Kayson (Elder Brown)