Then yesterday, New Year's Eve, I read in Matthew 3 how John declared that One greater than he was coming; One Whose sandals he, John, was not worthy to untie. I could be stretching here, but having just read what I did about the symbolism of the dirty shoe, I thought John's statement had even more punch in telling his audience just how much greater the One to come was! I love it when one portion of the Bible sheds light or amplifies something I read in another part of it...it always feels like a little present from God!
We had a very quiet New Year's Eve here, but I have to say, it was wonderful. I made two particularly delicious treats and they are both from my Dutch heritage. The first, oliebollen, I have made pretty much every year since we got married. Literally translated, oliebollen means oil balls and they are basically a version of fried dough. The batter is slightly thick and is spooned into the hot oil with two soup spoons, and can have additions like chopped apples or raisins. They are best when liberally dipped/rolled/coated with powdered sugar. When Jessica and Steve arrived, I had just started frying them, and Jessica said, "I've been waiting for this for 365 days!"
The second popular item I made is called Saucijzenbroodje. I can't really tell you what the translation is, but it's sort of a Dutch version of Pigs in a Blanket, although that doesn't really do it justice. Here is what I did:
3 c flour
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 c butter
1/2-2/3 c ice water
Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in ice water, 1 T at a time, till dough forms a ball. Knead very slightly and let sit, covered, for 30 minutes.
1 pound ground beef or pork
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t maggi aroma (this is a liquid that comes in a bottle; leave it out if it is not available in your area or substitute Worcestershire sauce. It's nothing like the same thing but it will give a nice flavor to your meat).
1 t nutmet
1/2 c Dutch rusk crumbs; if you don't have access to Dutch rusks (beschuit), use very fine bread crumbs.
Combine all ingredients in bowl, using your hands to get it well mixed.
Cut off a piece of dough, say about one sixth of it (I'm guessing) and make a roll about ten inches long. Then use a rolling pin to flatten it. You want it to be considerably longer than wide - as long as your longest cookie sheet and about 4 1/2" wide, and a little more than an 1/8" thick - about like a pie crust. Then shape some meat into a roll and place on the dough (you can do this in sections, it doesn't have to be one long piece of meat!)
Wrap the dough around the meat - it should overlap a bit - and pinch the edges together. Place the roll, seam side down, on a greased cookie sheet. You can also shape the log into a letter - your initial, say - this is very traditional in the Netherlands and it would make a great gift for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list! Brush with an egg that has been whisked with about a teaspoon of water and bake at 400 for about 25 minutes, till golden brown. Cut into 2" segments and serve either hot or cold. It's delicious both ways!
You will most likely have more dough than meat - I put two recipes from two different books together here. If you have dough left over, it will make a really good pie! And if you have meat left over, you could use it as the base for a great spaghetti sauce. Or make more dough!
Happy New Year!
Abigail did not make it to midnight.