Christmas and New Year 2014-15

After celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our Swedish family we headed to the Netherlands and finished off the Christmas celebrations at Jos and Eline’s on second Christmas Day. It was a lovely evening with the traditional ‘Gourmetten’ (everybody is cooking their own meal on a electrical coking plate placed in the middle of the table) and of course Christmas presents for everybody.

We had a busy but wonderful second day in the Netherlands. First we headed out for a nice day in the city (Zwolle) and tried to tick off most of the items on our shopping list. Green pea soup was on the menu when we made our usual lunch stop at Public. It was delicious as always 🙂
Later in the afternoon we met up with Hanneke and the girls at an Ice sculpture exhibition. It was a really cool experience… 😉 No, not funny? Well, it really was a cold experience and the creations were amazing! The girls mostly thought it was too cold and longed for another ride on the carousel outside.
After a nice hot chocolate the girls got lucky when fishing for ducks and had loads of fun on the carousels!
The day ended at ‘d’Olde Vismarkt in Kampen for a high wine/beer – wine/beer-tasting menu together with small dishes of various foods. Basically the guys had beer and the girls had wine… It was a really great and fun evening with excellent food and drinks! We started off with small snacks like bread, sausage, cheese, pickled chili etc but soon we got served our first wine and beer together with an excellent trout topped with aioli – Yummy!!! They kept the drinks and food coming and we were all quite tipsy and definitely way to full… It was a good thing that we walked home 🙂
It was a nice but cold Sunday with a nice walk in the woods surrounding Hattem together with Pa Henk and the Van’t Huls!
The nice and quiet evening was spent together with Hanneke and the girls 🙂
The new week started off with the Dekker’s traditional Oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts) party. It was a lot off fun and some very good Oliebollen! Fredde also had a chance to meet Eliene’s many uncles on her father’s side (six in total and the youngest is even younger than Eliene :-)).
We finally had a chance to go and visit Eijgelaar Natuursteen to look for a grave monument for Emma. It was a worthwhile visit and we really found “the one”. The monument will be made of semitransparent glass with Emma’s angel. Now we have to go through the procedures in Sweden to get it approved and hopefully we will be able to pick it up before the summer.
We also had the girls for our selves one evening :-). Silke (and Margreet) really enjoyed playing and singing “Klap eens in je handjes”! Iris on the other hand clung to Fredde the whole evening…
Hanneke, Margeet and the girls started off the last day of the year with a, for the girls long anticipated, visit to the pool! Everybody had a great time and Margreet taught Jente backstroke. Margreet also enjoyed the scented Jacuzzi tubs 🙂
While the girls enjoyed the water Fredde tried to get some good shoots of how people celebrate New Year in Kampen (read taking pictures of crazy Dutch people doing “melkbus schieten”). It’s a very loud and seemingly dangerous sport where people sit on old-fashioned milk churns containing a little water and carbide. It’s a fine art to wait the right amount of time before igniting the gas mixture through a small hole in bottom of the churn and then… BANG!!! Yes, it’s loud, probably louder than you can imagine…
It’s also tradition to get rid of old junk from your garden and attic…
Once the girls were back from the pool we started to prepare for our New Years Eve feast 🙂 Tonight we were going to have our famous salmon tart as an appetizer and our oven baked salmon as our main course but with a Hasselback-potatoe twist… To finish it all off Margreet had baked a wonderful and yummy mud cake. While Margreet and Fredde prepared the food Hanneke and Henk played with the girls 🙂
The food was enjoyed with wine, selfies and a wonderful company, the only thing missing was Berend!
A hungry Silke woke up before the fireworks and also enjoyed our slide show from Thailand.
As the fireworks started to increase in intensity, Hanneke woke up Jente while Margreet and Fredde went outside to watch the show. And what show it was, amazing!  







































A lot more fireworks than in Sweden and it was indeed very nice weather for fireworks! Unfortunately, the bloody melkbus schieten joined in with the fireworks and made it a very loud performance!

On New Years Day we went out for a very nice but quite chilly walk in Ommen. We ate a fantastic dinner at Van der Valk in Zwolle. Fredde started of the new year with a big juicy steak while Margreet went the opposite way and had a delicious vegetarian risotto. Henk went the middle way and had a schnitzel…
No visit to Netherlands without our traditional visit to Holland (the pancake restaurant) 🙂
We had a great evening with Arnoud, Femia and Joep! A delicious dinner and desert rounded up with a few games of 7 Wonders.
We also went down to Deurne and had a great day with the Landeweerds and the Maats :-). We are always impressed when we see Marieke’s and Michel’s house. It is really, really nice and every time we visit they have finished renovating another part of the house. We are looking forward to see the finished product (if it ever will be truly finished…?)!
One last evening with the Hanneke, Berend and the girls :-).
We finished off our wonderful stay in the Netherlands this time by seeing Petra and Ralf. We had a great, but cold, walk in the Engelse Werk in Zwolle. We had a lot of catching up to do and the time went by way too quick!
It has been a great and long stay in the Netherlands this time but we are already looking forward to the next time… Tot ziens!