Thursday, March 31, 2016

Paasbrunch (Easter Brunch) the Dutch Way

The first thing to say is....

More Dutch you cannot get!

And then, out of the 145 apartments where we live in our senior complex, with 200+ residents, there is always a core of us who get together for special holiday Easter brunch.  For those of us who don't have relatives nearby...or a church service...we have something to make us feel festive.  

This time there were 23 of us.  We started at 11 a.m. and finished two hours later.  But pay attention because this all happens in a sequence and in separate courses, one at a time.  Just when you think there couldn't possibly be more, it goes on...and on.

The table was set, waiting for us with glasses of orange juice.
Look at all that yellow.  So perfect for Spring and Easter.
As we all gathered, champagne was served and we gave our toast:  "Proost!"

Then baskets of French bread were added to the tables,
with both plain and herbal butters nearby.... accompany the choice of soup next being served:  chicken or vegetable (with meatballs).
Many, like Astrid, had one bowl of each.  And why not!

It wouldn't be Easter (or Sunday!) without a hard-boiled egg, of course.

But for some reason, I always forget that a salad is coming.
It's a ground potato-ham mixture with accompanying cherry tomatoes and silver onions,
and another boiled egg on top.
Notice that by this point my champagne is gone.

Which made for the perfect timing of the coffee or tea making its rounds.

Of course, we hadn't had enough to eat by then, so...
bring out the feeststol...the Dutch bread served at Christmas and Easter!
It's the almond-paste center that makes it different from the German stollen.
Astrid calls it a sugar bomb, but at only two times a year, who cares, right?!

Oh, and as if we hadn't had enough eggs already, there were scrambled eggs with Dutch spek/bacon!
The deli plate was for the rolls, in case you weren't full enough.

And finally, there was the canned fruit cocktail (which I actually grew up on, interestingly).
And a surprise Belgian chocolate Easter bunny, one for everybody.

Are you still hungry????
Over the course of 2 hours, it all settles in.

As does the getting to know each other better.
This is why we love these times together.  Fellowship.  Koinonia.

Going around the table, one by one, yakkity-yak.
These are the people we have grown to love, some of whom are my Rummikub mates on Fridays.

Riet and Ria (top-center) were two, besides Ineke, who bought and organized all the food,
with heavy financial subsidizing by our Poort 6 management:
we paid €3 per person!

All the familiar suspects....with Ineke, top right and bottom.

The lady sitting next to me turns 91 in June, 3 days after I turn 71.
I told Astrid I may rethink not wanting to live that long...if I can look like that!

As they say, all good things come to an end,
but not without help.

The residents' committee had everything under control, of course.
Let's call it  Dutch Cleaning Clean-up.

The remains of the day, with email addresses handed out....
(they all knew I was taking pictures for something).
Yup.  This was our celebration for Easter, and....

More Dutch you cannot get!


  1. So super sweet! I love all the faces, and the colors, and the LIGHT. I see so much Norman Rockwell in this series of photos!

    1. Awwww, Ruth. Thinking about Norman Rockwell in juxtaposition with this event brings a big smile to my face. :)

  2. It was a fabulous day and it always is a joy to be with these people. They have great humour and can take a joke. They are always happy to see us and we always make sure that we talk a lot and listen to their stories. One day I hope one will listen to my stories when I am that old like they are now. Riet and Ria and all the ones that helped did a great job. It is like family and why not... Great set of pictures to show a special time we had.

    1. These are the memories I hang the year on, Astrid. I feel so very lucky...and blessed!

  3. Oh you do know how to party and put on a great spread, as we say! What a treat to keep having course after course of scrumptious food. My idea of a celebration! Maybe I am Dutch, and don't know it! :)

    1. HAHA! Donna. I think there might be a bit of Dutchness in all of us. As I often say, "Leave it to the Dutch!" :)

  4. How wonderful! Such a lovely meal and fabulous company. I love the Dutch tradition!

    1. It really WAS wonderful, Marie. The longer I live here, the more I love being here!

  5. I so totally agree with Ruth! Norman Rockwell for sure! Love it all...the best is that you have a "family" within the complex. Love all the courses and love that your champagne went away early, ha ha! All wonderful! xo

    1. Norman Rockwell it is, then, Robin. Two of you can't possibly be wrong. :) And yes, we DO have a "family" here, which makes it much easier for me, in particular, being so far from home. The champagne was delightful, of course.... :)

  6. What a beautiful tradition. I love all the yellows.

  7. Mooi gedaan Ginnie. Geeft een leuk beeld van de Paasbrunche. Volgende week gaat de nieuwe beamer in bedrijf. Ik kan dan ook websites laten zien. Misschien een leuk idee om de foto's dan aan hen te laten zien, die geen internet hebben.

    Nicely job Ginnie. Gives a nice image of the Paasbrunche. Next week, the new beamer goes in company. I can therefore show websites. Might be a fun idea to show the pictures for them who have not internet.

    1. Thank you kindly, Dries. And, of course, you can show these photos for those who don't have Internet! Thanks for the idea.

  8. Replies
    1. Many kind thanks, Ary. It means a lot that you left a comment here.

  9. Regardless of how many times a year, this would not be good for Jane’s and my diets nor for my cholesterol. Then again, neither has our weekend in Pittsburgh. But what a beautiful city this has become!

    1. Isn't it weird how when you cut certain things from your diet (like too much sugar or salt), you can hardly stand it when you get too much of it! I know what you mean, Ted. But I do like a good piece of chocolate that's 70% or higher, like the Moser Roth we get at 85% here for cheap (€1.19 for 125g). Do you have any stock in that??? :)