One of the best things about the upcoming holidays (besides finally having a few days off – the last public holiday was June 5th!) is breaking out the gourmet set for New Year’s Eve.
Gourmetten is awesome. You have a little grill that goes in the middle of the dinner table and you spend a few hours grilling meats, vegetables (onions, paprika), and other miscellaneous items like pineapple (yuuuum!).
To get a sense of what it is like, check out this blog post from 2015.
This past Saturday Marco, Roger and I celebrated the closing of 2016. As per our yearly tradition, after midnight we go outside for about an hour and check out the fireworks. This year it was quite foggy even before people started setting off fireworks, so it seemed like most people began their celebrations early in the night rather than waiting until midnight.
My favourite photo from that night had nothing to do with the fireworks – it was of the Christmas lights at a house. Although since the lights were red white and blue you could say they were celebrating their nationality:
While some of this fog was due to the fireworks, it really was a pretty foggy night
A bit of purple to brighten the night sky
Quality time with family and friends
Everyone seemed to have the fire “baskets” you see above. Not sure where they came from.
All in all, yet another fun year. 🙂
This year we are celebrating New Year’s Eve at Roger’s. One of the most important parts of that (besides hanging out with friends, of course!) is “gourmetten”. Below is a picture of all of the gourmetten foods Roger purchased for the evening, although we already know we won’t be able to eat everything.
“Gourmetten” is a Dutch tradition of frying meats and (to a lesser extent) vegetables on a small grill on the dinner table. You can see pictures of the gourmet grill in the 2015 New Year’s Eve blog post I made. Roger purchased a new grill for 2016, so I will try and take some photos of that in action. I can’t wait!
Marco, Roger and I went outside on New Year’s Eve this year to see the fireworks being shot off this year. Here are some of the photos I took, although in some cases they are a bit blurry.
A photo of the fireworks sparking up as someone stirred up the fire with a stick:
Christmas trees usually end up in most fires as you can see in this family photo:
Random look at ground fireworks:
Random look at fireworks from a distance:
Someone was stupid enough to try and drive their car over a fire in the middle of the road. They drove through quickly and then got out to inspect the damage. Admittedly those streets are narrow and it would be almost impossible to turn around.
Building a fire (early on in the evening):
Here’s a look at a the remnants of the fireworks surrounding a bike, the day after:
Until next year’s festivities!
A lot of Dutch have a New Year’s Eve tradition of dusting off their gourmetten sets to grill up mini meats, fish and vegetables, similar to the New Year’s tradition of consuming oliebollen. I’ve written about it a few times, but here’s a look at how it went this year.
First we start with a clean set. This set in particular is good for 3-4 people and has 8 pans underneath for extra grilling potential:
Here is a look at the underside so you can see the pans:
And a look at the meat we grilled up:
Dutch supermarkets sell a lot of gourmet mini sets with items that are pre-cut and otherwise packaged in small containers (meats, sauces, peppers, onions and similar). They are frequently sold as “buy 2, get 1 free”.
The gourmet set in action:
And the most awesome thing ever? Grilled pineapple at the bottom (which I have never had until Marco and I went to Rodizio).
And also underneath – shoarma and mushrooms. Yum. Not shown – bread with a choice of garlic butter, aioli and sweet paprika sauce.
Until next year!
Similar to a post I did last year – here’s a look at the line of people waiting for oliebollen on New Year’s Eve. Oliebollen is a sort of doughnut covered in powdered sugar.
Waiting for Godot (and oliebollen)
And be a look at the stand itself (voted #1 this year in The Hague):
This was around 12pm – Marco said the line was about twice as long (by the library) around 2pm. Crazy. This year they even had a street organ playing music for those waiting, which was a nice touch.
Fine jaarwisseling! Happy New Year!
Blog post title is a reference to a quote from The Simpsons: “Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it!”
It’s that time of the year again. Time to buy fireworks!
Of course the Dutch take New Year’s celebrations to the extreme. A fireworks complaint hotline had 17,000 complaints within 2 days of it opening (10 days before New Year’s). The American government emailed their usual warning to US citizens in the Netherlands (link from 2014, but it’s pretty much the same this year). The city website has safety measures, which includes a list of fireworks-free zones in The Hague.
And yes, the prices in the flyer above are insane!
On the way through Centrum this afternoon, I just had to stop and take a photo of the line of people waiting to buy oliebollen, which is sort of like a doughnut. (Actually the Wikipedia article for oliebollen says that it was the inspiration for doughnuts, so there you go.) They are usually covered in powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.
Now that is a long line! When I left for work this morning I wondered why they needed five people working this stand. Now I know why!
Marco and I are now at Roger’s to spend the night. There are basically fireworks going off every second somewhere… It it also important to get to where you need to be a bit early, as the trains have their last run at 8pm and the buses/trams around 8:30 due to how crazy it can get with fireworks in this country. Oh and yeah maybe the transport workers want a holiday too. 😉
It seems that I am getting to used to the craziness that is New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands. I only took a few photos this year! It seemed a bit less crazy this year (perhaps because we weren’t in the same place we stayed at the last two times) but the last street made up for it. I walked the entire street with a finger against my left ear to protect it from the rather loud fireworks.
Of course, I’m always amazed by the sheer amount of trash left behind (though it was cleared up promptly very early in the morning):
Or all the little red wrappers (some of which can still be seen, faint reminders a week later):
Lastly, here’s a photo of one of our fireworks:
The current weather in The Hague is a balmy 13C. That’s about 55F. I will admit it is a bit windy though…
The current weather in the midwest where my parents are? –16F, feels like -41F with the windchill. (That is -27C, feels like -41C. – ironically -41 seem to be where Fahrenheit and Celsius meet.)
Just for fun, here’s a photo from New Year’s Eve in The Hague. Just something burning in the middle of the road. Note all of the red fireworks wrappings in the street.