Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holidays in Holland 2009

Here it is, the end of another year already!  2009 was great - and I'm so looking forward to 2010.  My New Year's resolution is to watch one movie every (week)day next year.  I'm still in school, and I'm also finishing up a screenplay, so I thought approx. 260 films rather than 365 would be a good goal for a year.

With the help of friends and family I have put together a list of over 400 films released beginning with the 1930s until 2009.  It covers all genres, with slightly more comedy and action films due to my personal taste.  Some of the films I saw in the theater - although the nice thing about having a brain injury is that if enough time goes by, it's like you're seeing the movie all over again for the first time.

I'm really excited to finally see some of the classics that I've missed, or review films that I haven't seen since I got into the industry.  I notice different things now - I can get distracted by awkward lines, unusual camera shots or equally be amazed by acting so good you swear the person is the character in real life.

I wonder what I will learn about films and filmmaking by the end of next year.  I don't know how I'm going to choose what movie to watch on any given night. (Alphabetical?  By year?)  I'll be Twittering from time to time giving a short opinion on what I've seen.  But now, it's the last day of this year, and I know that I am so very grateful to everyone here.  This is such a beautiful country with really terrific people. 

Now, a few recent photos to share...

I got a new coat (thanks Mom!) just in time for the first snow.

The canal where I live with snow!  Hopefully, it will freeze up soon and I can try ice skating...

This is stamppot. 
Dutch food may not be the prettiest, but it sure does taste good!  This is also a good winter dish to keep you healthy and warm.

Another dish that maybe isn't so pretty - but is really delicious and healthy. 
Snert or Erwtensoep is Dutch pea soup.  Another perfect winter food.

The Dutch Christmas - Pakjesavond - with Sinterklaas is on the 5th of December.  Then a more American-style Christmas with Santa on the 25th and 26th of December.  Why two Christmas days?  Nobody knows...

Christmas candles

A little Christmas train. Look at the large version of this photo - like many things in the Netherlands, it's in English.  Although in real life, the Dutch use a French word for Police.  Why?  Nobody knows...

Another big thing here is fondue.  I don't anyone who had a turkey dinner planned for Xmas.  I love food, which is a reason why I love the holidays!

Food to nourish your body and soul.

And now that it's New Year's there's a special Dutch treat - Oliebollen!  I watched them being made, as my real help began by eating as many as I could.  I had four plain, and three with raisins.  Then my tummy hurt, but in a good way.  Here's the general process to make oliebollen...

Start with making the dough.  The Dutch have a trick for adding yeast - they just use beer.  If you want to buy "active yeast" you have to get it from a special store.  It's not like what the US has available in every supermarket.

The floors are heated, and the radiator also helps keep the dough warm so it rises.

Heat a big pot of oil.

Add balls of dough and cook...

...until golden brown.

Add powdered sugar (cinnamon sugar is good too!) and it tastes like you're eating a little bit of heaven.
Gelukkig NieuwJaar!