In Dutch it’s called “Dordt op jou bord”. Literally translated it’s something like “Dordrecht on your plate.”
Actually, Ann and I didn’t even know about it until we stepped out of the apartment at 2pm (something I would not have done had it not been for Ann’s prodding). But we found ourselves right in the middle of Dordrecht’s yearly culinary festival. The main square was filled with tents from restaurants and catering companies. There was a bandstand. People everywhere. And, wonder of wonders, even sunlight.
After I got adjusted to the sunlight (something you rarely have to do in the Netherlands), I realized that even though I had just stuffed myself with Golden Grahams (the first time I had them since coming here), I still had room for 2 Euro appetizers and 4 Euro entrees. Yum.
Everything was great. I had a lamb dish that was topped with bacon and served with a little potato-cheese gratin, I had a sampling of “luxury” appetizers that included smoked salmon pastry, pate, and other fancy stuff the name of which escapes me. Then we had bread with various pesto-butters and curries from our favorite restaurant (The Dulle Griet). Man, it was “lekker” (delicious).
Ann and I were celebrating our one year anniversary in the Netherlands. The celebration started Friday night with me winning 20 Euros at poker with my friend Ian in Den Haag. Then the party just kept on going with a trip to Breda, a really nice town twenty minutes south of Dordrecht with great shops and a nice Belgian feeling. We followed that up with a fantastic barbecue at my friend Peter Cortie’s house in the south of the Netherlands. He has a huge (by Dutch standards) house out in the middle of nowhere where we ate on the back porch overlooking the large, well-kept garden with my MBA classmates Hanneke and Michel, and Michel’s lovely wife Lilian.
Peter was a great host, and a fantastic chef (with the aid of his wife Connie, of course). Ann is one of those people whose quality of life improves when she has good food, and she and I both stuffed ourselves with the five courses that Peter served. It was beautiful. First, fantastic fresh bread. Then a plate of seafood appetizers with smoked salmon, little tiny shrimps (they have a name I’m sure, but I don’t know it), tuna-filled sun-dried tomatos, and other green leafy stuff. Then we had oysters cooked on the grill. Then a bowl of fish soup. Then a tuna steak that was deliciously marinated accompanied by green linguine with cream sauce. I’m told the wine was good too, and knowing Peter, I don’t doubt it for a second.
We have rarely eaten that well outside of a five star restaurant, I can assure you.
We did everything we could the rest of the evening to make sure that we’d get invited back. Ann even gave Peter the best of compliments, saying that his fantastic cooking was good even by Belgian standards. 😉
All in all, a weekend of culinary delights.