On to the fun part: Food!
A couple of days before the cycling dinner, one of my housemates made dinner and invited me to try it. I asked what it was and she said ‘stamppot‘, and being that I already knew the main course at the cycling dinner would be stamppot (which I had never tried), I decided to taste this one, to prepare myself. I was actually expecting it to taste like crap because of the way it looked (because I don’t really like leafy veggies), but it was lovely. Stamppot is basically mashed potatoes mixed with pork/sausage(/bacon?), and vegetables. I think there’s also some milk and/or butter somewhere in that mix. I learned that there are different kinds of stamppot, and the vegetable you use determines what it’s called, i.e. if you use carrots, it becomes carrot stamppot. My housemate used endive (never heard of it before that day), so the dish is ‘andijvie stamppot’.
Anyway, so the 1st house we went to reminded me of all those Enid Blyton novels that would describe a house as ‘quaint’, and then the person who lives in it would be a nice lady who loves to make pies and tarts. Well, in this case, a student lives there, and he served us pea soup (and beer :D)*. I’ve forgotten what it’s called in dutch, but Google translate tells me it’s ‘erwtensoep‘. Okay then. Did I like the soup? Well, I might have appreciated it better in winter which is actually when the soup is eaten (or slurped), and being Nigerian, I usually prefer my soups to have a bit of chili. But it was quite good. Much better than some soups I tasted last year.
Our host said he used his mother’s recipe, and well, you know (most) mothers are awesome, so this tasted nice. We had to eat it with strips of meat, applesauce and some other type of sauce on the side. I think I preferred the ‘other’ sauce.
The last house had us doing a little dance jig from the moment we got in. I don’t know all the words to the song, but I liked it and tried to search for it on YouTube, and surprise surprise, nothing showed up. Oh well… So we had 4 different kinds of pudding for dessert. Butterscotch, chocolate, and…(I don’t remember). Oh, and before the pudding, we took shots of schrobbeler. It’s a bit sweet, so I liked it. Sort of.
The hosts were really nice, I mean, I don’t know if I can stand having 3 different sets of people coming through my house over a period of 3 hours, and having to prepare 3 different sets of dishes, one for each set. Oh and I’d also have to sit and eat with each set, while trying to have fun conversations. I’m not such a trooper… at some point I would get tired and stop smiling 😦
After all that, everyone met up at a pub for (free) drinks and conversation. Where ‘drinks’ = beer, mostly. This sort of activity is fun for most people, yeah? Not so much for me. Because I feel like I have to keep thinking of interesting things to talk about, and of course I always fail at the ‘interesting’ bit. However, (even though my legs were killing me because of all the cycling,) the entire evening was nice, and I’m very happy I went. People (including me) usually tend to forget the amount of planning that goes into things like this, but since I’m remembering it now, let me comment on it: I think it was very well organized.
* I have no idea why I’m smiling at the thought of beer. I hate beer. But then, in this town/country, cider isn’t very common, so if you go to a bar, your choices are pretty limited. I think the only beer that somehow – and I use this ‘somehow’ loosely – tastes like cider is Heineken, but I still won’t drink it if there’s proper cider.