Thursday, December 9, 2010

TIME OUT: Party here, there and in the Netherlands

Hello!  HT couple had been very busy since the 1st of December hit the calendar.  Dec, is my favorite month.  Aside from the holiday break from work, it gives a sense of joy with all the glittering lights put up on the street (not to mention the almost-burning Orchard Road in Singapore) and how each (building in Makati in Philippines) glam up as if there's a big prize for creativity.  Parties, reunions almost everyday...just sharing food, laughters and time.

In Holland, we start the festivity with Sinterklaas.  Also known as St. Nicholas or Santa Claus for me!  He celebrates his birthday every 5th of December and this is when you find Sint (santa) all over the places in the Netherlands.  Nobody has confirmed if Santa Claus of the US really originated from Holland's Sinterklaas.  But do take note, that New York (new Amsterdam) was a Dutch colony.  Wherever it came from, at this age, Sint or Santa still gives a big smile on my face. :)

This is how Sint (santa) looks like in Holland.  He wears a cape and a bishops hat, (ok, he was supposed to have white beard as well but somehow this Sint shaved :D) and along with him are the Zwarte Pieten (black Piets), who we are acquainted to as santa's elves, carry the gifts and serve as Sint's assistants (ok don't ask about the reindeers...they're not part of this festivity, i think)

Pepernoten - these are the small, candy-like biscuits that Zwarte Pieten throw to kids while they try to grab as much pieces as they can.  But taking note of the hygiene of those kids eating their pepernoten from the floor, Piet changed their ways by getting a handful from a sack and hand it off to kids and even to somebody who looks innocent like me (if there hands are cleaner than the floor, is another story).  And if you can't find Piet to get your share of this cookie, go inside in some shops, and look for a plate filled with pepernoten at the counter (be discreet and only grab a few pieces not a's all about sharing *wink*).

Festivities like this include getting a gift from Sint!  The unique way here is that the exchange gift should be accompanied with a poem. What you're getting really comes from the heart, well at least, making a poem makes it "personal".

opening my gift with the whole Sinterklaas gang!  (my nice poem was inside:D)

what is a party without food!!!

Another fun thing about parties is preparing for it too!  I made a Filipino street food called Turon...
it's simply made of lumpia wrapper, sugar, bananas for cooking (bak banaan in toko).  In Singapore, you might be able to get it in Lucky Plaza or sometimes if you're lucky in Carrefour and Fairprice.

Roll the banana slices in sugar, wrap it in until the bananas are safely secured (use water as paste), heat the pan with oil and put sugar in it, once the sugar goes on top of the heat up oil, throw in those turon  pieces until they're brown and crispy.

Ta-dah...let the oil drip so it won't be soggy.  It's supposed to deep fried, but I made it calorie-friendly.

This reminds me I have to start preparing for our Christmas' and New Year's eve menu :)  Hope everyone is excited with their plans.  Do share your holiday menu for this year or the restaurant/place you would be spending your holiday with your loved ones.

2 weeks to go! :)

*party photos were taken by my co-choir members :)


  1. Lorraine, your turons were very good.. not to mention they're healthy as well since you used less oil. :)
    Are you celebrating Christmas with Armand's family?
    I haven't got a dinner menu myself.. I'm curious about yours :D

  2. Hey Ratna! Thanks! Glad you like it...but you're still the kitchen guru! I love all your baking. Yum! We're celebrating Christmas with Armand's family on the 26th of Dec. I haven't thought of a dinner menu yet...shucks..i'm struggling...:)

  3. Yummy. Oh, and Sinterklaas has paarden, not reindeer! That's the kerstman!

  4. Loraine, your Turons look awesome! I wish i could have a bite! Nom nom nom~ :P

  5. gosh the toruns look good. and nice looking pizzas too!

  6. @Rohan...oh you reminded's the horse not the reindeers hahaha It's Giussepe's fault...he didn't bring a horse with him..tsk tsk

    @Charlene and Harris...thanks...I'm really exploring my cooking skills here in NL...yes i posted the main course of the event...Pizza...which you two blog about those pizzeria that HT coule frequent we're homesick. :)

  7. i have a friend who loves painting his face... haha he can dress up as a Zwarte Piet for Christmas!

  8. @Jer lin! Yes...simple but meaningful! :)

  9. Yays they do look awesome!! I'm looking forward to my Christmas party in Frisco too!

  10. @Glenn -> Thanks! Enjoy your holiday in NY! :)