Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Seven Sweets and Seven Sours

Seven Sweets and Seven Sours

I do not offer this selection at each meal but at one time it was a fixed tradition of Dutch hospitality to put on the table (especially for company) precisely seven sour and seven sweets. The company would often count and then cheerfully demand the ones missing. These seven sours and sweets are really a form of appetizer or Pupus.
Most of the Germanic peoples of the south of Germany, in particular the Hungarians, have always been fond of sweets and sours on the table. The Swedes, and maybe, also the Italians and French, like appetizers at the beginning of the meal; but I like to have them during the meal to give balance to the protein and starch dishes.
The Dutch variety of sweets and sours is rather extensive The range of course includes dishes known to other cuisines so I have, therefore, included only those which offer some little special Dutch touch in the making. I will add more throughout the weekend.

Bread and Butter Pickles

These ones do not have canning instructions you will need to refrigerator and eat within 3 days, freeze or can for the main ingredient for food safetly.

Spiced Peaches

3 lbs. peaches,
1 1/2 lbs sugar,
1/2 cup vinegar,
5 or 6 sticks cinnamon bark.

Dissolve vinegar and sugar, then throw in the peaches, when soft enough to pierce with a straw, take out and add 1 doz. cloves, and cinnamon bark to the syrup. Boil well and pour over the peaches.

Dutch Ginger Pears

5 lbs. hard pears
4 lbs. brown sugar
2 lemons
1/4 lb. ginger root

Peel and core the pears, and cut into quarters. Cut the lemon rind into strings, and put them with the pears, including the lemon juice, in kettle. Cook slowly for an hour, until clear. Pack in glass jars.

Dutch Applebutter (Lotwaerick)

1/2 bushel apples
3 lbs. brown sugar
5 gallons cider
1 1/2 oz. allspice

Boil down the cider, with sugar and allspice, to 2 1/2 gallons, then add the pared and cored apples. If the apples are tart, add more sugar. Stir the mess constantly until it is of moderately thick consistency. Pack in glass jars.

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