Happy Sinterklaas!

Ok, so today is the 5th of December. In the Netherlands, that means celebrating a holiday called ‘Sinterklaas’ (St. Nicholas). By now, I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of this holiday because it has been under attack by the UN for being a racist holiday. Believe what you want, this is a CHILDREN’S holiday and not racist at all. Sinterklaas was originally from Turkey but we ‘believe’ that he now lives in Madrid and that he comes to the Netherlands once a year with a huge boat full of presents for all the children and with his helpers ‘de zwarte pieten’ (black Peters) –> NOT SLAVES!!!!
Can you see that this whole discussion is p***-ing me off? And I don’t even care much for this holiday anymore! I do care, however, about our tradition and it brings lots of children lots of joy. I’m more of a Christmas person but wanted to do something for Sinterklaas because, after all, I was brought up with it AND the candy we have for this day is amazing! Anyway, if you want to know more about this holiday, feel free to Google it. I’m sure you’ll find lots of information about it. Ok, so back to the bright side of this holiday: Pakjesavond. Each year, Sinterklaas brings presents on the 5th of December. One of his helpers will knock really hard on the door or window and leaves a big bag of presents for the family (this is how it usually goes). While eating pepernoten, kruidnoten, taaitaai, etc. (all confectionery), the presents are opened and songs are sung. At least, this is how we used to celebrate it (and I know a lot of other families do) when I still believed in Sinterklaas. After my parents told me he wasn’t real, we played games. Most people who don’t believe in Sinterklaas either celebrate it by playing a game with gifts (this can take up all evening; the rules and the game vary) or by ‘surprise’ (pronounce: sur-prie-suh). It’s a bit like ‘Secret Santa’. You draw a name and buy gifts for that person BUT you creatively disguise the gifts. Usually, people also write a funny poem to tease the person they are giving the gifts to.

Anyway, long story short: I made pepernoten =) I took a recipes from the 24kitchen website, altered it a bit and voila: homemade pepernoten!

Homemade pepernoten for Sinterklaas

They are so delicious! Especially fresh out of the oven. I’ll write down how I’ve made them very soon (somewhere in the next few days). They are really good and worth a try.

So, what do you think? You want to try these as well? Let me know in a comment below!

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Miner’s Day. To find out what I’ve done for this special day, check back tomorrow!


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