My parents immigrated to Canada from Holland around 1954. I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters. We grew up with mostly plain meat and potato meals and so I don't like spicy foods very much, even now. We are all still very close and get together every year at Christmas time for those of us still in Ontario. We try to have a big family reunion every few years. Next year we are all getting together in Banff, Alberta to celebrate our parents 60th wedding anniversary. There are 47 (I think) of us now with all the husbands and wives, nieces and nephews and grand and great grand kids.
My favorite things to cook
Meatball soup, Split Pea w/ Ham soup, Oliebollen, Oatmeal Raisin cookies, banana bread, carrot cake, homemade bread.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In keeping with the dutch upbringing I have a taste for sweets for breakfast such as chocolate sprinkles on toast and jam (spread thick as cheese)on 'rusks'. We had Oliebollen at New Years and split pea with ham soup during the Christmas Holidays. When we were young we always received a tin box from our relatives in Holland filled with Dutch goodies such as Chocolade Sprinkles (hagelslag), Almond filled pastry ring, Chocolade letters, Speculaas (dutch molasses cookies)and salted licorice (dropjes) this was always a special treat for us kiddies, so exciting and yummy too. I keep up the tradition as best I can and make Oliebollen every year at Christmas time.
My cooking triumphs
I am the best in the family at making Oliebollen come out just right! Have a family recipe book where my mother translated her Oliebollen recipe from her dutch cook book. Others have tried it but the rising process and the cooking process have to be just right.
My cooking tragedies
I tried to make Coq au Vin when I was just married. Got the recipe from my sister-in-law when I had it while visiting. Tried it out, followed the recipe exactly and it was so terrible my husband and I could not even eat it and I had to throw it out. (this was unheard of in my family - throwing out food) I was devastated and never tried any exotic type cooking again.