I think Opa Gerrit an amazing man. He grows all of his own vegetables. His vegetable garden is probably twice the size of my backyard (maybe 6 metres by 30 metres), and all year round he tends it. He has the ‘deep smarts’ about growing food that the next generation has completely lost.
For the last few years he has been very sick, and so every time we have visited, he has been in a lot of pain. This year however, Opa was in much better health, and for the first time, I got to appreciate his cooking prowess.
In June this year, we arrived to Holland after 30 hours of travelling with 2 children (and being pregnant), I was pretty incoherent. Oma and Opa were at the house and Opa had made an apple pie. WELL…let me tell you…it was better than you see in some bakeries, tasted amazing, and stood tall and proud.
Opa Gerrit doesn’t speak English. I don’t speak Dutch. I told Opa in very bad Dutch (sort of resembles charades) that I wanted to know how to make it. I guess all of the effort made sense, so we set aside a day to do it.
We had the loveliest day. Opa gave me some giant apron that looks a tad like a curtain (I can be messy), and we set to work in his tiny kitchen. Him not speaking English and me not speaking Dutch didn’t seem to matter when learning something.
And I got the recipe! Since coming back to Australia, I have made this about 3 or 4 times, each time I stuff a different part of it up, not quite getting it right.
So tomorrow, Christmas day, I am taking one to my friends house. Maybe, just maybe, I can pull off the perfect Dutch Apple Pie. No promises though. Recipe supplied here!