The snow did come in soft light tufts, but not as much as promised. The Southern part of the Netherlands was a winter wonderland. However, Amsterdam did not get the anticipated 6cms. All we did receive was a light dusting of powder, almost like the sprinkling of sugar on the poffertjes.

Two days later, typical Dutch weather decided to be a sunny 7 degrees with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. We drove to Baambrugge for a hearty lunch with friends, pumpkin soup followed by Polish Bigos, a dish of chopped meat of various kinds – sausage, veal, pork, mushrooms, stewed with sauerkraut and shredded fresh cabbage. followed by Magnums.

Click here for a lovely recipe of Bigos. Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) immortalized the stew with a verse in the epic poem “Pan Tadeusz”:

In the pots warmed the bigos; mere words cannot tell
Of its wondrous taste, colour and marvellous smell.
One can hear the words buzz, and the rhymes ebb and flow,
But its content no city digestion can know.
To appreciate the Lithuanian folksong and folk food,
You need health, live on land, and be back from the wood.

Without these, still a dish of mediocre worth
Is bigos, made from legumes, best grown in the earth;
Pickled cabbage comes foremost, and properly chopped,
Which itself, is the saying, will in ones mouth hop;
In the boiler enclosed, with its moist bosom shields
Choices morsels of meat raised on greenest of fields;
The it simmers, till fire has extracted each drop
Of live juice, and the liquid boils over the top,
And the heady aroma wafts gently afar.

– Adam Mickiewicz “Pan Tadeusz”, Book 4: Diplomacy and Hunt (Translated by Marcel Weyland)

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