Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Potatoes to the Rescue

It's a BIG day here at the de Jong Dream House! There's a new King and Queen in the Netherlands and we are celebrating! The Dutch love their royal family. Princess Beatrix (the former Queen, who abdicated today to allow her son to begin his reign), King Willem Alexander, and Queen Maxima strike just the right balance between being regal and still down-to-earth.
Photo: Deel deze foto als je trots bent op Oranje! Ons Oranje!
Photo: The new king and his family
Down to Earth.
The ceremony started at 3am our time, so we started our celebration last night with traditional Dutch comfort food, hutspot.

For dessert, Marissa made gevulde speculaas, which translates to stuffed gingerbread. This almond-paste layered bar is really more of a winter treat, but we love it so that's what she made! 

Marissa has had fun learning to cook some of her American (or at least, de Jong family) meals while she has been here. Early on, we set a goal that she would be able to make five meals from scratch by the time she returns home. She has done really well with finding the right ingredients in a second language, but the one thing that has tripped her up more than anything else is tablespoon and teaspoon (often abbreviated as T. and t., or Tbsp and tsp.) If you grow up learning empirical measurements like most Americans, it's easy to miss how confusing those two measurements are to someone accustomed to metric measurements. 

I am often in the kitchen when Marissa is cooking, but yesterday I was not available when she was mixing the dough. As she was tasting the dough before putting it in frig to chill, she noticed that the dough was salty. Very salty. We talked a bit, and we realized she put in a tablespoon of salt, not a teaspoon. Given the time and the fact that we had used the last of our speculaas spice, we couldn't really throw it out and start over. 

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I learned that potatoes can desalinate dough. 

Skeptical, but desparate, we sliced up a potato and put the pieces over the dough. While we did notice a difference after 15 minutes, we had planned to chill the dough overnight, so we left the potatoes there overnight. It was really salty. 

The next day, the potato slices were a little shiny and soggy. They had been working hard!

The dough was a little stickier too. (This is a dry dough). But it was nothing a little flour couldn't fix. More importantly, it was no longer overwhelmingly salty!

And voila! Our Queens Day dessert is saved!

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  1. Thanks for the fun fact about potatoes! Never knew that! And I love you guys found a way to save the dessert rather than starting from scratch. Way to be resourceful.

    Enjoy your celebration!

    1. I'm so glad that I learned to cook in the age of the internet! We would have had some very disappointed Dutchies if it wasn't for that potato!

  2. How crazy! Never heard of this... Thanks for linking up at the Pinterest Power Party!!


    1. I know, right?! I saw it on a list of things to try, but without any pictures or commentary. I had to post about it!


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