Dutch baby. Such a funny name for such a delicious breakfast treat! Growing up my mom used to make dutch babies for our semi-regular weekend brunches (if you’ve read my other posts, you probably know what I’m talking about by now). I remember once when my friends spent the night in high school and my mom made dutch babies the next morning, they could not get over the silly name! My friend even drew me a hilarious drawing of a literal Dutch baby (think: baby with wooden shoes) which I think I still have in a memory box somewhere.
The funny thing is, I don’t even think it’s a dutch recipe. I recently told one of my school friends from The Netherlands about dutch babies and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I guess now I learned something new about the dutch…. they apparently don’t eat dutch babies!
But in all seriousness, one of my favorite parts about studying in my program at Stockholm University is that I have been able to interact with and make friends with people from all over the world and learn about each country (yes, including that dutch babies are not dutch). Out of the 60 people in my program, there were 27 countries represented from every continent (I joke about this because one girl’s parents met while working on a boat in Antarctica). There were people from Colombia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Nigeria, Syria, Uzbekistan, China, and many more. I remember in one of our first classes, we got into small groups to discuss the issues we see with the education systems in our home countries. I was surprised when I realized that most places are dealing with similar issues that I had such a problem with in the US… over-testing, under-valuing of the teaching profession, and pressure from the private sector. Of course, these issues manifested slightly different in each country, but our complaints felt surprisingly similar.
Through the friends in our program I also got to celebrate Chinese New Year for the first time. The students from China organized an entire evening of delicious Chinese food and entertaining performances for everyone in our program. This is one of many examples where people would share their culture’s holidays and traditions with the group… from Jewish Passover with a full Seder… to Dutch Sinterklaas with the hilarious poems…to Greek New Years dinner when I found the lucky coin in the cake… I feel so fortunate to have shared in these experiences with good friends from around the world.
Which is why this is sort of a sad post… as my program comes to a close for many of our classmates, people are starting to spread back out over the world. Thankfully, some will be staying in Sweden after June (phew!) but many more will be finding adventure elsewhere… whether in their home country or a new place.
So I asked a couple of my friends, as a closing, to share the most shocking or surprising thing about Sweden when they first moved here. I got a pretty good representation of a few different parts of the world, and the answers were generally ones I could relate to. So here they are…
“The social dissonance when out and about. People stand spread out over 15 metres to wait for the same bus stop. So weird.”
This is something a lot of people, especially from North America, often point out in Sweden! This is not an exaggeration…. people will stand so far apart from each other when waiting in line, especially for a bus… but make no mistake, everyone knows who got there first and who got their last and anyone who tries to cut will be stared down coldly (but that might be it because Swedes are afraid of confrontation and apparently human interaction in general!).
“People only pay for the dishes that they ordered individually when they hang out together in Sweden. It is really embarrassing to ask the waiter/waitress to bring individual bills in my culture.”
Now this one is something I am used to in the US, but I could see being very strange for other parts of the world. I also think this shows a broader idea in Sweden of equality. When you go on a date in Sweden, it is not uncommon to split the check, even on first dates. Many of friends who tried to date here found it difficult because the social rules are so different compare to many places in the world, including the idea of splitting the check.
“100% peace at school.”
Swedish kids do have a pretty carefree life in Sweden, more than I think they realize. The rights of children in Sweden are very protected and in general there’s an attitude of “let kids be kids” that allows children to have fun and live a care-free life. I’m not sure if this is exactly what this person means by peace at school, but it reminded me of it all the same.
“Licorice being in EVERYTHING.”
This is SO true! Licorice ice cream, chocolate with licorice, licorice and raspberry panna cotta are all things I’ve seen and/or eaten in Sweden. And we can’t forget about salt licorice! My husband will never forgive me for giving him salt licorice a few years ago… he spat it out immediately and was convinced I had given him something with blood in it!
And with the last words from my Dutch friend about Sweden, I end with the recipe for a dutch baby! This soft, pillowy, and eggy breakfast is so easy and equally delicious. The fluffiness of this dish comes from using a blender to mix all the ingredients, adding in lots of air and volume.
Growing up we always ate ours with lemon and powdered sugar, but to add another dimension I also topped this one with golden berries (aka cape gooseberry, ground cherries, and/or physalis). These unique little fruits have a bright flavor that goes perfectly with the sweet sugar and tangy lemon…
I hope you get to enjoy this yummy breakfast with friends and family around the world… or as they say in Dutch, “Eet smakelijk!”
Golden Berry and Lemon Dutch Baby
- 4 tablespoons butter / 50 g smör
- 3 eggs / ägg
- 1 ¼ cup flour / 3 dl vetemjöl
- 1 ¼ cup milk / 3 dl mjölk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla / vanilj
- lemon / citron
- golden berries / physalis
- powdered sugar / strösocker
- Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C
- When oven is preheated, place a pan with the butter in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the butter is bubbling.
- While butter melts, put the egg, flour, milk and vanilla in a blender and pulse for about 1-2 minutes or until the ingredients are well mixed and the batter is frothy.
- When the butter is melted and bubbling, take the pan out (using an oven mitt) and quickly pour in the batter.
- Place the pan carefully back in the oven and let cook for about 20 minutes, being sure not to open the door often.
- Once the dutch baby is cooked (it will puff up a lot, but will deflate when it comes out), add toppings and enjoy immediately.