Lekker Gezellig

 Lekker Gezellig

 Ok, class.  The first word in this ‘Dutch for the non-Dutch’ class is the word:  Lekker.  Lekker in the broad term means delicious or tasty.  “Lekker koffie” means that the coffee is delicious. When describing food, the word is mostly accompanied by a hand gesture of a back and forth wave next to one ear.  This is done as if you were swatting flies.  Mmmmm, lekker (wave).   While it’s mostly used to describe food, it’s also abused in many other ways.  If you were to say that a person is attractive, you would say that he or she is a “Lekker Ding”  or Delicious Thing.  If you were content to take it easy on a Sunday afternoon, you would say “Lekker Chillen” meaning Delicious Relaxing.  Ok, so there’s something lost in the translation, but you get my point.  So as you see, lekker is a good word to know in Dutch.  

 Another interesting and often abused word in Dutch is: Gezellig.  The first thing you need to know is how to pronounce it.  Some say that Dutch is not a language but a throat disease.  This is because the most remarkeable sound is the ‘G’.  No, no.  It’s not like the sound in ‘girl’ but a throat clearing sound that comes from waaay down deep.  Hhhaaaggghhhhh. Now add extra phlem and you got it. Yeah, like gargling with a mouthful of hot potatoes.  Go on  try it:    Hhhhaaaagghhhaaaazzzellihhhgggggaaahhhh.  That’s how you pronounce it.  The Dutch will claim that it does not translate to English as if in some kind of secret code or something. Loosly translated, it means ‘cozy’.  It is usually used to describe intimate gatherings in close quarters.  Since the typical Dutch living room is tiny, you can easily sum up that every gathering is …gezellig.

Another interesting thing to know when learning Dutch is that some words are very similar to English.   To make things plural, sometimes (and I say ‘sometimes’ here) you can get away with saying the English word and add an  “–en” suffix and there’s a good chance that you’ll be understood.  Examples are, if you want to have some books, you will ask for the “boeken”  (pronounced “booken”) , pens;  “pennen” ,  and so forth. However, sometimes it just doesn’t work at all.  As in an incident in a restaurant when a newly expat American ex-colleague asked for the ‘billen’ (Asked for the bill. Sounds logical, right?). This led to a suprised waiter and a round of laughter from her Dutch colleagues.  You see, ‘billen’ does not translate to “the check” or “the bill”…but it means someone’s rear end.  You can imagine her embarrassment when she found out that she asked for the waiters butt. 

 Today’s recipe is for doughnuts.  To the credit of Holland, there are very few places that actually sell these ‘Fat Pills’.  Personally,  I made this recipe out of curiosity and prodding from my oldest daughter.  I have to admit, the results were quite good and she was over the moon.

The original recipe makes 18 very large doughnuts.  Unless you are making enough for a party, I don’t know any self-respecting mother that will allow 18 doughnuts floating around their kitchen…so here is a halved recipe that makes about 9. 

 Yeast Raised Glazed Doughnuts

 1 envelope actie dry yeast

1/8 Cup warm water

¾ Cup lukewarm milk

¼ Cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 tablespoons shortening

2 ½ Cups flour

Oil for frying

For Glaze:

½ Cups butter

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 ½ teaaspoons vanilla

4 tablespoons vanilla


 Put 1/8 Cup water in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water. Let stand 5 mins.

 To the yeast mixture, add milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening, and 1 cup flour.Mix at low speed with mixer or by hand for 2 mins.  Beat in remaining flour ½ cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.  Knead for about 5 mins until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a dishtowel and place in a warm place to rise until double volume. 

 Turn dough onto a floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thickness.  Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts rise, covered, on a cookie sheet until double volume.

 Melt butter and confectioners sugar in a small saucepan. Add vanilla and mix until smooth.  Remove from heat. Add water a tablespoon a time until thin. 

 Heat oil in deep fryer or large skillet to 350F (175C)  Slide doughnuts into hot oil.  Turn over when golden brown (about 1 minute). Remove from oil and drain on a rack. Cook up the holes too J.   Dip in glaze on both sides while still hot. Decorate with your favorite sprinkles.

One Response to “Lekker Gezellig”

  1. Millie Says:

    Enjoying your blog and will have to give those donuts a try one of these days…. they certainly sound yummy. Keep of the good work Lisa, fun just looking forward each day as to what will be next. You dad has spread the word to a couple of his cyber friends and you know me…. bigga mouth, have told everybody I know