Saturday, April 22, 2006

Droplovers convention

No, not a real one, rather an impromptu gathering.

I must confess that my last bounty haul from Typical Dutch Stuff is a little much, even for me.

Well, this weekend we have one of John's PhD students visiting. He's Moroccan, but grew up in Holland. I wasn't sure whether he'd like liqs, but when I carried the big box of drops into the lounge, his eyes lit up. Munching his way through a selection, he translated bits of the Oltimers' story for us. It has nothing to do with a hunt or with roedeer, but concerns three friends visiting a fairground when one of them—father of Dropmaker J. Douwenga—has an epiphany about 'Mildzoute Hindelooper Ruitjesdrop', apparently while locked inside a room.

The weather is great: during the last week or so, spring has suddenly arrived and the air is notably warmer, the sunshine brighter and all the plants are shooting up—even the butterflies are coming out. In short, perfect barbeque weather. This being England, these events can never be planned in advance, but we phoned up another of John's colleagues, a Dutchman who lives in near-by Reading and while his family was otherwise engaged, he agreed to come over on such short notice. While we were waiting for the BBQ to heat up, I showed him the box. He was chuffed; he tends to eat up all the drops he brings back from his native country within days and then goes without for months at a time. So much more remarkable that he spared me a whole pack of Waterwerken the last time he came over for a BBQ! Now the situation was reversed.

The story behind Oldtimers' Mildzoute Hindelooper Ruitjesdrop creator was actually that the Dropmaker's father—who limped a little, hence the 'hinderlooper'—got himself locked into a toilet for four hours and during that time not only thought up the recipe, but also the distinct shape of the drop—modelled on the convenience's window.

I still don't know where the roedeer comes in.


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