All posts by Ben Doddema


Huzarensla (Meat and Potato Salad)

huzarenslaMy mom always made this salad a day ahead, but took it out of the fridge before serving as it tastes better when not ice cold.


  • 1 pound cold meat-any kind
  • 3 green apples
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cooked beet
  • 6 boiled potatoes
  • 4 dill pickles
  • 10-12 small pickled onions
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • several sprigs of parsley


  • Take the green apples and core and dice them
  • Take the beet and dice it or use a 16 oz. can of diced beets well drained
  • The potatoes should be coarsely mashed while hot
  • Let the potatoes cool
  • Slice the dill pickles
  • Combine all ingredients
  • Put salad on plater and shape in any form you desire
  • Spread with mayonnaise and decorate with slices of pickle, parsley sprigs and tomato

Jachtschotel Hunter’s Dish

jachtschotelHere is a great recipe for the fall since it is at the end of hunting season.  This hunter’s dish was made with venison in the past. However, venison is not readily available in the Netherlands so stew meat is usually used today.

This is usually served with cooked red cabbage.


  • 1 pound of stew meat or venison cut into small stew sized pieces.
  • 3 onions, sliced very thin
  • 2 large tart apples, Granny Smith variety works great. Peeled and sliced.
  • 12 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon Maggie or Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Bread crumbs


  • sauté the onions in butter until transparent
  • add the meat and brown
  • add seasonings, Worcestershire sauce and 1 cup of water
  • simmer in covered pot until meat is tender, at least an hour
  • boil the potatoes in an other pan and mash, salt to taste
  • in a buttered ovenware dish place half of the mashed potatoes
  • add the stew meat and cover with apple slices
  • add the rest of the mashed potatoes making sure that all the meat etc is covered
  • sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter
  • bake at least for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven

Grandma Doddema’s Uitsmijter

Here is a great sandwich that I still make at times.  Doesn’t this sound good?  Easy to make too.

This boterham sandwich used to be served at the end of an evening party in the Netherlands. The appearance of the Uitsmijter usually meant that the fun is over and it is time for all to go home.  uitsmijterThis dish was quite a favorite for us kids at home. We did not wait for an evening party to have this great hearty, but simple, sandwich.

This dish is now available in restaurants where you can ask for either a “hele uitsmijter” (whole sandwich using 2 pieces of bread) or “halve uitsmijter” using 1 piece of bread.  Having a healthy appetite I always went for the “hele uitsmijter” and as a teenager would make this snack at home.

I will give you the recipe for a “halve uitsmijter” as all you need to do for a whole one is to add another buttered slice of bread.


  • 1 slice of bread of your choice
  • Butter or margarine for the bread
  • Thinly sliced roast beef, veal, ham, or cheese.
  • 1 egg prepared to your choice
  • salt and pepper


  • Butter the bread
  • Place thin slices of meat on top. (While at home we always draped the meat over the sides of the bread)
  • Prepare the egg to your liking and place on top of the meat
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Cover with a slice of cheese if you desire



Grandma Doddema’s Croquetten/Bitterballen

bitterballenHere is a great recipe that we just loved as kids and mom would make it often using left over meat.  These look like breaded sausages and are filled with creamed meats and deep fried.  They are usually served on a boterham (1 slice of bread with filling on top) or with anything you like.


  • ½ pound lean meat (One cup diced, cooked chicken or cooked shrimp may be substituted for the meat)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oleo
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper of ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • Bread crumbs
  • Oil for the deep fryer or frying pan
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Dijon mustard


  • Simmer meat with salt, onion, and bay leaf in 1 ½ cups of water until meat is well done, at least an hour
  • Save and strain the stock
  • Measure it, adding water if necessary to equal 1 cup
  • Cut meat into very small pieces
  • Melt butter in sauce pan and blend in flour
  • Blend stock with buttered flour mixture
  • Bring to boil over medium heat and cook until thickened, stirring constantly
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice, pepper or curry powder and 2 well beaten egg yolks as well as all the meat
  • Spread mixture in shallow dish, cover and chill until firm, at least 2 hours and as long as overnight
  • Cut unto 10 equal parts and, with floured hands, roll into firm cylinders
  • Roll them in the bread crumbs
  • Dip croquettes in a mixture of 2 egg whites and 2 tablespoons of water placed in a bowl
  • Then roll them in the bread crumbs again.  Be sure they are well coated on all sides
  • Deep fry in 400F degree oil until chestnut brown
  • Drain and serve hot, garnished with sprigs of parsley that have been deep-fried just until crisp
  • Serve with Dijon mustard

To reheat, bake in uncovered dish in 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  This recipe will yield about 10 croquettes that are about 3 inches long and an inch in diameter.

To make Bitterballen, which are served as appetizers, shape the mixture into 1 inch diameter balls and serve hot with tooth picks.

Coming to America–54 years later

The first of October 1953 we set foot on American soil. Gosh it was hot. It was 95 degrees in the shade and, of course, we had on our fall clothes as it had started getting cooler in the Netherlands and there was an 11 day trip on the Atlantic Ocean to deal with.  Dad and I slept in the hold in what looked like a barracks on bunks that were stacked 2 or three high. Mom and Etty had a litle room on one of the lower decks. The room was just large enough for mom’s bed and a trundle bed for Etty.

Our last meal was the morning of the 1st when we ate breakfast on board the SS Sibajak (the boat we arrived on). Mom, with a lot of foresight, grabbed a few apples and bananas that she hid in her purse. We were not allowed to take food off of the ship. The ship had docked in Hoboken, NJ. The men on the ship helped the ship’s crew unload some of the crates with belongings as there was a dock strike. I remember seeing several crates floating in the harbor. Lucklily, ours were not among them. We had 2 crates that were a little larger than the foot lockers that were used in the service. As a matter of fact one of the crates was a foot locker that my grandfather and dad both used in the Dutch military. I still have that footlocker.

We were processed off of the ship by customs agents and Immigration. Once off of the ship, there were folks from the Ditch Immigrant Society that assisted us to make sure that we got on the proper bus to take us to Grand Central station in New York City.  Once at the station we had to wait until it was time to get on our train. What a mess. Luckily, the Dutch Immigrant Society was there again to assist. We got on the train and departed New York City at 6 pm.  We traveled coach of course.  All the tickets werre purchased ahead of time as when we got to the U.S. Dad had a dollar in his pocket.  We shared some of the fruit that mom had stashed and tried to sleep as we would not get to Kalamazoo, Michigan for quite a few hours. It would take until 10 am the next morning.

My mother’s sister, Grace (Grietje) and her husband Bill (Willem) met us at the train station in Kalamazoo.  We were promptly initiated to a hamburger and soda pop before we made the 30 mile trip by car in Uncle Bill’s 1948 Kaiser to Decatur where Uncle Bill and Aunt Grace had a farm.