30 Things I Love: My Heritage

Stroopwafel and Coffee traditional Dutch treats

I love my heritage. Last Christmas, my side of the family decided that we would research and prepare foods from the countries where our ancestors were born. The list of countries is quite long, especially when you add those of your spouse. We each brought a main dish and a dessert from one (or both) of the countries we were assigned to. The food was delicious, and we all ate way too much!

Part of the planning for our meal was researching the traditions, the foods, and the culture of the different countries. I was given the task of researching and making foods from Germany and the Netherlands. German and Dutch food is quite filling, and great for cold winter days. The cultures are very different, yet the Christmas traditions are very similar. When I was trying to find cookie recipes, I came upon the Stroopwafel, and wanted to try it. I haven’t attempted making them yet, but I have found them at a few stores nearby. They are delicious! I learned that they are eaten either warmed by placing them on a cup filled with a warm beverage like coffee, or eaten cold. They are good either way. 🙂

My mom and sisters shared about their countries: Norway, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, England, and Poland. (I hope I didn’t forget any major ones!) One of the things I really appreciated, was realizing what parts of our traditions may be related to our heritage, and what parts are the result of wanting to blend in with other Americans my ancestors arrived in the United States. When we asked our Dutch relatives what traditions their mother had at Christmas time, there weren’t any distinctly Dutch traditions regarding food.  They did, however, keep up with Dutch tradition on being frugal, and acting properly.

Call it nature or nurture, or whatever kind of influence you want…but I find myself loving cheese, coffee, and pickled herring…although not together. Thanks, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Dykstra!

Do you keep up with any of your ancestor’s traditions? Do you find yourself gravitating towards the foods associated with your heritage?


Day 1: Pizza

Day 2: Shoes

Day 3: Shout Stain Remover

Day 4: The Ability to Vote

Day 5: My Heritage

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Author: Carolyn Olson

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. In 1988, I married my best friend, and moved to the farm. Jonathan and I have three daughters, and will soon have a son-in-law! I love life on the farm, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

One thought on “30 Things I Love: My Heritage”

  1. I do find myself gravitating toward meat and potatoes when I’m not as creative as I can be at other times when it comes to meal planning. 🙂 There are a lot of Irish and English here in Kentucky, and I think it is interesting how heritages played such a big part of how the cultures in the different parts of America came forth, even! I’m used to the Scandinavian and German influences, but while I’m here, I love learning about the influences here!


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