Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pancakes and Wilhem II - Doorn, The Netherlands

This weekend, I visited Doorn, a town in the Utrecht province of the Netherlands where Wilhelm II of Prussia lived (and died) after being exiled in 1918. He lived in Huis Doorn, a manor dating back to the 15th century.

Being exiled, Wilhelm took all of his hundreds of thousands of possessions with him and stuffed them into the tiny manor. 90% of the possessions remain, which makes touring the manor look like a combination of the tv shows Cribs and Hoarders.

Though photography wasn't allowed inside the manor, I did learn that Wilhelm II was an incredibly strange man. For example, someone once told him that one can think of the greatest ideas while on the back of a horse. So, Wilhelm had special stools made out of saddles for all of his offices, that way he could have great ideas while sitting at his desk.

Wilhelm also enjoyed playing hide and seek on his steamboat with his crew and gave his second wife a photo of his first wife as an engagement present.

Before exploring the inner workings of Wilhelm II's mind, we stopped for traditional Dutch pannekoeken at this restaurant:



Yes, they were huge and delicious and kind of looked like pizza. A pannenkoek is a (much) larger, flatter version of a normal pancake or a larger, thicker version of a crepe. I thought they were more like crepes than pancakes, but no one else seemed to agree with me. They are typically made with fruits, cheese, eggs or meats baked into them or put on top and can also be eaten with sugar and syrup.

I had a simple apple pannenkoek, but as you can see, it was still epically huge. I would like to note that I was the second person of about twenty to finish eating mine.

We also had a plate full of miniature pannenkoeken, which were just pieces of cooked pancake batter dipped in butter and powdered sugar. Like all baking scraps turned delicacies, they were freaking delicious.