Tag Archives: Holland

An Expensive Fish

7 Jul


Judy Wills

I would like to tell you about an event Fred and I had while we were in Germany.  As it happens, this took place in the same place where Fred and his family stopped back in the 1940’s.  From his posts he wrote about a trip he and his family took:

I remember one of the places we stopped was in a little town called Scherpenzeel [Holland].  I was really taken aback while we were there – not only there but other places in Holland, just in driving around, we would see many, many women out in front of their house or the place where they worked, actually scrubbing the outside of their building – to keep it clean!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that any place else where I’ve lived.  We stayed in a little inn there, which was called the DeWitte Holevoet, and I think, as I recall, we even ate there.

Hotel DeWitte in Scherpenzeel – 1948

1948 – Hotel DeWitte – Kitty and Emily (by the door) – Scherpenzeel, Holland

While Fred and I were in Germany (Wiesbaden, 1967-1970), we hired a church couple to take care of Karen (she was only two years old) while we did a road trip.  On that road trip, we also stopped in Scherpenzeel, Holland.  Fred remembered the trip he and his family had taken, and the Hotel DeWitte where they stayed and had meals.  So we thought it would be a fun memory for him to eat there again.

Hotel DeWitte in Scherpenzeel – Credit Google Search and tripadvisor

We stopped and looked for a menu for the restaurant.  First rule of thumb when eating out:  never…NEVER…NEVER eat at a restaurant if the menu isn’t posted – that means it is ultra-expensive!  And so, even though we couldn’t find a menu, we decided to eat there, anyway.  Big Mistake!!

When we were given the menu in the restaurant, we swallowed our pride and ordered a fish dinner.  We knew it was going to be expensive, but had no idea just HOW expensive.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was so expensive that it was our “splurge” for the entire trip!  

And then we waited…and waited….and waited…and WAITED.  After about an hour or so, they finally brought the fish out on a platter – the WHOLE fish!  They had actually gone out and caught the fish after we had ordered it, de-scaled it, and then cooked it whole – head and all!  Well, okay, it was REALLY fresh!

Credit Pixabay

In all our other travels in Holland – and many years later with our daughters with us – we never again ate there.  It had changed from a hotel and restaurant, to a gourmet restaurant with a few rooms to let!

We learned our lesson about eating at a place that has no menu displayed!

As a side note – in researching the sites for pictures of this beautiful hotel and restaurant, I was saddened to see that they are “permanently closed.”  No explanation was given.  Unfortunate, since most, if not all, reviews were highly complementary.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Keukenhof Gardens, Holland~Part 2

5 Apr


Judy Wills






Last time, I wrote about the Keukenhof Gardens, in Lisse, Holland. We so thoroughly enjoyed our visits there, and want to share this beautiful place with everyone we know.


Here is some history about the tulips we found interesting from the Fluwell website:

“during World War 2, people ate tulip bulbs. The only reason for this was hunger. The Netherlands suffered a great famine in the winter of 1944-1945. Eating tulip bulbs is not something our ancestors did for fun, they did it because there was nothing else to eat.

 Many Dutchmen of certain age remember the famine and the tulip bulbs they ate. In our theme park Tulpenland, we have a lot of customers that share their memories with us. They sometimes still find it difficult to see tulip bulbs back, although they know that we use them only for flowers, not for food. Hunger is a deep emotion that is not easily forgotten.

 The Dutch famine was the result of the lost Battle of Arnhem (1944), when allied forces failed to liberate the northern provinces of the country. The northern provinces became isolated from the liberated parts of Europe. Food stocks ran out, as did fuel stocks. Then a harsh winter began. Thousands of Dutch citizens starved or froze to death.

 Due to the war situation, tulip growers had not planted tulip bulbs that year; so great amounts of tulip bulbs were stocked on farms throughout the country. During the famine authorities decided to use these stocks as food for the starving populations. The old, dry tulip bulbs were sold in grocery stores, and newspapers published recipes with tulips. The tulip bulbs were nutritious and relatively easy to cook, so that less fuel was needed.

 The tulip bulbs that people ate in the Second World War cannot be compared with modern day, fresh tulip bulbs. The war bulbs were old and dry and did not taste like fresh tulips. A fresh tulip bulb has a sweet, milky flavor that is actually not very bad. The tulip bulbs that were eaten during the war had a very bitter and dry taste instead.

 Eating tulip bulbs is not as bad as it sounds like, as long as you eat fresh tulips that were not sprayed. Unfortunately, such bulbs were not available during the last winter of WW2. It is important that this sad history is not forgotten. Dutch children are still raised with the words: you are not hungry, you only have appetite (Je hebt geen honger, je hebt trek). Real hunger makes you eat everything you can get, even old, dry tulip bulbs, as they were eaten during the Dutch famine.”



Just a side note here – there is a wonderful place to visit outside The Hague, called Madurodam. It is a miniature city, built to scale. It includes the normal things you would find in a city – churches, office buildings, and even Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, with working airplanes. It’s a fun thing to see during the day, but miniature lights come on at night, and it’s quite the fairyland.



The family of Old Things R New wishes each of our visitors a blessed Easter. He is risen!

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