Guus Bosman

software engineering director

You are here

Food and Drinks



It's the first time I'm in Bulgaria with Easter, and I finally get a chance to try the Bulgarian Easter bread, Kozunak (Козунак). It's a sweet, leavened bread that is traditionally made and eaten around Easter, and we've tried three different version so far. All delicious.

This would be a fun project to try at home.


Heidelberg bakery open house

Today we went to the open house of Heidelberg bakery, a German store on Lee Highway in Arlington.

The weather was beautiful so we walked. It's a nice route through Cherry Dale, about 40 minutes each way. We saw the first Halloween decorations.

The open house was nice. We met the owner, Wolfgang Büchler, who immigrated from Germany in the 1970's. There were several machines on display and we saw the big ovens they use. There were also several cookies and breads to try out and take home. A very nice gesture.


Recipe for Bulgarian roasted turkey with sauerkraut

Just like in the States, turkey is a popular dish for Christmas in Bulgaria. However in Bulgaria the turkey is roasted on top of a thick layer of sauerkraut, which makes for a wonderful side-dish. In Bulgarian, this dish is called пуйка с кисело зеле.

The turkey is served with a side of the sauerkraut and raw smashed garlic. It makes for an incredibly juicy and delicious combination. It is popular throughout Bulgaria but there are local variations to the recipe -- in other places the sauerkraut is mixed with rice, or the turkey itself is stuffed with rice. This recipe is from my parents-in-law in the Plovdiv region.


  • A turkey
  • Sauerkraut (shredded). There is no need for fancy sauerkraut here -- I used a store brand and it came out great. For a meal of 6 people, you'll need about 3 lbs, though I often use 5 or 6 lbs.
  • Salt, oil. Don't be shy with oil -- a cup of oil is not unheard of. Canola oil is most often used in Bulgaria.

Rinse the sauerkraut thoroughly, and squeeze somewhat dry. Don't overdo it -- truly dry sauerkraut loses its flavor. Clean and pat dry the turkey, then put oil and salt on the skin and inside. If you are used to using other herbs and spices, that is fine also but keep in mind that the sauerkraut will take on their flavor. You'll get the most authentic (and delicious) result with just salt. Truss the turkey and place it on top of a layer of sauerkraut. Cover the baking dish with loose foil and bake as you would normally do. Every 30 minutes or so, take off the foil and baste the turkey with the juices and, as needed, some more oil. You'll find that after an hour or so, there will be a lot of juice coming from the sauerkraut.

When the turkey is done it will most likely be "swimming" in a bath of juice. Take the turkey out of the dish and place it on a rack. Now, scoop the juice from the baking dish -- save this for future cooking, it freezes well -- but leave the sauerkraut with a little bit of juice. Place the baking dish with the kraut back in the oven, in the middle rack. Now, use the oven's broiler for 30 to 60 minutes or so, while stirring the sauerkraut every 5 minutes. This will dry it out and give it a bit of a crunch.

While the turkey is cooling off and the sauerkraut is baking, smash a couple of cloves of garlic in a small dish.

Serve the turkey with a royal portion of the sauerkraut, and mix the kraut with the garlic to taste. Добер апетит!


Making Dutch apple pie

Yesterday Jaap taught me how to make his apple pie and this morning we tasted the delicious result.

For me, this apple pie is synonymous with birthdays. It is a real family tradition and I'm looking forward to start making this apple pie for Nora's birthdays.


Making Sushi

Yesterday I made sushi for the first time. That was a lot of fun!

I have always been intimidated by how complicated a sushi roll looks, but it wasn't difficult and the result was delicious.

I went to H Markt in Falls Church to pick up the fish and other ingredients.

Cooking for Gracie -- the making of a parent from scratch

I'm looking forward tremendously to becoming a father, but I'll admit I also feel a little trepidation, especially for the first weeks. I've heard the stories of a lack of sleep, and I'd not enjoy giving up the pretty healthy eating that we do now -- cooking a lot at home.

So I was interested right away in this book, about a cooking-loving writer for the New York Times who became a father of a little girl and saw his life turned upside down.

The book is beautifully written, and I enjoyed reading it. I believe that my cooking is more down-to-earth than the author's pre-baby culinary baseline so in that sense the transition will be less stark, but it was great to get some insight in how life changes with a newborn.

The book also includes several recipes. I enjoyed the articles about the family's first year together, and I would have preferred to read about that and fewer recipes. Still, I'd like to make the 'Family-Style Roasted Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette'.

Keith Dixon

Oliebollen recipe

Last year we made oliebollen for the first time. Jaap, my father, sent me his recipe and I have adjusted it for American measurements and ingredient names.

We used it for the New Year's Eve party this weekend and made around 100 oliebollen. Ilana helped make the dough.

For 30 oliebollen:

1. Soak 0.5 lbs of raisins in water for at least 30 minutes.

2. Mix the following ingredients:

- 4 cups of flour
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1.7 tablespoons sugar
- 1.6 cups of milk
- 1 egg

3. Proof 4 teaspoons of Active Dry yeast in 0.5 cup of water (100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit) with two teaspoons sugar.

4. Once the yeast has activated, add it to the dough, mix it, and add the drained raisins.

5. Let rise for 1 hour.

6. Fry in oil (I used canola oil), at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry in batches of 6 or 7. Start timer after the 6th is in the deep fryer, then wait 6 to 6.5 minutes. Don't use the cover on the deep fryer.


New bread

I had a quiet weekend. I've had a cold for a week and I used this weekend to recover. Today I felt a lot better than yesterday.

Being at home, I had ample time for a recipe from 'the Bread Bible', an appropriately named cookbook of which I've now tried three recipes, all great. I made the hearth bread, with whole-wheat flour.

I started the sponge (the starter) last night, and tonight we had the end result for dinner. The best bread I've ever baked.

Sasha's parents will arrive next weekend, so it's time to brush off my Bulgarian language. A while ago I converted my vocabulary list from my home-made software (in Microsoft Access) to Anki SRS, a tool that I use for my French as well, and this weekend I started going through all 2,000 words in Anki.



Oliebollen.After a very "Dutch 2010" it seemed natural to make oliebollen.

I'd never made them before and I did a try-run tonight. It worked very well. In a few of them the raisins moved to the outside of the oliebol.

They were delicious! We finished all 5 of them... tomorrow will be the real 'production'.


Belgian andive

Tonight I cooked a dish with Belgian andive. I saw this vegetable at Whole Foods when I was there for lunch, and it reminded me of a delicious dish, witlof met ham, that we'd eat in Holland sometimes.

The ham was a little too sweet for my liking but the dish turned out great.


Recent comments

Recently read

Books I've recently read: