You know how your grandmother's recipe is often the best one? Well, this recipe for croquettes was shared between both my grandmothers. My Oma and my Nana prepared these yummy Dutch treats the same way and somehow I got designated the croquette maker in my family. There is unrestrained and rather frenzied consumption on Christmas Eve, and I even make a box for Kelly and Dano and one for my mum and dad to put in their freezers. Slow cooked pork roast minced and mixed into a creamy roux with spices, then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried to golden perfection, ready to dip in mustard. Lekker!!

Ruby has been around enough Christmases to start salivating at the thought of croquettes, or bitterballen, as the round shapes are called. Following the example of my friend, Michelle, I decided to use child labor in this labor intensive job. Ruby was thrilled to be invited to participate as she carefully washed her hands and then sat and rolled 120 bitterballen.

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It took us a while so we chatted about school. She cracked a few jokes. She asked some questions, like she usually does.

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I looked at my gap toothed girl with her mismatched barrettes and was reminded of how much I like her. She is six and a half now and we have these sweet times of companionship that are very satisfying.

I like these conversations where we can talk about friendships, how to treat people, what God wants to do in her life. We also talk about finger nail polish, recycling crafts, and I ask her subtraction questions, which she loves.

I love spending time with my girl, and it makes me happy to see her taking pleasure in cooking the same food that the women in our family have put their hands and time to for a long time.

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