Making Dutch Letters: A Little Piece of Iowa in Riga

IMG_2105It’s October, my favorite month of the year, and although autumn in Riga is thoroughly beautiful and colorful, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been feeling tremendously homesick lately. Homesick for which home exactly, I am not sure, as there have been many. What I am experiencing is perhaps better described as a homesickness for a feeling… one of comfort, peace, and coziness. When I think about of all of the places I have lived in my life, Iowa is quite possibly the place that evokes this feeling the most, and lately, I have been missing it quite a bit.

The school where I teach is closed this week for autumn break, and rather than traveling, I am spending these precious days at home, resting, reflecting, running, reading, and engaging in some of my favorite hobbies for which I haven’t had time in recent weeks.

To feel a bit less homesick, I decided to try to recreate a little piece of Iowa in my own kitchen by making some Dutch letters. These quintessential pastries of Pella, Iowa’s famous Vander Ploeg Bakery were among my weekly purchases at the downtown farmers’ market when I lived in Des Moines. Made of flaky puff pastry and filled with almond paste, a homemade Dutch letter on a crisp Tuesday morning in October is nothing but comfort, peace, and coziness.

What’s your favorite autumn comfort food?

Get the recipe!


A little piece of Iowa right here in Riga.

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