Marco and I made oliebollen a few days ago. It’s a donut-like snack that you fry in oil and then cover in powdered sugar.
Of course, purists would say that donuts took their inspiration from oliebollen, not the other way around.
I also purchased some apple beignets from the oliebollen stand at the Grote Markt yesterday. New Year’s Eve is the busiest time of the season for oliebollen stands; this particular one opens at 06:00 on New Year’s Eve.
Above: a look at some of the kruidnoten flavors they have on sale.
A close up look. Think of flavors like intense orange, disco dip, white chocolate, dark roasted coffee, etc. I bought a bag of the dark roasted coffee flavor. Yum! Of course, kruidnoten are a treat for Sinterklaas (5 December) so they aren’t being sold at the moment.
Bonfires are back on the beaches at Scheveningen and Duindorp from dutchnews.nl. This New Years Eve tradition was banned for two years after the 2018-2019 accident when the wind shifted and sparks rained down on the nearby neighborhoods. And then corona happened, which is a ban of a different sort. But the bonfires are not allowed to be bigger than 10x10x10 meters (33x33x33 feet). Which might sound like a lot, but the 2018-2019 bonfire was 48 meters tall (almost 160 feet).
Marco found a bag of mini oliebollen by the local Albert Heijn today:
They are about half the size of normal oliebollen, and not yet sprinkled with the usual powdered sugar goodness (or in my case these days, cinnamon). We haven’t tasted them yet, so it is too early to tell if they were a good deal or not. Traditionally it is better to buy them on the street or make your own, so we will see.
Here’s a very random blast from the past from The Guardian’s archives:
And here is a funny article (in Dutch) from nu.nl: Politie vindt 5.000 kilo vuurwerk in busje dat met pech langs de weg staat. Police find 5,000 kilos (11,000 lbs) of fireworks in a small bus that was stranded on the side of the road. Let’s see… tiny bus, 5,000 kilo inside. It had a flat tire. A passing road inspector spotted the bus and tried to help out, but it was too heavy to fix the tire. They called a tow truck, but the tow truck wasn’t able to help either. At that point they were pretty sure what was inside wasn’t legal; the police were able to confirm that once they arrived.
This NOS article (in Dutch) says there were 9,300 incidents last year that the police were called to, most of them fireworks related. About 400 people went to the ER, with another 900 visiting their doctor with a fireworks injury. It is not just about lowering the spread of corona, although that helps.
Today we are finally back under 5,000 daily infections, a number we last saw in the first week of October. Our high point was around 10,200-10,300 cases during this second wave. Hospitalizations are still high, though.
And now for something completely different, and cute. A black rhinoceros was born at the Blijdorp, the zoo in Rotterdam. If you click the link in the tweet you can go through the various webcams to see if you can spot the zoo’s newest arrival.
On the one hand, it was quite challenging. On the other hand, most of the pieces were subtly different. I was only left with about 15-20 black pieces in the upper right at the end. I was reduced to sticking in random pieces in each slot until something worked.
Of course I finished the bottom part rather quickly, and then it sat there for 6 months while I ignored it… But once I got motivated again it went rather quickly.
And now for something completely different: last week there was a secret fireworks event at Scheveningen (omroepwest.nl in Dutch), complete with drones! Note: the second video in the article with the grey box doesn’t work. Apparently the video was pulled from YouTube. But the article does have a few pictures and links to a few shorter videos.
The fireworks show was in celebration of 75 years of freedom since WW2 and was organized by the International Fireworks festival of Scheveningen (official site in Dutch). This was especially important because the show was cancelled in 2019 due to overcrowding concerns. And when I mean overcrowding, I mean overcrowding. Check out this photo from denhaagcentral.net in 2018. Roger, Marco and I went in 2015. It was a nightmare getting home…
Happy Chinese New Year! Yesterday The Hague and countless other cities across the world celebrated the holiday, signaling the start of the year of the rat.
Most amusing for me was the sea of red paper left behind from the parade:
New Year celebrations – Chinese or otherwise – are always a good excuse to set off some fireworks.
And here’s a look at one of the mini parades, led by a group from Nijmegen:
And another photo:
I don’t know… the year of the rat? But they are the first zodiac animal, and are seen as a sign of wealth in the Chinese culture. So there is that! If this is your zodiac sign, be proud of your ratliness (note: I made that word up).
The Netherlands has survived its night of fireworks. We did see one drunk guy (still holding his bottle of alcohol) walk up to a police car waiting at a stop light and talk to police agent for a few minutes. Maybe he was simply wishing them a happy New Year, who knows. By the time we crossed the street the police car was on the move again.
There is also a YouTube video available from user VerdierMedia PuntNL where he/she uses a drone to capture the fireworks over The Hague last night. Check it out!
Here are a few photos from the New Years Eve celebrations this year, taking sometime after midnight. It definitely seemed like most people did their fireworks before midnight rather than after. There were still a lot of fireworks going off — I just didn’t get any good photos of those!
And what would a blog post be without a photo of a small New Years Eve fire:
And finally, here’s a link to a drone video on YouTube someone made this year of the New Year’s Eve celebrations here in The Hague. They also made a video of last year’s fireworks extravaganza as well.
This past Saturday Marco, Roger and I celebrated the closing of 2016. As per our yearly tradition, after midnight we go outside for about an hour and check out the fireworks. This year it was quite foggy even before people started setting off fireworks, so it seemed like most people began their celebrations early in the night rather than waiting until midnight.
My favourite photo from that night had nothing to do with the fireworks – it was of the Christmas lights at a house. Although since the lights were red white and blue you could say they were celebrating their nationality:
While some of this fog was due to the fireworks, it really was a pretty foggy night
A bit of purple to brighten the night sky
Quality time with family and friends
Everyone seemed to have the fire “baskets” you see above. Not sure where they came from.