We interrupt this blog post to say: Happy birthday, mom!
Here’s a look back at our oliebollen making attempts this year. (Quick recap: oliebollen literally translates to “balls of oil” and are sort of like doughnuts, usually with raisins found inside. They are a traditional New Year’s Eve treat for Dutchies.)
First, a look at the batter. Doesn’t look like much yet! Or it kind of looks like we are making chocolate chip cookies… But it still needs to be allowed to rise for about 45 minutes, too.
To make the experience a bit easier this year we bought an oliebollentang from Albert Heijn. It’s really just a glorified ice cream scoop. We also tried wetting the scoop in oil between each oliebol. It was still trial and error, but we finally learned the best trick for us was to use a large spoon to grab the batter, and then carefully place it into the oliebollen scoop, and finally put the scoop into the oil, releasing the batter under the oil so that it would come off (a bit) easier.
Time to fry them up! My favorite part is when the oliebollens start flipping on their own. Doesn’t always happen, but sometimes.
They are already looking a lot like oliebollen. You only need to keep them in the oil for 3-4 minutes, but they should be flipped once to make sure both sides are evenly cooked.
And the finished product, with a fair heaping of powdered sugar on top.
As mentioned in a few months back, the oliebollenkraam (= stand to sell oliebollen) has temporarily moved to the Grote Markt due to construction around the Spuiplein. I suspect the move has been good for them and they are making much more money where they currently are. They are consistently voted one of the best stands in this providence.
Oliebollen is sort of like a doughnut and covered in powdered sugar. They are traditionally filled with raisins, but you can get them without raisins as well these days. They are eaten around New Years Eve, although you can also find them at carnivals throughout the year.
Here is a look at the line around 10:30 this morning:
And a close up, to show you what the stand looks like:
So the lines weren’t too bad at 10:30. This is what it looks like around 14:30, just four hours later:
There’s still three lines, give or take, and they stretch just to the edge of the tram/bus area. Compare that to the lines in 2014 and 2015. Of course that is at the old location, where it is easier to just have a single line.
I suspect the crowds will be greatest around 17:00, when everyone is out of work. However by then festivities will also be starting at our place so we won’t be going outside until closer to midnight, for the fireworks.
Public service announcement: please note the very awesome and tasty oliebollenkraam on the Spuiplein (which has its own Facebook page!) looks to have relocated to the Grote Markt this year:
This is because of all the construction at the Spuiplein (article in Dutch, with photo), which seems to take over more and more space every week.
The Facebook page for the oliebollen stand says it should open on November 2nd. This is a very popular place to buy oliebollen. Oliebollen (literally “oil balls”) are sort of like donut balls, without any holes. They are typically served with raisins inside, unless you are a heretic like me that eats them plain. Here’s a look at how long the line gets on New Year’s Eve, back in 2014. This stand is popular! Or check out this 1 minute video.
And for the public transportation aficionados reading this (haha), the bus driving past is the old model – it is bus 61, which is a temporary line to take over tram 1 at least through the end of the year. They are busy doing work on the Scheveningseweg.
This is a photo of a pop-up store near the Grote Markt. Here’s an article about it in Dutch – Pop-up oliebollenfabriek opent deuren in Den Haag. I confess I hadn’t quite understood the concept until reading the article. Alongside the traditional oliebollen and appelbeignets, they also sell champagne oliebollen. Except that it’s just in the name – there’s no actual champagne inside. The difference is in the sugar that they use. Some examples of the types of sugar they use include limoncello, salted caramel and chocolate sugar. In total there are 10 different types of sugar you can choose from and some samples for you to taste.
I can’t believe it – four years in the Netherlands already!
And a look at the lights in the other direction, towards the movie theater and Primark:
Oh, and today a coworker brought in 12 oliebollen (sorta doughnut-y pastry that is usually made with raisins inside and covered in powdered sugar). They started selling those on November 1st… It is always something to look forward to!
On the way through Centrum this afternoon, I just had to stop and take a photo of the line of people waiting to buy oliebollen, which is sort of like a doughnut. (Actually the Wikipedia article for oliebollen says that it was the inspiration for doughnuts, so there you go.) They are usually covered in powdered (confectioner’s) sugar.
Now that is a long line! When I left for work this morning I wondered why they needed five people working this stand. Now I know why!
Marco and I are now at Roger’s to spend the night. There are basically fireworks going off every second somewhere… It it also important to get to where you need to be a bit early, as the trains have their last run at 8pm and the buses/trams around 8:30 due to how crazy it can get with fireworks in this country. Oh and yeah maybe the transport workers want a holiday too. 😉
When Niki and I were doing some shopping the other day, we walked past an oliebollen kraam. While we didn’t buy any, we took a picture. Usually they are just regular looking food truck types.
This one had some crazy winter type stuff painted on it, of the “Tiroler” type. So some buxom serving wenches, beer steins etc. We didn’t need to buy oliebollen since my mom is making them for us. Yay.
Today was a lazy Sunday. We went to the Albert Heijn to get soup and bread for dinner and we read some pages of a Dutch book. Then we prepared to watch football. The Chicago Bears just won their game (but aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot yet) and next up are the Packers.
Oh and I spent some time playing a game on my tablet (playmobil pirates) while Niki did some work for the Avatar game we play.
I can’t believe we have one day left in this year.
It’s been a hectic one but a good year.
Now we gear up for 2013… Probably even more hectic. But Niki and I are ready for it!
We’re under a month until we land in the Netherlands! Oliebollen is one of the Dutch desserts that I am looking forward to. Here’s a picture Marco took last week:
Oliebollen is the precursor to doughnuts and are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands (although they are sold a bit earlier in the year as well). They are really good with powdered sugar (poedersuiker).
I am enjoying this vacation — nice and relaxed so far. I spent most of the morning sorting books into two piles in my old bedroom – keep and donate. Thankfully the keep pile was much, much smaller than the donate pile! 🙂