A HAPPY NEW YEAR,
Yes a very happy new year for you reader, nice of you to drop by at the table of the Dutch Cook. Our mission this year remains to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Or less ambitious, but still very curious and asking questions like a five year old, repeatedly and preferably non presumptuous till we get to the bottom off the case. So stick with me if you are ready for more adventures.
As this story unfolds, Holland is under attack. Dutch streets have turned into a kind of war-zone lately, as fire crackers are sound blasting all over the place. Your ear drums are tested as avalanche flares roar like thunder. You can see dogs look weary over their shoulder with their tail tucked firmly between their legs as they hurry home with the boss. This is fun time in Holland towards the end of the year, shops close a bit earlier, and people are on their way to family and friends.
Family meetings mean that there is food on the table, so we are going to make the traditional dutch treat for the ending of the year, the Dutch Doughnut! We call it “OLIEBOL”, or free translated an oil-ball. A years ending without “oliebollen” is unthinkable for the Dutch. “Albert Cuyp” already made a painting in 1652 of a girl with a pot full of “oliebollen”, she stares a bit timid in the eyes of the beholder without excitement.
So much different from my neighbor kids, two young boys who have been waiting in excitement for this day when it is allowed, under supervision of their dad, to finely shoot some flares. Specially for these two my wife keeps some dough separate without any filling, to make them some plain “oliebollen”. The neighbors in return do their best on Brussels waffles, which were pretty good this year with extra raisins in them.
At the strike of twelve midnight we are outside, with the rest of Holland, to pop the cork of the Champagne. Kisses, hugs and happy new year wishes are shared, while watching the fireworks we sip the bubbles and have some of the “oliebollen”. What a good way start of the new year.
This recipe of “oliebollen”is from the Dutch “Electro cookbook” from 1937
WHAT IS IN IT:
250 grams / 8,8 ounce of plain flour
15 grams / 0,5 ounce of fresh yeast
2 ½ deciliter / 1 cup of lukewarm milk
50 grams/1,8 ounce of currants
50 grams /1,8 ounce of raisins
50 grams /1,8 ounce of candied peel
pinch of salt
Sunflower oil to fry in
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Make a firm batter of the flour, the lukewarm milk and the yeast, that’s started off with some sugar and part of the milk.
Mix in the washed currants and raisins; the finely chopped candied peel, the chopped apple and the salt.
Leave the mixture in a big bowl covered with a wet cloth to rise for about three hours.
Heat the oil in a big pan. Take a bit of batter with two tablespoons and drop in the hot oil (about 1900C).
Let them bake till medium golden brown. Leave them to drip in a colander or on kitchen paper towel.
Check if they’re cooked on the inside; otherwise bake them a bit longer.
Serve them on a big plate with a dust of icing sugar on top.
At fairs and markets in Holland you will find “oliebollen” through out the year. So no excuse to wait for the ending of 2013 to give it a try.
Happy New Year,
the Dutch Cook