Happy New Year

I started the New Year by sleeping in, then I turned on the TV to watch the news. On the Today Show they were discussing New Year's traditions. Here in the Southeastern USA, everyone talks about eating black-eyed peas and collard greens for good luck during the year. I can't stand either so I guess I've lived with bad luck all my life. Not really, I seem to be just fine. But when  Kathie Lee and Hoda said the Dutch eat doughnuts on New Year's my ears perked up. I'm part Dutch and I've never heard anything about doughnuts. I confess I had visions of Krispy Kremes dancing in my head, but I went to the source to get the real answer - mother.

I asked mother about the Dutch and doughnuts and she started laughing. "Not doughnuts," she said, "oliebollen!" Yes, a long story ensued. Mother is Dutch and lived in Holland for part of her early life, especially after WWII. Both mother and daddy served LDS church missions to the Netherlands, though not at the same time. Both have fond memories of being served oliebollen on New Year's. Oliebollen, according to mother, is a fried dough containing raisins. Apparently the ones she had as a missionary were so dense and heavy she called them Rocks of Salvation. Mother has always had a riotous sense of humor. I must have looked dubious as she directed me to ask my father about oliebollen. I did and he also recalled the heavy fried dough with some fondness.

I put aside any thought of Krispy Kremes and went directly to Google to learn more about this dense fried dough that caused my parents to groan and laugh simultaneously. Minutes later I had a recipe printed out and a plan to make my own oliebollen. I am a Little Dutch Girl, after all! The photos tell the rest of the story:

All set up and ready to go: Dutch oven with hot oil on the left, yeast-risen dough  in the middle, and the cinnamon-powered sugar mix on the right.

The batter-like dough is almost ready.

Look at all those bubbles!

A platter of hot, sugared oliebollen surrounded by my grandmother's Delft tiles and windmill plate.

Mother serves a plate full of oliebollen to Daddy.

The first bite

Hmmmm, not bad.

I think I need another taste.

Now that's oliebollen. Yum!!!

We all devoured plates of warm oliebollen. Mother declared mine were very light and not at all like the Rocks of Salvation she had while on her mission. She also decided that eating oliebollen would be a New Year's tradition in our house from now on. We all smiled, and after too many oliebollen none of us wanted dinner. Isn't that what holidays are all about? I say YES!





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