My plan to celebrate New Year’ Eve (Oud en Nieuw, as we call it in Dutch) with my sister Lous and her husband Arend in Valkkoog, almost failed because I did not feel very well. A running nose, a bad cough and a sore throat, apparently I can no longer handle the Dutch climate…:-(
But I was looking forward to meet my only sister, and she had promised that she would prepare oliebollen ! These oliebollen (oily balls) are a very Dutch delicacy, I had not tasted them for years. So I decided to brave the weather.
Of course there was still a Christmas tree in the house. Often Christmas trees are thrown away after New Year, but last year Lous and Arend had placed the old one (still with roots in a pot) in their garden. Preparing to buy a new one, she had inspected the old one and found it still in good shape. So in the picture you see the second life of a real Christmas tree. Many birds in their garden, like this Great Tit.
After we had lunch, Lous and Arend started the preparations for the oliebollen. The dough is simple to make with lots of raisins and currants. It has to rise for at least one hour. In the meantime a pan with oil is heated. Then comes the moment to fry the balls, using two spoons. The dough has to be neither too thin nor too thick, the temperature of the oil has to be just right, etc, so it is always exciting to see how they come out. Is the shape round, are the balls not too dry or moist inside, etc.
Well, in this case they were perfect. You cover them with powdered sugar before eating. Another variety is the appelflap, a slice of apple, dipped in batter, then fried in oil. Also very tasty.
Later we had dinner, watched some TV and played a few games of sjoelen .This is another typical Dutch specialty. At midnight we wished each other a Happy New Year and we toasted with a glass of champagne. Far way in the villages you could hear and see the fireworks, but around their bungalow it was peaceful and quiet.
On New Year Day I flew back in the evening to Malaysia. Lous had given me a few oliebollen, for Aric. As you can see, he enjoyed them.
Still not feeling well, even went to see a doctor. My lungs are ok, will just have to keep quiet for some time.