Sunday, November 29, 2009

Magical Morning

Still so much life happening here.
Still not much time to post.




I took the time to take puppy out on a beautiful foggy morning, and recharged myself by just being instead of trying to keep on top of things. All the things were still there when I returned home, but I felt so much better. And much more able to figure out how to stay on top of these darned things.


Life, it's magical and perfect.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Morning Sing

Every Friday, Erik's school has 'morning sing' and last week it was his class's turn to perform.


Something about going to bed with a tooth in his mouth and waking up in the middle of the night. Pretty fun tradition.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Oliebollen (Dutch Fried Raisin Bread Dough)


4 cups warm water
2 packets or Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup dry milk
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups white flour
2 tsp salt
3 cups raisins
4 large eggs

Cultural background

Oliebollen is a traditional Dutch New Year's Eve treat. Making oliebollen makes me remember my father. Every year, during the last weekend in December, he would make a HUGE batch of oliebollen dough and turn out  hundreds of oliebollen. We literally would have buckets full of oliebollen all over our kitchen and dining room.

We always had lots of visitors on New Year's Eve, and they all would eat tons of oliebollen and appelflappen (another Dutch treat).These visitors included one of my aunts, who always ended up drinking too much, and whose stories got more and more unlikely over the course of the evening. I still shudder when I remember her stories about the ghosts in Indonesia who somehow were connected to a big and bloody magical sword (kris). I would like to tell more details, but the story was too convoluted and senseless to remember beyond 'Wow, she really drunk a LOT tonight!'

You would think that all those visitors would be enough to eat the oliebollen, but it never was. Which meant we ended up with oliebollen for weeks into the new year. Oliebollen for breakfast, oliebollen for lunch, oliebollen for dessert. We would beg everyone visiting us 'Please!!! Take some oliebollen! Come on, you know you want them!' 'Friends don't let friends be stuck with 200 oliebollen, really!'

The very first year we have moved to the States, I couldn't imagine a New Year's Eve without oliebollen. Of course, they weren't very available in the US. No problem, I would just ask my father for his recipe. Let's just say that somehow the yeast got mixed up and I wasn't very experienced yet and that the dough seemed to keep rising. It rose out of the bowls, ran around on the counter playing tag, and tried to forcefully take over my kitchen. It grew, and it grew, and it grew and we almost ended up having oliebollen dough in our bed that night. That was quite an interesting experience ^^

Directions (
This recipe is from the King Arthur cook book, with a few small changes to make them more Dutch.)

Pour the water into a mixing bowl. In it dissolve the sugar, yeast, and dry milk successively. Beat in the eggs. In another bowl, measure the flour and salt. Add the raisins to the flour and stir into the wet ingredients. This will produce a very wet dough which you want to cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel so it can bubble away and expand for an hour or so.

About half an hour before you want to cook the Olie Bollen, stir down the dough and let it rest. After 20 minutes, heat 3 to 4 inches of vegetable oil or shortening in a large saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dip an ice cream scoop into the hot oil and then transfer a glob of dough to the hot fat. Cook several of these at a time, but allow enough room for them to expand. To help them expand somewhat evenly, flip them over after they've first risen to the surface. Continue cooking them until they're a warm golden brown on both sides, flipping them back and forth as needed. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.

Eat them with confectioners sugar, they are best if they are still warm, but very tasty when cold too.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Halloween, Pumpkins, Life

All the pumpkins turned out well.


Look at our beautiful newly painted porch with Halloween decorations! If I ever get this house on the market, it would sell so well!


Halloween was WET. Did I mention it was RAINING? A lot! I would show you many costume pictures, but things were scattered this year and I ended up going geocaching while all the kids were with friends or with their dad.


Even better, I went geocaching far away enough that it didn't rain the whole darned time and we even got to see the moon, unlike Erik who needed the moon for his moon journal.


Life has been good, but way interesting and there are many posts in my head, let's see whether I can get them posted on my blog. The thrilling news is that today I FINALLY filed my taxes after filing for an extension on April 15th. It is a long story, it involved lotsalife, but it has a happy ending and shows that even baby steps will eventually have big results.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 02, 2009

That Time of the Year

It has been cold enough to start using the fireplace.


I love the coziness even if I don't love the fights 'She took the last marshmallow and it's not fair!'


Marshmallows clearly have to be given a higher priority on my shopping list during this time of the year.


I just refuse to think about which season will follow after fall. Especially since I am still stuck in this house with The Driveway From Hell.
Posted by Picasa