Name: Elissa Houmes
Scran: Oliebollen
Mother Language: Dutch

Sounds Like: Oliebollen by Elissa Houmes
Handwritten Notes: in Dutch – by Elissa Houmes
Sounds Like: Oliebollen by Elissa Houmes (English)

Audio Transcript: English

“I came up with Oliebollen because it’s like a traditional snack that we enjoy during New Year’s Day actually, like the, I don’t know what you call it, but the Thirty First of December.. that’s like, we call it ‘Old Year’ (laughter). We have ‘Old Year’ and ‘New Year’ in Holland, and umm, normally, a lot of people go to huge trucks, which they have in city centres or different places, where they will line up and buy Oliebollen. But, you can also make them yourself at home, and we like to do that back home. So, you have to prepare the dough which takes a lot of time; you have to make sure it rises, so that takes a bit more time; and then you have to bake them. The baking part is quite a challenge because you have to make sure it’s the right temperature otherwise they suck in all the oil, and they are not very edible afterwards! (laughter)

The part I like the most about Olibollen is that normally during New Year’s Eve you celebrate with friends and family. And people, like, when you start making.. like, I’m the Olibollen person in my circle! People always expect me to make Olibollen and to bring them so..! When we meet friends and family we hand out Olibollen, and you enjoy them together, and you eat them with a little powdered sugar on top. Normally the powdered sugar gets everywhere (laughter).

This year I wasn’t able to make them of course because I just arrived in Manchester so my Grandma and some friends were like, “but, we should bring some Olibollen this year, because…” (sounds from mobile) Oh that’s my siri! My phone went off!

No, but uh, Oliebollen is just a traditional dish that brings people together and I thought, especially now in a time when we cannot be together, it’s a nice reminder of what it used to be like. And hopefully what it will be like soon again.

The recipes of Olibollen sometimes go on in families. Like, we have a recipe that my Grandfather wrote down one time and we still use it and it’s the best! You wouldn’t write a new recipe because you have the old one and it can go on for generations.

Olibollen is just something we eat. Like, it starts out after Christmas. People start selling them so its a very short period of time within the year that we actually do that. And, the funny thing is you can even have mixes. You can buy them at the supermarket. You just have to add certain things to it. After New Year’s Eve, the mixes get marked down obviously because they have to get rid of them. Mum used to buy those priced-down mixes and use them again next year. But, the Olibollen.. they are not good at all (laughter) because, it expires in.. yeah. It’s just a very short period of time and I think that’s what makes it nice. It comes back every year. You know you can expect it during Christmas and NYE. Yeah.

Pity we don’t have it more often in the year, but it makes it extra special as well. My Mum, for this year, she didn’t buy the priced-down, like, the discounted mixes. Like, she made it herself from my Grandfather’s recipe and they were actually really good. I’m sure I can make up for it next year!”

Elissa’s Dad with Mum’s Oliebollen
Old Dutch cookbook for Oliebollen