Monday, January 1, 2007

The Obligatory New Year’s post ............... Het Verplichte Nieuwjaarsbericht

©2007. Judith Nijholt-Strong
“Champagne for New Year, 2007”, 7"h x 5"w
Pentel inkbrush, Micron pens, Winsor&Newton watercolors
Raffiné Art- all media sketchbook

Ja! Ja! Yes! Yes!
We did celebrate last night, even though it was raining so hard at the turning of the year. As cats, we don’t know if pouring rain on New Year’s Eve is some sort of sign or what (??) – but we know that humans have all sorts of traditions or beliefs that they sure do stick to. Who knows why!? *cats in wonder*

Fireworks (vuurwerk) seem to be one of the important traditions on New Year’s Eve (Oudejaarsavond) . Last night, the pelting rain didn’t stop the firework lovers(vuurwerkliefhebbers) in our neighborhood ... much to Sacha’s chagrin. Sacha spent almost the entire evening underneath a cabinet in the kitchen. She was tucked up into the tiniest of spaces. On the otherhand, Finn was entranced by the fireworks and spent the evening perched on the back window-sill watching all the colors in the night sky. We have a feeling there will be more tonight if the weather is clear, because we think it’s a good bet that not all of the fireworks were shot off last night ... *sigh* then it will be back under the kitchen cabinet for poor Sacha (arme Sacha)!

Another tradition: Oliebollen
Yes, we had Oliebollen ... lots of them! (literally translated = oil balls. Not terribly appitizing when translated, eh? hahaha).
Finn & Sacha enjoying their plate of special “cat-sized” Oliebollen.
(click image to enlarge)

For our readers who are not Dutch, Oliebollen are a traditional Dutch treat at New Years, although (nowadays), you can get them almost all year ‘round from bakers that sell them ... or you can make them at home, if you have a craving for them. Oliebollen are deep-fried, yeast dough balls that can be filled with currants (krenten), raisins (rozijnen), apples (appels), candied citron (sukade), or even a sweet cream filling (zoete romige vulling). After frying, the oliebollen are dusted with loads of confectioner's sugar/powder sugar (poedersuiker). Or, if you are like our human “step-brother”, you might prefer them without the powder sugar (zonder poedersuiker) ... sort of bland though without the sugar all over them. “Mom” always makes her own Oliebollen each year, from scratch. This year, she added only currants that had been soaked in cognac....mmmm, tasty (lekker) !

Here is a photo of “Mom” deep frying the oliebollen (singular form of the word is oliebol) and the results - half of them with powder sugar and half plain.
(click image to enlarge)

They never come out completely round (“mom” complains about this every year as she’s a bit of a perfectionist), but ‘these are homemade oliebollen and not supposed to be perfect’, we tell her. Some of them looked like funny (yet tasty) mice to us ... heh heh heh

Een beetje "spirit" voor de avond!
A little “spirit” for the evening!
Coebergh ... mmmm, yumm.

Coebergh is Dutch liquer made from a base of gin with a mild taste of cranberries. “Mom” thought this was very tasty indeed (erg lekker)! She kept saying she knew this liquer and had seen it for years in the US, but like a lot of things, she had no idea it was Dutch. The things you learn when you move to another country!!! Long live the Netherlands (lang leve Nederland) !

Well, that’s our New Year’s story. If we’re lucky, (and Sacha doesn’t disappear under the kitchen cabinet again) , tonight we’re having Dutch split-pea soup (Nederlandse Erwtensoep). It’s “our family’s” new tradition. You see, like we said, “humans” just have to have their traditions (tradities) ... cats just want to eat and sleep (preferably without fireworks, says Sacha) !!!

Happy New Year everyone!

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar iedereen!

Finn & Sacha
P.S. Oh nooooo!!! I just heard some fireworks going off... it's 3:45pm here on New Year's day as I "paw this out" on our "kat keyboard" . I think I had better go downstairs and make that space under the cabinet a little more comfy for my lil sis Sacha! She's going to be there for quite some time, I think.

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Anonymous said...

Geen zin in Engels,
(moeder moet het maar ff vertalen.)
Maar ik wilde wel ff

een héél goed 2007 toewensen!!,
met spekjes ofzo.

Ik vroeg me af of het in het buitenland (Amerika bv.) ook gebruikelijk is dat particulieren vuurwerk afsteken, of is het daar meer professioneel?

Finn & Sas said...

Hi René,

To answer your question about fireworks, it's much the same as here. I can only tell you about how it is in the USA though, but it's probably the same in the UK.

Many, many people do have fireworks to set-off on their own, but there are also many, many big professional displays/shows of fireworks done in the city parks or stadiums, etc. throughout the US on New Year's Eve or other big events.

In the US it depends on which state and sometimes which city you live in. Some states and cities in the US forbid the buying or selling of "heavy fireworks", but people get them anyway by going to the states that do sell them ... zelfde als hier, toch? I used to live in a city in Florida where the buying and selling of "heavy fireworks" was prohibitted/ illegal(could only by the light stuff like those sparkeler sticks, poppers, colored smoke bombs - hope you understand what I mean). However, every New Year (or 4th of July too) all my friends always had big parties and we had fireworks (bottle rockets, cherry bombs, shooting stars, firecrackers etc.) that they had bought somewhere else and brought back - They would buy them in other cities in Florida or in neighboring states (Georgia, Alabama...).

I think only a few states in the US completely outlaw the sale of fireworks for home use (Arizona, New York, Massachusettes, Delaware and New Jersey)... but like I said, people travel to neighboring states to buy them.

Not sure anymore what the local laws are in the states...I've been here since New Year's Eve 2000!! That was a big BLAST in this neighborhood! Jeetje! lol

Hope you feel better. Ik wens je beterschap in 2007.


KJ's muse said...

Leuk blog!

I was born in Holland myself and lived there quite happily until my family forced me to go with them when they immigrated to Canada! As I was only 7, I guess I had no choice, maar ik wilde echt niet gaan. :)

Anyway, even though I've lived here for over 35 years, I still sometimes miss the Dutch language and culture, so it's neat to come across it when surfing. Love the links!

Oliebollen – lekker!


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