Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Olie Bolie: A Christmas Story

      I was a Middle School teacher for 37 years. At times my classroom was somewhat chaotic. Group work was sometimes messy. During some of those disorganized times quiet individual conversations occurred. 

      One thirteen year old boy told me that at Christmas he made "olie bolie" with his Grandpa. He told me that "Olie bolie" was really good.  A few days later I would hear about "olie bolie" again and how good it was. He was waiting for his Grandpa to get ready to make "olie bolie". A few days later I would hear about "olie bolie" again. He wasn't sure if he had the right words but it was something like "Olie bolie". Since I'd heard so much about "olie bolie" I began to ask about it. He wasn't sure but it was really good. I asked what it was like. It was dough with raisins . He wasn't sure how it was cooked , but it was really good and he liked it. After it was cooked it was rolled in icing sugar or sprinkled with icing sugar and it was really good.

    I never did get out of this boy exactly what "olie bolie" was . He never brought any of it to school so that I could try it. I even asked him if he could spell it and I would put it on the weekly spelling list. "Olie bolie" was all I could get out of him.

    I've often though about the Christmas experience this boy had with his Grandpa and Grandpa must have enjoyed this too. It's not very many thirteen year old boys who would enjoy Christmas baking. This must have been a highlight of his Christmas. It impressed me and I've never forgotten his story.

    I did a little research after this experience. As near as I can tell what he was talking about was oliebollen which is a Dutch pastry similar to a doughnut. A lump of dough about as big as small orange is cooked in a deep fryer. It sounds great and someday I'm going to have to find some oliebollen to discover what this kid really liked.

    have you heard of this before? I'm sure some of my dutch followers will give me much more information about "olie bolie."

     So I wish that all my readers who celebrate Christmas have a wonderful time.

45 comments:

  1. Of course, yes, oliebollen is something I know quite well. My family background is Dutch, and we had it on New Year's Eve. It is delicious. Try seeking out a Dutch store, but there ought to be recipes online.

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    1. Interesting how anybody who is remotely Dutch knows about oliebollen

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  2. No, I'm afraid I've never heard of that, but it must have been good. Have a terrific Christmas, Red!

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  3. Good story Red!
    At first I envisaged the Grandpa had one of those Tennessee stills for corn or whatever illicit whisky!
    And I am pretty sure Alberta and Tennessee don't have much in common!
    Thank God you clarified my initial thoughts.
    Trust those Dutch to confuse us.
    If what you suspect it is - I hope you try it and then let us know what it tastes like.
    Cheers from a little sauna like today - still at 6.30 pm., but tomorrow, Christmas Day here is expected to be wonderful weather wise! Fingers crossed.
    Cheers and beers
    Aussie Col

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  4. I've never hear of it Red, but it sounds good.

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    1. You're closer to it than I am. Actually there are many Dutch people in this area.

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  5. A grand story and Merry Christmas to you.

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  6. Sounds like a plan to make some olie bolie - perhaps your Micro Manager might indulge in a piece or two, or lump or two or WHAT? ha,ha Have a Merry Christmas Sir Red and also Mrs MicroM, Eh :)

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    1. Thanks and a Merry Christmas to you.

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  7. I will ask next time I go to the dutch bakery two towns over. Everything they make is good. I got some dinner rolls there last time with orange icing on them.

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    1. Let me know how the oliebollen is.

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  8. Hi Red, Neat story. I'm not Dutch so I can't help on the dough and raisins, but deep fried with sugar coating couldn't be too bad. Merry Christmas. John

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    1. I've eaten something in the fritter area that has raisins instead of apple. Merry Christmas to you.

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  9. Christmas isn't really about the food, but so many memories of it start there, don't they?
    Merry, merry Christmas to you and your family, Red.

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    1. The food is one of the best parts of Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  10. My husband as a boy used to say that he liked the "Polly Jenkins" pancakes that his mom's friend made. They were some other name that sounded like the above and I cannot find it, but they were thin like Swedish pancakes.

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    1. Ah ha! Just like this kid's olie bolie except it was close enough that I found it when I Googled.

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  11. I adore your memories. My best Christmas one was a gr. 6 young man, living in poverty, who found his own explaining Hanukkah to his peers. He gained so much confidence. Merry Christmas!

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    1. That's one of those win win situations. Have a Merry Christmas.

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  12. A Christmas story indeed, Red. I hope you get a chance to try some of this and tell me all about it! Merry Christmas to one of my favorite bloggers! :-)

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    1. Thanks and a Merry Christmas to you. I think I've had something close to this. It was like a fritter except with raisins.

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  13. I had to think immediately at "oliebollen" indeed. A dutch delicacy, dough balls with raisins, which we always bake on New Years eve, not with Christmas. With Christmas we eat a Christmas bread with raisins and almond paste baked in it.
    Have a Merry Christmas Red.
    Marianne

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    1. Well, I guess our Canadian Dutch have modified oliebollen a bit. We have many Dutch in this area.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  14. my mother wasn't dutch, she was german, but she made great home made bread. we often took rolls of the dough and deep fried it for fried donuts - and sometimes sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on them after they were taken out. so i can imagine olie bolie was delicious!

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    1. Whenever we went to my German grandma's it wasn't very long before she was making donuts. The donuts were ready when the coffee was ready.

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  15. Such a nice story! I've never heard of this pastry but I bet it's good. It certainly was very special to this young boy. Too bad he never brought some in for you to try. Merry Christmas!

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    1. I think we've probably eaten this. I've had something similar to an apple fritter only with raisins.
      Merry Christmas to you.

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  16. The Portuguese have many deep-fried pastries but this one doesn't sound familiar. Probably tasty, though. Merry Christmas to everyone at Hiawatha House.

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    1. Thanks and a Merry Christmas to you. We have many Dutch in this area and probably no Portuguese.

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  17. That is a sweet story Red! It sounds delicious! My mother-in-law used to make bread doughnuts that were deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I have never been able to make them as good as hers. Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year to you and your family.

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    1. I think home made donuts are a thing of the past. too easy to buy them. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Thank you. A Merry Christmas to you. I couldn't make a comment on your blog today.

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  19. Of course, I've never heard of olie bolie but I sure enjoyed the story. Merry Christmas!

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  20. Going to be some oliebollen eaten at my house! It is indeed a deep friend raising thing, sometimes with almond paste in the middle if we remember to grab some. The Man of the house is crazy for it!

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  21. What a nice blog!wish you a merry good christmas time from the west coast of Norway!

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  22. I've heard of this but never eaten it but it sounds delicious!
    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, Red. Big hugs from eastern Ontario. I love your blog.

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  23. Sound good to me, I have never heard of it. You will have to make some:) Merry Christmas Red:)

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  24. I expect a lot of people shorten or improvise when they have a favourite thing which may be food or perhaps something else and it may have been passed on from one generation to another so that the word becomes a family name for that thing.

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  25. Happy holidays,Red. Something about this season that bring to mind for me all the "traditional" cooking that came to the fore. For us it was mostly German (the paternal side) and Norwegian (the maternal side). What fun!!!!
    37 years in the classroom - exactly the same for me. :)

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  26. I hope the"olie bolie" is as good as the story when you finally get to try it!

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  27. What an awesome story, thanks for sharing this Red. This was such a special time of year and a wonderful memory the boy created with his Grandpa.

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