Friday, 30 December 2011

New Year traditions

 (Si prefieres leer en español, sigue este enlace)
One more day and we will be saying good-bye to 2011 and welcoming a New Year. As I mentioned in my previous post, our end of year celebrations will be quite low key. No big parties or trips to dazzling European cities to welcome 2012...

Still, there are a number of things that I do like having, eating or doing for Christmas and New Year every time. I always put up a Christmas tree and decorate the house; I normally send cards to our friends and family to wish them "Happy Holidays"; I usually either buy or make the traditional panettone or pan dulce (though this year I was perfectly happy with a Dutch kerststol for Christmas; I will probably make panettone for the New Year) and I sometimes bring some turrones from Argentina to have at hand during the season.
Some of the Christmas cards I've received this year.
There are two more things I must have for New Year and they also involve food: oliebollen and las doce uvas (the twelve grapes).

Oliebollen (literally, "oil balls") are traditional Dutch  dumplings made with flour, eggs, milk, salt, baking powder and yeast, deep-fried and then dusted with icing sugar. You can make them at home, since they are easy enough to prepare; but if you are too busy during this time of the year to be bothered -or if you do not want your entire house to smell of fried food- you can buy them at the many stalls that pop up in every city or village across The Netherlands. Eaten cold or hot, plain or filled with raisins or sultanas, they are a real treat and they seem to be a permanent staple for the New Year table around here.

An oliebollen stall in my neighbourhood.

As for the twelve grapes of luck -las doce uvas de la suerte, a tradition that I have brought with me from Argentina- it is in fact, a Spanish tradition still kept in my family. When the clocks strike 12 at midnight on Nochevieja (Old Night, in Spanish), the twelve grapes are eaten, each grape representing a month and symbolising hope and good wishes for the New Year.
Sometimes it is quite a challenge to pop a grape in your mouth at each strike of the clock;  most of the time you end up either eating less than twelve grapes or choking from a full mouth while still trying to kiss those around you who are too eager to wish you a Happy New Year...

Oliebollen and the twelve grapes, my own New Year traditions.

What are your New Year traditions? Do you wear a special colour, make a toast, give someone next to you a kiss, sing Ald Lang Syne ... ?

Have a wonderful start of the New Year everyone!!


Anonymous said...

Muchas felicidades, Eber‼ Un placer leerte, es como estar ahí con vos‼ Podrías invitar a Roberto, fan nro. 1 de los Oliebollen. Un abrazo grande y felíz año nuevo para vos y Mars‼

Katie said...

Those oliebollen look very tempting, and I like saying the name. lol I bet they're particularly good with raisins.

In my family, we simply toast at the strike of 12 while watching the ball drop in New York City.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Aledys Ver said...

A Roberto lo he invitado varias veces ya, pero se ve que no lo tientan lo suficiente las oliebollen como para venir hasta acá!
Gracias, y muy Feliz Año Nuevo para vos y tu familia!!!

Aledys Ver said...

I like that you have this tradition of watching the ball drop in NYC, like the SPanish have of watching live the broadcast from Puerta del Sol in Madrid...
Happy New Year to you and Daniel!!

Presépio no Canal said...

Morgen moet ik ollibollen kopen! ;-)
Volgens Portugese traditie moeten we 12 sultanas eten!
My Dutch is improving, Ebercita!! :-)))
I love the photo with the grapes and the New Year's decorations! So pretty!
Eber, estou mais gordita! Esta epoca e terrivel para mim! Everything so lekker!
Um Excelente Ano para ti, Eber! Nos tambem vamos ficar por casa! :-)

Anonymous said...

Eber... estaba pensando en comer (a pesar de que no me gustan) 45.324 uvas... A ver si tienen un poco más efecto que solo doce.
Beso grande y espero un año que nos devuelva o complemente todo lo que este año se ha llevado. Bye

Mary Witzl said...

Here in Scotland, people go into the center of town, drink until they can barely see straight, and then kiss everybody they meet whether they know them or not. It's best to feign a cold by pulling your scarf up around your mouth.

When we were kids growing up in California, my mother always encouraged us to make a racket with pots and pans, banging away on them, as soon as it turned midnight. It was such a novelty being asked to make noise -- I've never forgotten it.

Aledys Ver said...

Ik heb de oliebollen al gekocht! Dat was eigenlijk heel fijn want er waren heel weinig mensen bij. My Dutch is also improving, I hope hahaha
Did you spot your card in the other photo? It's there!
Eu estou mais gordita, too! First two months with mum here cooking for us, then 2 more months in Argentina eating loads of asado, and now Christmas and New Year in Holland....!!! Sigh.... but yes, everything is indeed zó lekker!

Aledys Ver said...

Comé las uvas, tomá agua bendita, hacé una cruz de sal en el patio (balcón), poné una ristra de ajo atrás de la puerta y una herradura justo arriba de la puerta... hacé todo lo que haga falta para que el 2012 venga mejor!!
Muchos besos!!!

Artigazo said...

Espero poder seguirte más a menudo.
Besos Eber feliz año nuevo!!!

BLOGitse said...

It's going to be a sparkling night!
Happy New Year 2012!

Invader_Stu said...

I can never eat too many Oliebollen. But then again, I don't think anyone can.

My brother-in-law is making a whole batch as I type this.

Sil - Simplemente cocinera said...

Hola! Te encontrè por puro caso por la foto de los alfajores cordobeses, que los harè seguro! Me encantan para el mate, dicho de una misionera que vive ahora en Italia pero no por ello renuncia a sus vicios: el mate, siempre primero y su compañia argentina que crece cada dia màs visto que mis retoños lo agradecen, tanos pero hijos de argentinos en fin! Te mando un abrazo y te sigo porque me encantan las historias de vida tanto como la cocina. Cariños desde Trieste, norte de Italia. Sil.

Aledys Ver said...

Feliz Año para tí también. Gracias por pasar!

It was a sparkling night indeed! Happy New Year to you too!

Unfortunatelly, I have to watch how many oliebollen I eat, or else, I get stomach ache for sure! :D TOo bad because they're soooo lekker!!

@Sil-Simplemente cocinera,
Qué casualidad!! Espero que los alfajores te salgan ricos! Se extraña no poder pasar por el kiosco a comprarlos cuando querés, no?
Muchos saludos!!

titabuds said...

Here in the Philippines, we have a tradition similar to the Twelve Grapes, although we don't pop a piece into the mouth at each strike of the clock. (I can see how most people can find that difficult to do, heh.)

We've modified the tradition now to include all kinds and combinations of round(ish) fruit. At my parents' home this year we had oranges, apples, grapes (a bunch is counted as one fruit) and some kiwi fruit. Also, we don't stop at 12 pieces, it has to be 13 for extra luck, hahaha.

Have a wonderful new year! :)

Ana said...

Esos Oliebollen tienen una pinta!
(comento tarde porque me persi este post buuuu!)
Buen anio!!

Aledys Ver said...

Indeed, the one grape per strike of the clock is a bit of an overstretch - so stresful! :)
Yes, some people do 13 for extra luck!!

Lástima que los oliebollen sólo se venden en la época de Navidad o a lo sumo, durante las ferias. No sé por qué no hay puestos de oliebollen durante todo el año, como en España con los buñuelos/churros....