I like to think that Dad doesn’t lay awake at night thinking up things like, “I’m going to hike naked tomorrow,” or “I’m going to take the family 4x4ing through a river with my station wagon”, or ” I’m going to multiply the Olibollen recipe by 8″. If he did contemplate, plan and scheme these activities I suspect the stories would turn out differently, and the experiences would be none too exciting, I might add. No, I think dad woke up that New Years morning with the simple intention to make a lot of Olibollen – and he did.
I remember the morning, listening to the sounds of rapid movements on the floor in the kitchen upstairs, the chairs being shuffled, the table bouncing along the floor as he pushed it into the corner, the cupboards banging then the mixer beating the first batch of our New Years treat. It was New Years Day and dad was making Olibollen, as he did every year. Mom vacated the kitchen to leave dad in his furry of activity trying to be calm for she know the mess would be a future reminder of the morning. I heard the front door slam closed, he passed my window on the way to the garage, and all was quiet. My sister and I tried to sleep as the quiet descended on us. The quiet was brief and dad was again passing my window, slamming the front door on his way back into the house. No more sleep for me. Within a few minuets I heard the high pitch whirl of… of what? Oh, well it didn’t matter, in a family of eight I was not about to bother myself exploring every wonderment that each family member caused. It did sound interesting though. I could hear my mom talking to dad, and her tone sounded concerned. My curiosity was getting the better of me but I was not crawling out of bed yet. It was not long before mom came to our room.
“Good morning, girls” She greeted us.
I grunted and rolled over, tucking the blankets under my chin.
“I think you should come upstairs and see what your dad is doing”. Mom sounded a little amused.
“This is going to be good,” I thought.
Oh my! I still smile at what we found. Dad in all his charisma (and there is a lot of it), had the flour everywhere. He was standing in the middle of the kitchen with his electric drill making 8x the recipe in a five gallon pail. He had scrubbed the dry-wall paddle that fit it into his drill. He poured flour and milk alternately from their containers cutting short the tedious task of measuring. Do I need to remind you that drills do not have speed setting like a hand mixer? The flour was billowing up into his face and hair up like clouds of smoke. It covered everything! Mom would find a layer of flour for a long time to come. When he began multiplying the recipe he realized he needed a bigger bowl if he was going to make it all at once (a much more efficient method, I agree). But he would need a bigger mixer too. Being a carpenter it was very logical to do inventory of his collection of tools in the garage. In the end he needed every large pot in the house to heat the oil and finish frying the batter before dark.