Oliebollen Recipe and Tutorial, or How I Learned to Recreate the Plumela

Author: Michele / Labels: , , , , , , , ,

When I was growing up, my family had a recipe for what we called "Plumelas."  They were a special time-consuming treat that we would find on Christmas, Thanksgiving and other snowy/dreary days when my mom felt like spending her time over a hot stove.  The recipe came down to my family from my Great-Grandmother on my mom's dad's side, who was Pennsylvania Dutch.  I had copied the recipe from my mom several times, but have lost it as many as I have gotten it.  Due to life changes, I have not spoken to family in several years, which makes getting a new copy impossible.  I had thought perhaps this yummy treat was lost to me forever, as internet searching have pulled up NOTHING called a "Plumela".  Then I had the idea to search for German and Dutch dough with raisins.  Thanks to some additional help from a Facebook group of fellow cooks, I recently came to realize that what I had been calling a Plumela my entire life, is actually a Oliebollen.  Further research unearthed a sad truth- the oliebollen is closely guarded family recipe in Dutch families and while many people were willing to share their delicious looking pictures- enough to convince me that I was on the right track, no one wanted to share a recipe that matched what I could remember from OUR family recipe.  Turns out, the key was the step that added raisins to the milk prior to scalding.  But, the recipe I was given made 8 oliebollen.  What would one do with ONLY 8 of these delicious little critters?  I decided I had no choice but to beef up the tiny recipe I found, tweaking it to have the proportions of the ingredients I could remember.  And VIOLA!!  Success.  I present to you, in all its glory, the best recipe for Olibollen ever- or if you like you can call them Plumelas.  

Plumelas (Olibollen- makes between 50-60 depending on size)

1 box raisins
2 T. yeast
1 qt (or 4 c.)milk
8 c. flour
4 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. salt

Oil for deep frying
Powdered sugar for shaking

Over medium heat, scald milk and raisins.  Remove milk from  heat and cool until you can comfortably put a finger in it without burning yourself.  Pour milk and raisins into a large metal mixing bowl.  Add salt and sugar and sprinkle with yeast.  After proofing yeast for about 10 minutes, add eggs, flour and salt.  Stir with a wooden spoon until sticky and well incorporated.  (See top picture).  Dough should be very sticky.  Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, bring oil to 350 degrees in a deep saucepan or deep fryer.  Using a teaspoon or tablespoon, drop dough into the hot oil. 

When plumelas are browned, remove from hot oil with a slotted spoon into a strainer.  Test one for doneness.  It may take several gooey centers before you figure out temp/outside color as an indicator for inside doneness.  Pour a couple of inches of powdered sugar into the bottom of a brown paper lunch bag.   Add 2-4 plumelas at a time, shaking to coat with powdered sugar.  It helps to have someone else sugaring, while you are cooking. 

At this point, it is not uncommon for people to begin snagging plumelas from the bowl you are putting them in, as they are tastiest when hot and fresh.  Do not get discouraged. 

Eventually they will start to pile up.  


Creative Writing Free Homeschool Download Grades 1-5

Author: Michele / Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am by hobby and love, a writer. I have been writing stories both for children and adults for over 20 years. In talking to other homeschool moms, I find that most of them have no idea how to go about encouraging creative writing in their kids.  Aside from "story webs" and story writing prompts, most have no idea how to teach kids to love writing for writing's sake, and not get stuck on the mechanics of writing.  So, I have set out to create some activities for kids that will allow non-writing moms and dads to help encourage and strengthen that creative muscle.  I am offering the first part, Character Creation as a free pdf download.  I would love to hear from you feedback, and suggestions for improvement.  I only ask that you be respectful and not try to make a profit from my hard work.  Feel free to share, just let people know that they have Creative Mommy to thanks for the printables.  :) Enjoy!!


Alien Travelers and Letters

Author: Michele /

How to Draw An Alien

This coming year, the girls will be doing some serious space learning, so for our summer unit, I have been keeping it light.  Not to mention that with this unseasonable hot heat and as I get closer to giving birth to baby, no one has felt much like buckling down and getting serious.  Yesterday, the big girls put on their writing caps, and came up with some super creative letters they could find in their mail boxes from an alien friend.  The letters were to be written in traditional letter format with date, heading, body, closing and signature.  Being the artistic kids they are, they also added some "photos" from their home planets.   I went ahead and scanned the letters in so you can take a look at them if you are interested.  At the bottom of the post you will find a list of links for the printables we used.  Many are free printables.  Julia wanted in on the writing fun, so I found her a story starter complete with picture to color, about an alien's travels.  Creating writing is not really her "thang" but she had fun coming up with a story for her alien traveler.  Enjoy!!

Alien Letter 1

Alien Travels

Alien Letter 2

Links to recreate our Alien Adventure:


http://www.teacherfilebox.com/Unit/Detail.aspx?F=15017 (Alien Penpals- You cannot print this without a membership, but you can view it and get the idea)

http://www.education.com/slideshow/story-starter-traveling-alien/alien-story-starter-1/  (these can be downloaded for free one page at a time)

Like A Pheonix From The Ashes

Author: Michele /

(There is a reason I have this tattoo)

It is so hard to believe it has been over 3 years since I last posted here. It's amazing the things that 3+ years can change. We have a beautiful 2 1/2 year old son, Nathan, and another beautiful son on the way. We have moved completely across country, leaving behind Texas, its drama and my family. I won't go into details for many reasons, but should I go the rest of my life without them involved with myself or my children or my husband, it will be perfectly fine. For several reasons, including them, it will be a little different here around Creative Mommy. No more personal details, and no details specific to where we actually are living now. I originally stopped blogging here because of some hateful comments posted by my family, most of which dealt with how useless and pathetic I am and rather than feed into the drama, I went into hiding. There were some horrendous family situations that occurred and please trust me that it was not an easy choice to cut off all ties, but rather a necessary one.

It has been almost 2 years since we have had any contact with them. So let me tell you a little about what I can. Elizabeth is almost 10 now and Abigail is staring down the barrel of her 4th birthday. We will be having a bug bash (since the girls' birthdays are only 1 day apart it will be a joint party). Can you see that somethings haven't changed around the Henson home? Rachel is starting 2nd grade and has been identified under G and T in two states. Julia is a soccer playing devil with aspirations to play goalie when she gets a little bigger. Nathan- or as he refers to himself "Mr. Boy" is 2 1/2 and all boy. He has an inherent love of all things car. I am six weeks or so away from giving birth to our surprise and completely unplanned third son. Jason couldn't be happier.

Jason and I had a rough bout about a year ago, but I am pleased to say we made it through, stronger than ever. We are deeply happy with our transplanted roots, and the entire family has bloomed and grown here. Due to some bullying incidents at the local elementary school, we are once more embarking on a homeschool journey. We had planned to wait until the baby was a year old, but decided this was actually for the best. I have to admit, I am looking forward to it again. And coming back to this blog, and looking back over what we did in the past has only fueled that fire. I was actually accused at one point, right before we cut off contact with my family, of only homeschooling because I was too lazy to get up and take my kids to school. I can honestly say to that "fuck you." I might have been led into doubt that I was providing my children with a quality education, but looking back- holy crap we did a lot of cool stuff and they learned a ton.

I have been planning out our first month of school and am almost to my favorite part- all the projects and art and cooking and games and educational fun. You are welcome to stop over to our new blog for some very different fun (the style of that blog is VERY different from this one and there are NO personal stories/pictures/details. http://5speckledfrogs.wordpress.com/ Or you can continue to follow me here. I will be checking in (I promise)and updating with some fun stuff. If you are still out there and still reading, thank you. Thank you for waiting for us and for caring enough to still check in. And I hope and pray that you have been blessed while we have been away.