Griddl’n Poffertjes at the Tulip Festival

 

“???” I’m glad you asked. Every year in the third weekend in May, my hometown puts on the annual Tulip Festival. You may remember my post from last year around this time about our church food stand. One of the attractions at the Tulip Festival are the poffertjes made by the Dutch Heritage Boosters. I love these little rascals, and some years back I started volunteering to make them.

A poffertje is a little pancake-like treat about the size of a 50-cent piece or so, made with buckwheat flour, water, oil, egg, and a few other things. (According to legend, the exact recipe is known only to the upper echelon of the DHB. Or something like that.) We cook them up on a griddle that’s basically a large square with a 10×10 grid of depressions in it – into each, we pour a dollop of batter, let it cook up, then flip it over, and put in a tray. Then we brush them with melted butter flavored with some rum extract, dash on powdered sugar, and hand them off with a napkin and a toothpick with the Netherlands on it. We sell trays of ten for $2 a piece. They go like hotcakes!

<crickets>

Well, they really are popular. We’ll make them during the summer, a couple of times a month, but the big draw is Tulip Festival, and we’ll sell thousands of trays. We work two-hour shifts, with two people on each of the three griddles in the “Little White Store.” At peak demand, the line will stretch for half a block or so, but nowadays there’s never not a line. I start griddl’n and never stop until the next shift comes, or we close the doors for the day. Pour batter into five rows on the griddle, wait for them to cook, flip them one by one with the fondue forks, then put ten in a tray and start over. Every few batches I oil the griddle. After two plus hours of that, my back and feet will be sore, and my eyes burning. I’m signed up for a shift on Friday, and two on Saturday.

It’s quite a production. In February or so, the DHB gets some friends and volunteers together to mix up the dry ingredients into baggies so we can have them ready to go for Tulip Festival. We have to have 10-12 people doing various jobs each shift, and there’s more that goes on than I know; I just griddle ’em up.

But that goes for the entire Tulip Festival. We’ve got so many events, so many ways that our community participates. We have a steering committee that runs things, but so much is handled by groups and individuals that just chip in and do their own thing. And every year, things just more or less work. And that’s fine. Me, I’m looking forward to a free batch of poffertjes when my shift ends. Always tasty, always a good time.

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There are 31 comments.

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  1. Kay of MT Member

    What kind of oil do you use?

    • #1
    • May 15, 2017, at 5:52 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Percival Thatcher

    Not stuffed though? Just plain? I just googled up some images, and they look delicious.

    • #2
    • May 15, 2017, at 6:10 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    If I had had more advance notice and no other commitments this weekend, I’d be considering an ad hoc Ricochet meetup.

    • #3
    • May 15, 2017, at 6:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Scott Wilmot Member

    I came to know poffertjes in Jakarta Indonesia. Delicious filled with local Javanese chocolate. Thanks for the memory.

    • #4
    • May 15, 2017, at 7:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Merrijane Inactive

    Oh, now I want some. Sounds so good.

    • #5
    • May 15, 2017, at 7:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    We use regular cooking oil. We use an oil can (kinda like this) to put a drop in each of the depressions on the griddle. These are plain, no stuffing or filling. They’re also a little too small for fancy stuff like, and we couldn’t take the time; we churn them out as fast as we can. In fact, I tend to rush them a bit. I should probably let them cook up a bit longer.

    • #6
    • May 15, 2017, at 7:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Kay of MT Member

    Belt (View Comment):
    We use regular cooking oil. We use an oil can (kinda like this) to put a drop in each of the depressions on the griddle. These are plain, no stuffing or filling. They’re also a little too small for fancy stuff like, and we couldn’t take the time; we churn them out as fast as we can. In fact, I tend to rush them a bit. I should probably let them cook up a bit longer.

    What do you mean by “regular” cooking oil? Is it made from corn, olives, soy, coconut?

    • #7
    • May 15, 2017, at 7:39 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Back in 2008 my wife suggested we go to the tulip festival in Pella, Iowa. I don’t remember anything called poffertjes but we loved the Dutch Letters.

    • #8
    • May 15, 2017, at 8:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Emotional Support Squirrel Inactive
    1. Thanks for sharing; poffertjes must be a cousin to aebleskivers! I like to make them filled with Nutella.
    • #9
    • May 15, 2017, at 11:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Wat leuk! Ligt Orange City ver weg van Pella? I’ve been to Pella for Tulip Time. Much longer ago than I would care to admit.

    Anyway, it’s good to see some enthusiasm for Netherlandic culture still alive in the states.

    • #10
    • May 16, 2017, at 12:04 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Belt (View Comment):
    We use regular cooking oil. We use an oil can (kinda like this) to put a drop in each of the depressions on the griddle. These are plain, no stuffing or filling. They’re also a little too small for fancy stuff like, and we couldn’t take the time; we churn them out as fast as we can. In fact, I tend to rush them a bit. I should probably let them cook up a bit longer.

    What do you mean by “regular” cooking oil? Is it made from corn, olives, soy, coconut?

    Ummm, canola oil maybe? It’s just a big ol’ bottle of generic ‘cooking oil.’ I don’t know if different oils would make a difference. Maybe I should ask.

    • #11
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Back in 2008 my wife suggested we go to the tulip festival in Pella, Iowa. I don’t remember anything called poffertjes but we loved the Dutch Letters.

    The local bakery has dutch letters and almond patties. I didn’t care for them when I was younger, but now they’re awesome. I think one of the vendors during Tulip Festival will sell a chocolate-covered almond patty.

    The local meat market sells brats at its stand on Wednesdays when the weather’s not horrible, and of course all day long during Tulip Festival. I prefer their plain brats myself, but their specialty brats are also popular.

    I’ll go back on my diet next week.

    • #12
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Kay of MT Member

    Belt (View Comment):
    Ummm, canola oil maybe? It’s just a big ol’ bottle of generic ‘cooking oil.’ I don’t know if different oils would make a difference. Maybe I should ask.

    It would make a difference in some people. I’m allergic to soy, and if you don’t know what is in your product, I won’t buy it. There is no such thing as a generic cooking oil, it is made from some plant or tree fruit or a mixture of several. That big ol’ bottle should, under US laws, have the ingredients on the can. A friend of mine, 7 year old grandson, died 2 years ago because someone gave him ice cream with peanuts in it. My friend was with the child, and he died before they could get him to the ER. My Kaylett is as allergic as that to pork, and any oil or cooking done with lard would kill her just as fast.

    • #13
    • May 16, 2017, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. LC Member
    LC

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Belt (View Comment):
    We use regular cooking oil. We use an oil can (kinda like this) to put a drop in each of the depressions on the griddle. These are plain, no stuffing or filling. They’re also a little too small for fancy stuff like, and we couldn’t take the time; we churn them out as fast as we can. In fact, I tend to rush them a bit. I should probably let them cook up a bit longer.

    What do you mean by “regular” cooking oil? Is it made from corn, olives, soy, coconut?

    Use flavorless oil, safflower, canola, corn or peanut oil.

    • #14
    • May 16, 2017, at 4:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Kay of MT Member

    LC (View Comment):
    Use flavorless oil, safflower, canola, corn or peanut oil.

    Thank you.

    • #15
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):
    Use flavorless oil, safflower, canola, corn or peanut oil.

    Thank you.

    Pretty sure it’s canola oil Personally, I like to use coconut oil when I’m greasing up the skillet for pancakes.

    • #16
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Suspira Member

    I wish I could go! Sounds wonderful. BTW, how is “poffertjes” pronounced?

    • #17
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Percival Thatcher

    Belt (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):
    Use flavorless oil, safflower, canola, corn or peanut oil.

    Thank you.

    Pretty sure it’s canola oil Personally, I like to use coconut oil when I’m greasing up the skillet for pancakes.

    You would.

    A menace.

    • #18
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    Suspira (View Comment):
    I wish I could go! Sounds wonderful. BTW, how is “poffertjes” pronounced?

    Usually something like POFF-er-cheez.

    • #19
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    Percival (View Comment):

    Belt (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):
    Use flavorless oil, safflower, canola, corn or peanut oil.

    Thank you.

    Pretty sure it’s canola oil Personally, I like to use coconut oil when I’m greasing up the skillet for pancakes.

    You would.

    A menace.

    Well, that’s usually because I don’t have any bacon grease around. Of course, this just may mean that I need to cook up more bacon.

    • #20
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Belt (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Belt (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):
    Use flavorless oil, safflower, canola, corn or peanut oil.

    Thank you.

    Pretty sure it’s canola oil Personally, I like to use coconut oil when I’m greasing up the skillet for pancakes.

    You would.

    A menace.

    Well, that’s usually because I don’t have any bacon grease around. Of course, this just may mean that I need to cook up more bacon.

    Most things do.

    • #21
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Percival Thatcher

    Belt (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Belt (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):
    Use flavorless oil, safflower, canola, corn or peanut oil.

    Thank you.

    Pretty sure it’s canola oil Personally, I like to use coconut oil when I’m greasing up the skillet for pancakes.

    You would.

    A menace.

    Well, that’s usually because I don’t have any bacon grease around. Of course, this just may mean that I need to cook up more bacon.

    Sorry Belt — for some reason I was in anti @arahant mode.

    • #22
    • May 16, 2017, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Fred Cole Member

    Forgive me, but why is there a city full of ppl with Dutch heritage in Iowa? Like I get why they’re in Albany (which also has a tulip festival, btw), but why Iowa?

    Is there a story behind that?

    • #23
    • May 16, 2017, at 7:35 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Kim K. Member

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):
    Wat leuk! Ligt Orange City ver weg van Pella? I’ve been to Pella for Tulip Time. Much longer ago than I would care to admit.

    Anyway, it’s good to see some enthusiasm for Netherlandic culture still alive in the states.

    There are loads of people in NW Iowa who are way enthusiastic about the Netherlandic culture. You’ve heard the saying “more Catholic than the Pope?” The people I grew up around in NW Iowa were more Dutch than people in Holland.

    @Belt, I grew up on a farm near that other town a little north and west of yours. Haven’t been to a Tulip Festival for about 20 years but would love go again sometime.

    • #24
    • May 16, 2017, at 7:36 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    Butter rum pancakes- what could be better? When I first saw this, I thought you were talking about the Holland, Michigan tulip festival, also a worthy choice :)

    http://www.tuliptime.com

    • #25
    • May 16, 2017, at 10:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Melissa Praemonitus (View Comment):
    Butter rum pancakes- what could be better? When I first saw this, I thought you were talking about the Holland, Michigan tulip festival, also a worthy choice ?

    http://www.tuliptime.com

    And speaking of pockets of Dutch language and culture in the US, I have been to Holland, too. I even interviewed for a job at Hope.

    • #26
    • May 17, 2017, at 5:12 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Melissa Praemonitus (View Comment):
    Butter rum pancakes- what could be better? When I first saw this, I thought you were talking about the Holland, Michigan tulip festival, also a worthy choice ?

    http://www.tuliptime.com

    And speaking of pockets of Dutch language and culture in the US, I have been to Holland, too. I even interviewed for a job at Hope.

    Hope College is one of the three colleges founded by the Reformed Church in America. The other two are Central College in Pella, Iowa, and Northwestern College here in Orange City. We have the reputation of being the most conservative college of the three. And I suppose that for an institution of higher education, that’s true.

    Back in the mid to late 1800’s, a lot of Hollanders took a chance and came to the US, and many of them headed out to the Great Plains. Sioux County was still mostly prairie at that point, and a bunch of them settled down here. As a bonus, they landed on some amazing farming ground. They also brought with them their faith that grew out of the Dutch Reformation, and a deep conservatism that’s still going strong today.

    • #27
    • May 17, 2017, at 5:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Belt Member
    Belt Post author

    Kim K. (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):
    Wat leuk! Ligt Orange City ver weg van Pella? I’ve been to Pella for Tulip Time. Much longer ago than I would care to admit.

    Anyway, it’s good to see some enthusiasm for Netherlandic culture still alive in the states.

    There are loads of people in NW Iowa who are way enthusiastic about the Netherlandic culture. You’ve heard the saying “more Catholic than the Pope?” The people I grew up around in NW Iowa were more Dutch than people in Holland.

    @Belt, I grew up on a farm near that other town a little north and west of yours. Haven’t been to a Tulip Festival for about 20 years but would love go again sometime.

    You could say we’re more Calvinist than Calvin…

    • #28
    • May 17, 2017, at 5:54 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Front Seat Cat Member

    Is buckwheat flour gluten-free? Sounds yummy and I LOVE tulips – can’t grow them in FL.

    • #29
    • May 17, 2017, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Kay of MT Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Is buckwheat flour gluten-free? Sounds yummy and I LOVE tulips – can’t grow them in FL.

    Gluten Free Flour. Gluten Free Buckwheat Flour 130g. The triangular buckwheat seed is not a kind of wheat grain, but is in actual fact related to the rhubarb family. The slightly speckled flour has a mild, earthy sweetness and is great used in baking.

    Gluten Free Buckwheat Flour | Doves Farm

    dovesfarm.co.uk/flour-and-ingredients/gluten-free-buckwheat-flour-130g


    Improve this answer

    ·Is th

    • #30
    • May 17, 2017, at 1:16 PM PDT
    • Like
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