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Serving up deep-fried Dutch holiday treats
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Elizabeth Van Klaveren and Marie Die Bie prepare Oliebollen treats for residents and staff members of Bethany Home. - photo by GLENN KAHL
RIPON - It was “Oliebollen Day” at Bethany Home with residents and staff flocking to the afternoon event in the west dining room where Marie De Bie and Elizabeth Van Klaveren had set up their operation to turn out some 200 of the deep-fried treats.

Marie De Bie said she had been cooking the Oliebollens for some seven years in the facility’s front dining room.  It was even more special for Die Bie to have her granddaughter Lisa serving the finished treats.

In getting there early I got to talk to the “cooks” and the activities staff who would serve the residents – some 14 helpers in all.  Elizabeth Van Klaveren recalled New Year’s Eve in her native Holland where every household would make their own batches for after-church services.

She chuckled when she remembered the aroma in her church, saying the women hadn’t changed clothes after deep frying the ball-shaped treats at home – leaving a pungent reminder of their kitchen activity.  She said back in Holland the women also made treats using sliced apples that they would dip into dough and deep fry.

The deep-fried Oliebollens came either plain or with raisins and were placed in small white cups to be served.  The residents had their choice of cinnamon and sugar, plain sugar or powdered sugar in the bottoms of the cups.