Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Oliebollen, a Dutch New Year's Eve tradition

Oliebol  (Pronounced oh-lee-bowl)
An oliebol is a traditional Dutch food.  The plural Oliebollen (oh-lee-bowl-ah) are traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve.
Oliebollen are a variety of dumpling made by using two spoons to scoop a certain amount of dough and dropping the dough into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges.
The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, some salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas, currants, raisins and sometimes apple pieces and zest.  In some family recipes, beer is added to the dough.  The dough needs time to rise for at least an hour and are usually served with powdered sugar.

Ok, now that we've got the formalities out of the way, here's my thing.  Not that I can't make oliebollen homemade but, my husband has made me kinda nervous because nothing can live up to how his Oma made them.  She was a very good cook and my husband's face lights up every time he talks about what things she cooked for him in his youth.  It's all very sweet .. so, I already know from other cooking experiences that he'll tell me, "That's not how she did it .." or "I like it better this way 'cause Oma always makes it like this for me."  So, how could I possibly match her in the oliebollen department?  I used a BOX mix .. yes, you read that right!  I used a box mix when we lived in the Netherlands but since coming back to America, my only other option was to either make them from scratch or find a Dutch food website and order from them.  It just so happened our lovely Dutch friend Erna sent us a care package before Christmas and among it's treasures was this one box of oliebollen mix.  It's like she 'knew' we'd need it .. she's eerie like that!  With that being said, I began my oliebollen making.  A little late though as I made them after midnight ..

So I cheated and used the boxed oliebollen mix, sue me!

After letting it rise for an hour, the dough is ready to be formed into 'oil balls', hence oliebollen ..

Gentle ..

Careful ..

We have a ball! Getting ready to plunk it into the hot oil ..

 And there it is, oliebollen in the making ..

The one cool thing about oliebollen is that it miraculously turns itself over in the oil, making less work for the cook .. awesome!

Mmmmm, looking gooooood ..

After they're removed onto paper towel, shake a bit of powdered sugar on them while still hot ..

I happen to like LOTS of powdered sugar!

Look how gorgeous and golden brown they are .. just the way they're supposed to be ..

My Mama bought this old glass flour shaker many years ago and never used it. It's absolutely perfect for my powdered sugar!

And there you have it, oliebollen for the New Year. The box says you get 25 oliebollen but, I like mine big and I got 17 out of it. Gelukkig nieuwjaar!!

If you feel adventuous, here's a recipe I found on bigoven.com:

Oliebollen - Dutch Doughnuts

  • 2/3 oz. Fresh yeast (1 cake)
  • 1 1/2 c. Currants and raisins, washed
  • 1 Tart cooking apple
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 c. milk  
First blend the yeast with a little lukewarm milk.  Sift the flour and salt.  Add milk, mix to batter with yeast and egg.  Add currants, raisins and peeled minced apple.  Leave batter in a warm place to rise to double its size.
Heat the fat to 375 F. (190 C).  Put two metal spoons in the batter.  Shape balls with the two spoons and drop them in the fat.  Fry them for 8 minutes until brown.  The doughnuts should be soft and shouldnt be grease soaked inside.  If they are fried too slowly the crust becomes hard and tough and the doughnuts become greasy.  Drain on absorbant paper.  Serve them piled on a dish and cover thickly with confectioners sugar.  Eat them hot, if possible.  Makes 20 oliebollen.

If you're not adventurous and want to buy a boxed mix, there's a website called Typical Dutch Stuff that carries Koopmans Oliebollen Mix which is just as good as Markant.  There's nothing wrong with wussing out every once in a while.  Maybe next New Year's Eve, I may give it a shot .. but, don't hold me to it!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Mother of all Mothers ..

My Lil' Mama from a few years back

I love my Mama .. I can't say it enough!  I'm amazed by her every single day.  She even reminds me of the Dad of the guy who Twitters @shitmydadsays from time to time.  She's entitled to her opinions, she's 81 years old for goodness sake!

She lives with my sister Janice and has ever since I married the Silly Dutch Guy in 2002.  Before then, we'd have some knock down drag outs regarding ANYTHING.  We'd have quite a few heated discussions which when I look back, I enjoyed alot.  I love hearing what my Mama has to say and then fighting her on it!

She called me yesterday, which is a miracle in itself.  She's not a phone talker but, neither am I .. I'm pretty sure I got that from her.  I usually do most of the calling, just to check in and see if she's doing alright.  Here's pretty much how our phone conversations usually go:

Me:  Hello?
Mama:  Helloooo.
Me:  Hi Mama, whatcha doin'?
Mama:  Sitting here on my butt, like I always do.  Watching Greta/Hannity/Huckabee/O'Reilly Factor/Glenn Beck/on FOX News.  Not much has changed.
Me:  I'm not surprised.
Mama:  Yes.  You know I hate Obama.
Me:  Yes, I know you hate Obama.  What's that got to do with watching FOX news?
Mama:  They bash Obama every chance they get.  I like them.
Me:  Don't start, Mom .. give the man a chance.  Bush wasn't any better.
Mama:  Obama is evil.  Janice loves Obama and doesn't want to hear any of it.
Me:  I don't blame her, she's not gonna argue with you like I do.
Mama:  I know, she's no fun. (giggles)
Me:  Well, anything else going on?
Mama:  Nope.  You?
Me:  Just work, eat and sleep, Mama.
Mama:  OK, bye.
Me:  Mom!  I love you!
Mama:  Love you, Babe.

Short, simple and to the point.  Sometimes, we actually have things to talk about .. Halloween gave us about another 2 minutes of dialog.  Don't think I'm affected by it or hurt in anyway that our conversations are so short.  We lived together for 36 years so, we pretty much talked each other out during that time .. lol!  What I'm surprised about is how political she's become.  She's never given a crap about politics, not until Obama came into office.  She liked him when he was offering Americans a stimulus but, once she got hers, she turned on him.  Good going, Mom .. take what you can get from a man then, throw him to the curb.

I might have to write about her again .. she's going to hate knowing I'm writing about her in a blog.  I'll let her know in our next phone conversation, I'm going to guess that'll probably add another 3 more minutes.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Now that Halloween's over ..

 Our own little pumpkin family

.. it's time to start putting up Christmas stuff at Wal*Mart!  It never fails, no matter what retail establishment I've ever worked at, Christmas gets crammed down your throat right off the bat (no pun intended).  Don't get me wrong, I love my job at Wal*Mart .. out of all the jobs I've ever had, this is the one place I really enjoy working at.  I've done the Mall thing, Department store thing, even the furniture store thing .. at one point in my life, I dumped it all to go into the fast food thing just to get away from the retail thing.

My problem stems from the fact that Christmas has become so commercial.  You go into debt to celebrate, you compete with the Joneses to have a better Christmas than them, you celebrate the seven deadly sins on a day that's meant to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour .. hypocrites.  It should be a time of selflessness and caring, to help your fellow brethren, to give of yourself instead of giving 'things' .. if you have the means, to help those less fortunate, to show love and compassion, appreciate and accept.
We're not very traditional when it comes right down to it, other than preparing the meal, Richard for his own personal reasons and I've become pretty jaded due to working in retail for over 20+ years so, I hate the shopping aspect of it.  A few years back, I did decorate our tree all Goth just 'cause it ties in with what we enjoy.  Felt coffins, wooden crosses, Halloweeny things, lots of black and red .. made me feel good!  When we lived in Holland, their Christmas is celebrated on the 25th and 26th.  Ours in America is the 24th and 25th so, we'd put our days together and celebrated 3 days instead of 2.  It was just a good excuse to enjoy the excess.  Three days of pressies, cheer, tasty dinners and treats was nice ..

Last Christmas was one I'll never forget for as long as I live.  Surviving on my paycheck alone put us in a state of minimal spending.  At least our bills were paid, our dogs were fed and cared for, we had food in the house but, nothing extra to spare.  I've had to resort to asking my Mom for money many times during the year and I was damned if I was going to continue to do so.  We went rummaging in our spare room and found Christmas cards I'd bought on clearance at Wal*Mart and used them.  Richard belonged to a music club that had offered him a free CD and we used that for a gift.  Dollar General became my holiday friend so I could buy trinkets for family and friends.  One thing I couldn't afford .. Christmas dinner.

Turkey's were cheap but, not cheap enough .. ham the same way.  When you think about it, you could probably afford a Christmas dinner for around $30-$35 .. and we didn't have it to spare.  It sucked .. and so did Thanksgiving before that for we couldn't afford that either.  It was really depressing, it got me down so low .. I did alot of crying behind the scenes.  When those dinners were such a tradition for all your life, not affording to make one yourself makes you feel left out when you hear others talking about theirs.  Sure, I could go to my Mom's house and have dinner but, it's not the same as your own .. in your home .. loving to cook so much.

At work, they put Thanksgiving and Christmas food boxes together for those employees less fortunate.  I'd brought in cans of corn and peas to divide up among the boxes during Thanksgiving time .. the more those boxes became full, the more I was hoping one would become mine.  It never did, neither time.  It broke my heart to be so needy and not be worthy of it.

One evening, after I'd come home from work, I'd been sitting at the computer playing around when all of a sudden, there was a knock on the door.  The dogs started barking something awful!  Richard wasn't all too enthused to go answer the door so, I got up and cracked open the door.  Right there, on our doorstep, was a box.  Not just an ordinary box, a box wrapped like a gift.  I stepped out to retrieve it and saw a car with their lights on in our driveway.  I couldn't see who it was, didn't recognise the vehicle as it pulled out. 

I brought that pretty box in and hollered for Richard to help me with it, it was so heavy.  Inside I found a treasure .. Christmas dinner in a box!  Turkey, red potatoes, desserts, you name it, it was there.  I come to find out later that the girls I work with in the Bakery talked about it and a few of them put some $$ together and came up with dinner for us.  That moment put things into perspective.  I needed to have more faith and not be so selfish, there are others out there that need it more than I .. God provides when needed.  The girls who donated to give me a Christmas dinner that year could've used that money more than I and they decided to use it on me.  I love my girls, they give me hope on a daily basis.

Let's see what this holiday season brings us, shall we?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's been a while ..

.. it's been exactly 5 years since we started this little ol' blog of ours taking you through the trials and tribulations of our union .. well folks, I'm happy to announce we're still hanging around, still married, still nuts!  Alot has happened since we began our blog, aptly named Rally 4 Love .. now that we've become a comfortable old married couple, having celebrated 7 years wedded bliss this past July, I've decided to change the name of our blog to Man in t' Veld Manor .. that is what our home has become, through thick and thin.

.. we've made many changes to the household, including the addition of 2 more dogs 2 years ago, which brings our brood to 5.  I'm still decorating cakes and loving it while Richard became unemployed in May 2008.  It hasn't been an easy journey but, thankfully we lived poor in Holland and it has helped up survive up until now.

.. it seems I've got a bit of an addiction to Facebook .. it's taken over my life without shame!  What is it about it that's so intriguing?  It puts Myspace to shame .. sad, really!  I guess it's the voyeur in me .. and besides, I'm nosy!

.. just waiting for Richard to come back from Monett after his job hunting excursion .. ol' lady Leia is on the couch sleeping like a good doggie while the hooligan boy dogs are outside enjoying what bit of Autumn that's finally arrived in this small town .. going to look for a pizza crust recipe for the bread machine to make homemade pepperoni pizza tonight, with green peppers and onions and some black olives for mine ..

.. Halloween is just around the corner and we're really excited about it .. I'm volunteering to be a chaperone Saturday for my friend Laura's Halloween party she's throwing for her munchkin, Emma ..I get to warn teenagers about what PDA's can do to young, horny kids who are stupid enough to go any further than just holding hands and how 3 minutes of lovin' can ruin your life for 18 years afterwards .. bring it on, this is going to be fuuuuuuuuuuun!

.. I've got a noisy boy outside whining to come back into this nice and cozy ol' house .. I wonder if he realizes how good him and his brother have it .. I bet it never crosses his sweet little mind, just a pat on the head makes him happy and that's all that matters .. <3

Until another time,

Monday, September 26, 2005

10 months being away from your spouse sucks!

Yeah, you read that right .. especially since I love being with my spouse on a continuous basis! Yeah, we still keep in contact though .. daily phone calls from my beloved .. morning, noon and night .. you heard me right! You'd think I wouldn't have the right to complain .. but to me, it's still not enough! I want Richard with me, to have and to hold .. a simple statement which so many take for granted! How do wives of truck drivers do it? How do husbands of power-house CEO's do it? How can anyone stand being away from the one they vowed to cherish until death? It is absolutely fuckin' crazy!

Good news is on the front though, I will be sending in my I-864 forms this Wednesday with the I's dotted and the T's crossed .. just pray for us or send positive energy our way .. we're hoping to get our paperwork filed before the new Immigration laws go into effect. What? You didn't know? Immigration is at this moment working on a law that makes the immigrant put up a bond if he/she wants to move to the U.S. At least $300 a month for the next 3 years .. you do the math! My husband hasn't that kind of money .. I haven't that kind of money .. what are they, insane? What next for those of us who unfortunately find our soulmates in another country? Why is it so hard? I can't imagine a Government official having to go through the hell we're going through .. nor would I wish it upon them .. but c'est la vie, what's a grrl to do?

Anywho .. just a bit of a ramble to get some things off my chest ..

I love Richard Manintveld ..
With everything in me ..
Even after all this time ..
And all this pain ..
And all this pleasure ..
He's the one I give up everything for ..
Again and again ..
He's worth it ..
He's my hubby ..

I love you, sweetheart
Deidra Lisa Manintveld

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I was reminded today...

Of something that happened to me not too long ago...
I had been to an electronics store, and as I walked back to the tram, I saw a man, sitting on a fence... He seemed sort of hopeless just sitting there, staring at his dog, which lay next to him in the grass... When I came closer to him I noticed he was crying, or had cried, and I asked him what was wrong with his dog...

He told me that the dog was old... And sick... But sometimes he felt good enough still to take a kind of long walk along the harbor, like he was doing at that time... But now the dog had laid down in the grass, and refused to get up...

He told me that even though he KNEW it was time to do the right thing and say goodbye to his dog... He still had hopes... False ones, he said... But still hopes...

The man said he was not strong enough to carry the dog home... But he had called his girlfriend on his mobile phone to come pick him up...

For some reason, even though I was in a hurry, I stayed with the man... And we both petted and talked to the dog... But all the dog gave in response was that he looked at us... His eyes broken... Tired... Old...

Some time later a car stopped... It was the man's girlfriend, and both crying they lifted the dog onto the backseat...

The man thanked me for stopping... Talking to him... Understanding... But as he was getting in the car I said to him NOT to take the dog to the vet right away... I told him to take it home... To put it in his favorite spot, and wait... Just a few hours if any... Because maybe the dog was ready to say goodbye all by himself, instead of with the help of the vet...

He promised me he would... And I wonder what happened... Because of course I never met the man again...

But today... This morning... I was reminded of this thing...

Because in the bathroom mirror... I saw those same kind of eyes stare back at me...




But ready to die???

DEADLINE: November 7th, 2004

Made official yesterday, this is the day I will be leaving the Netherlands AND arriving in America! I find it rather funny that I happened to arrive in the Netherlands on November 8th, 2002 and almost 2 years later, I'm leaving. But, as this day draws near, I am left with a tightness in my stomach that only Valdispert® (a valerian extract) can loosen for a six hour time span.

I can't get motivated .. I put off packing my suitcases .. I'm ever consumed with the fact that I'll be without Richard .. and I dare anybody to tell me I'm making too much of a big deal about it for I'll literally cast whatever curses and spells upon you and everyone around you and damn you to hell in the process!

I've waited what seems like an eternity for this man to enter my life and at 36 years old, he finally did .. he didn't care that I had cancer, he didn't care that because of that cancer I couldn't ever have children, he didn't care that I lived 4,600 miles away from him when we met online, he didn't care that I had my quirks and irritations, he didn't care that I was fat, he didn't care about any of the things that I thought were of importance to a man .. I must admit, he's like no other man I've ever met in my life!

And next to my father, you won't find a finer gentleman .. and I have to let him go on Sunday!

But, as we dwell on the negative, the positive is still there to give us hope! My Mom is paying on my plane ticket home tomorrow afternoon, my friend Laura has asked if I need a ride home which I've accepted, my friend Amy wants to be at the airport to offer support and my Mom will stay with me for a few days while I adjust to life without Ries. Afterwards, I'll be busting my ass to find employment to support myself. Richard has already assured me that he'll send money to suppliment my income. Thank God we lived poor 'cause that will help me survive during this financially low period in my life.

With my being back home, Richard will be living with his Mom once again and can save up money faster since there will be two incomes compared to our one. We'll still be working on getting Richard to the U.S., saving up money to file his application and we did find a joint sponsor to help me along in his sponsorship (thank you Miss Amy, you're a life saver!) and that gives us hope.

Bad things happen in order to appreciate the good ..

But one thing still feels bad .. I'm leaving my dog behind .. she feels what's going on .. she knows something's wrong .. she's my baby .. and as I watch her sleep, her head on my pillow, she fills my heart with love .. and that's my only strength.

Until later, folks ..

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Seperation is a fact as of today... But we kept our promise never to be separated voluntarily... This separation will hardly be voluntary and I wish the staff of Schiphol Airport a lot of strength when that day comes, because we will both probably break down there and then!!!

I will break another promise though... In all this... I have never ever wished anyone the pain and heartship that we went through and are going through!!! But now... I wish all this and then some upon those who could (or should) have done something to help us in this time of need...

Even though we survived and had to rely at many times on the help of many of our close friends and families... Other than that we knocked on many doors and all of them stayed closed... Only occasionally someone slipped a little note under the door, saying: We sympathise, but sorry kids...

Trust me when I say that all those TV shows that you see... (You know what I mean... We're talking shows that "help" people in their time of need...) Are NOT there to help people at all... They are there to get RATINGS (and therefore bring in money), and when you are deemed not VIEWER SENSITIVE enough, they will just give you the same "sympathy" as everyone else... And I know this because we were NOT VIEWER SENSITIVE enough for shows like Oprah and a couple of Dutch versions of this mockery of showboats...

"The Oprah team regretfully informs you that your submission to the show has been deemed not suitable and viewer sensitive enough..."

But then again... I was stupid enough to tell the team in my writings that I wasn't "really" a fan of Oprah, nor her show... So... Maybe I burned my own ships by being honest once more...

Which BTW will get you nowhere in this world... Lie, beg, steal or borrow... And signed, sealed, delivered it's yours...

My hurt is deep... And putting it to words is impossible...

I will have to say goodbye to my wife for a "undetermined" period of time... And that makes it worse... Because I don't even know WHEN I will see her again!!!

Ever heard the term: "I died today and was reborn with a piece my heart missing..." ???

Well... That happened to me today... And the piece that I am missing held "trust" and "compassion"...

I'm sorry...


One would think...

That I, Richard Manintveld, would have learned something... And if anything that I at least would have learned in the past two years that I should never listen to anyone telling you something!!! But... I didn't...

So... Here we are... We are going to be evicted from our house here in Schiedam on the 5th of November!!! Yes... You are reading this right... Today, on October the 26th we have heard that this will happen!!!


In April of 2004 we moved to Schiedam, and I had to request social security/welfare in that city... Something I had already for quite some time in Vlaardingen...

One would say, because these cities are "connected"... That this would not be such a problem...

Well... Forget about it... Because my welfare was only issued for the first time in August 2004!!!

So... We had debts... Hell... We didn't have no money... So how do you pay anything??? Right??? Or wrong???

One of the debts was a rental debt... With glorious Vitalis... (I would say to check out their site at http://www.vitaliswonen.nl but it's in Dutch) Just one month... For 420 Euro's... But instead of waiting until I could start paying them myself... They immediately took us to court for this money!!!

So, with all added costs it came to about 1400 Euro's!!!

A glorious "social worker" from social security Schiedam "helped" us in making arrangements with for paying this in six consecutive months, starting this month...

So... We were planning to make our first payment, believe it or not, TOMORROW!!!

But... Today we get these papers that state we're gonna be evicted on November 5th!!!

Me, thinking it a mistake, starts calling...

No mistake...

I begged... Pleaded... Prayed for humanity... Understanding...

Nothing!!! Because what is told to me is this and only this: You should have contacted us AFTER the arrangements that were made by named social worker...

HUH??? For what??? I was just getting ready with my wife to live of even less money than the regular 48 Euro's a week (about 70 bucks) and start paying this money saved from our mouths to a housing corp!!!


It's over, guys...


(Dinner time!!!)