Tasty little fried raisin-filled beignet-like fritters from the Netherlands, traditionally served on New Year's Eve. Thanks to my pal Michel van der Laan for contributing the recipe!

And since this one was contributed by a European, all the rest of y'all Europeans won't even have to consult the conversions table like the Yanks'll have to do now ...

Wash the raisins and soak them for a while (at least 30 mins, better is one day). Fill a bowl with 1 liter of warm water (not hotter than 40° C or the yeast will die).

Stir the eggs, sugar, butter and lemon juice through the whatever to make a somewhat elastic batter. Only stir in one direction! Heat the raisins in the water that they have been soaked in. Do not boil! Mix the raisins with the batter.

Let the batter rise for 30 mins covered with a damp cloth in a warm place.

Heat oil to 180° C.

Fry small portions (about 3 to 3.5 inches in diameter) of the batter in the oil and turn them if necessary. They should come out nice gold brown and all done in the middle.

Sprinkle the oliebollen with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)