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Easter Nostalgia 24 March 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Baking, Easter, Life.
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As a follow up on my post in November last year relating to my childhood Christmas memories, I thought I should make a similar one relating to Easter.

Yet again, these traditions are a bit of a mixed bag – all adopted from the different cultures I have grown up in. But they all contributed to a real “Easter Spirit”, something I have not really felt since leaving home so many years ago.

Easter used to equate to two weeks off from school, so it meant something to us, even though we did not actually partake in the whole Christianity rituals.

Leading up to Easter, we used to decorate boiled eggs by either painting them, or by boiling them in coloured water (beet root or onion peel, etc). At home, we used to have a little egg mill that would allow you to paint all around without getting too much paint on your fingers. But to decorate eggs like this, you need white eggs. And it was not until my partner’s little sister came to visit one Easter in Australia that I realised that finding white eggs there is practically impossible! And she underlined that sentiment (after I had finally located some) by admitting to that being her first time to ever see a white hen’s egg!

For the actual Easter Sunday mornings, we used to have elaborate breakfasts, with tablecloths (only came out a couple of times a year) and little fluffy chicks decorations (like the one below), eggs, breads, buns, stolls and chocolate.

Before breakfast could start, however, we would have to go egg hunting. In the Netherlands, the eggs would be hidden around in the garden (and my earliest memory of hunting for them was at my parents friends’ house, where I chucked a tantrum because I could not find them fast enough, and my brother, who was two year’s older, would find them all! Ah, the glory of sibling rivalry. In Norway, however, it was simply too cold to have real eggs outside, so they were hidden all through the living room instead.

After finding all the eggs, and placing them carefully on our ‘egg tree’, which was basically a carton structure for the eggs, we could sit down and eat as a family.

The Norwegians have a similar tree tradition – but they blow the insides out of raw eggs before decorating them, then they hang them up on twigs of pussywillow. You can also tie colourful feathers to these twigs for added pizazz. Plants in general are very important to me for Easter – especially flowers. Daffodils, Crocuses, Snowbells and the above-mentioned pussywillows. Hyacinths and Tulips as well.

But we never got on the bandwagon of the other major Norwegian traditions: a week skiing in the mountains; crime novels; and kvikk lunsj. We did like to watch the Easter quizzes on TV, though.

Back to the breakfast tradition; For breakfast, everything is tastefully arranged and very special. No eating in your undies on Easter morning! Both my brother and I would receive a large agg (ours were cardboard, but I have recently seen some metal ones that I really want) full of small, chocolate eggs from HEMA (bliss!). Grandma used to send them to us, and each colour used to have a different praline filling. They were (and still are) pure heaven.

Ode to the HEMA chocolate eggs:

All those recipes I intend to share on this blog over the next few days, have no fear! So until then – enjoy your Easter, for whatever it means to you! For me, it meant family above all.