March 23, 2016
If you are anything like me, the anticipation for warmer weather has become agonizing! Having a mild winter was wonderful, but now I have to keep reminding myself that spring just started 3 days ago. Despite the signs all around, from the vintergækker (snowdrop) and påskelilje (daffodils) blooming and birds (and snowbirds alike) making their way back from their southern migration, I feel like a kid waiting for the Påskeharen (Easter Bunny) to arrive!
Speaking of the påskeferie (Easter holiday), I recently sat down with some lovely ladies while visiting Mormor and our conversation naturally turned to Danish Easter traditions. First off, I am a sucker for a good old-fashioned conversation about: 1.) The bygone days, and, 2.) My Scandinavian heritage. There is just something so sentimental about hearing a person relive their most precious memories, and I left feeling so inspired and grateful for those wonderful women at The Danish Home.
They shared stories of being raised helping and learning to make traditional Easter recipes, such as solæg (“sun egg”) and sildemad (bread with herring), and how they taught their own children and grandchildren the art of making special paper-cut teaser letters called gaekkebrev (pronounced GEHKeh-breoo). So much of our talk reminded me of my own traditions and the memories I hold dear of time spent with my mother and Mormor. Not to mention, the women sharing their tried-and-true recipes was a lifesaver! As I said a few weeks back, I was a bit nervous to take on hosting the family for påskefrokost (Easter lunch) for the first time, but with this newly acquired expertise, I can’t go wrong. So now that I have the traditional påske menu all sorted out,
I’ve done the papercutting for my Danish gaekkebrev (and my fingers have the cuts to prove my inexperience!), , the chokoladeæg (chocolate eggs) are ready to be eaten, and I’ve found a lovely Danish woven hearts tutorial to use as påskedekorationer (Easter decorations). There is only one thing left to do now – await my guests!
All frivolities aside, Annelise tells me that Skærtorsdag (“Maundy Thursday”) to Anden påskedag (the day after Easter) are considered national holidays in Denmark, with schools and businesses closed. For many people around the world this is a very sacred time of year. Despite our beliefs, we can all agree that familial traditions are the fabric that holds us all together, and those special times each year where loved ones gather around a table to share wonderful food and appreciation for one another are the most precious parts of life.
God påske (Happy Easter) to all
Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite påske recipe or tradition is. I’d love to hear it!