Tag Archives: easter

Easter in Germany – chocolate galore!

Now that Karneval is over we are into Lent and living on a diet of Bullshitters of the Lord and Nuns Farts.  But there is hope in sight. Easter is just around the corner… already the shops are starting to fill up with fine Easter fare. And lets face it, nobody makes Easter look more chocolatey and delicious than the Germans.  Come Easter Sunday, chocolate rabbits and eggs will be the breakfast, lunch and dinner of choice for anyone under the age of…. er…probably 95…

Easter

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More weird German Easter customs

While we’re on the subject of strange things Germans do at Eastertime, I should probably mention the tradition of rolling flaming wheels down hills. This one is a clip from Lügde in North-Rhine Westphalia. The idea is to stuff a wooden wheel with straw and set light to it as you shove it down a steep slope. Although this is nowadays an Easter tradition, its origins are actually older than Christianity… the symbolism is all about light returning after the Winter months.

Beats rolling painted eggs into a cocked hat!

 

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Strange German Easter customs

One of the unusual events you can watch around Easter time is the strange sport practised in the village of Buldern in Westphalia.  It is known as Osterhasseln. It involves two teams, one from the East and one from the West of the village lining up in the street and hurling a wooden disk (known as the Hassel) at each other.  The purpose is to get the disk over a line drawn on the street which is the opponent’s territory.

Due to the high risk of bone fractures, the players tend to tape foam padding around their legs… which adds to the overall sense of the bizarre….

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Easter in Germany

I’ve spent the day teaching my youngest daughter the art of making chocolate rabbits.

I’ve been a scavenger of German flea markets for years, and one of the things you happen upon from time to time are old chocolate moulds. After nearly twenty years in Germany, I’ve amassed quite a collection.

There are a few things you need to know about making your own chocolate forms. First… getting the chocolate into the mould is simple, if sticky. Getting the chocolate figure out of the mould, on the other hand, takes a bit of a knack. With metal moulds, it’s definitely worth greasing first with a little sunflower oil. Once you’ve added the chocolate, put the whole thing in the freezer to set until it’s really hard…. otherwise it will disintegrate when you try to get it out. Of course you will then have to eat the broken bits. (Alright… technically you could melt them again and have another go… but who does that, when there’s chocolate to be had? Huh?)

Anyway… after a hard afternoon’s work, our kitchen is now overrun with rabbits and chickens  (well… they do seem to multiply…)

Oh… and for good measure there are still some hot cross buns left from the batch I made yesterday. It promises to be a good Easter!

Happy Easter everybody!

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Snowy Easter

What has happened to our weather? Christmas was so mild… and then all of a sudden at Easter… this!

Our farmhouse was just starting to look Spring-like with all the daffodils… and suddenly we’re covered in a dusting of unexpected snow.

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Chocolate sculptures for Easter

It was a wonderful chocolatey Easter.

“Mum? And just what is the speckled hen meant to imply? Huh?”

Boy struggles to extract chocolate sculpture from box without being photographed…

A chocolate kitten for a cat-fan…

…but who got the biggest?

Dad’s egg turns out to have a surprise filling… wahey!

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Getting ready for Easter in Germany

I have two confessions to make.

First, I am addicted to flea markets. I love them… I spend every other weekend rummaging around other people’s cast-offs looking for wonderful treasures that I can pick up for a couple of Euros. And my house is full of them. Ignorant Philistines (most of whom I am related to) would call it junk…. but I know it’s valuable treasure.

Second, I’m a chocoholic. I love chocolate – I love everything about chocolate – from the way it melts on your tongue to the last bittersweet lingering aftertaste….

So it won’t surprise anyone that I am in posession of a modest but growing collection of old chocolate moulds gleaned over the years from the detritis of German house-clearances and yard sales. Most of these have an Easter or Spring theme because in Germany (Oh joy! Oh joy!) Easter is celebrated in chocolate.

Now, before you get all excited and think that Hausfrauen all over Germany are putting on their pinnies and stirring vats of chocolate on the stove, I should point out what Birgit informs me on this subject.

“Making your own chocolate rabbits,” according to Birgit, glaring at me as though I’ve just stepped off the boat from Estonia, “is what our grandparents had to do before there were proper chocolate rabbits on sale in the shops. If God had wanted us to make our own, He wouldn’t have given us Lindt.”

But I know Birgit is wrong on this. Making your own chocolate rabbits for the children at Easter is pure unadulterated Motherhood. It will make me an Über-Mutter… a veritable Goddess in the eyes of my children. They will stop being recalcitrant adolescents and will see me in a new light….

Anyway – time to get started. I’m using milk chocolate this time – not my personal favourite (I’m a dark-choc-with-a-hint-of-grated-orange-peel person myself) but this is a sacrifice I can make for my offspring… willingly…. just a little taste then…mmmm….

Once the chocolate has melted, you have to get it into the moulds. This sounds easy… and in some cases it is pretty straightforward. I can tell instantly which moulds were designed for the German Hausfrau with a sense of Ordnung in her kitchen….

Some of the other ones are designed specifically for the chocoholic Mum…. they are all holes and no mould, so aiming the chocolate into the rabbit-shape is nigh on impossible without it dribbling all over your fingers and ensuring that you have to lick it off. Don’t you just love hate that?

Once the chocolate is in the moulds, they go into the freezer for a short time to set, while the chef licks out the bowl….

Then it’s time to check on the results…

Now… I’d better make some for the kids next….

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