Monday, February 19, 2018

It is that time of year again


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Well, it's certainly that time of the year again. A spiritual weekend for all branches of the Christian religion.

I have in the past, more than once, taken my readers back to Jamaica detailing our traditions there and even producing for more than one column the recipe of our very famous Jamaican bun.

Now, Jamaican patties have found their way to Trinidad, great imported ones from "the rock" itself and also I take off my hat to Cindy Phillips a Trini/Jamaican who is now making patties here. And they taste so great. She has introduced her fish patties for Easter (and I will be taking some with me to Mayaro - one of my favourite places for Easter). Her patties are also now in the bigger supermarkets. And the name of her business is Port Royal Kitchens. Great choice of names. So big up there Cindy! It is now time for me to ask you to consider making Jamaican bun here and what about the real hard dough bread? I look forward to both these awesome items next Easter.

But this Easter I want to concentrate first on a city where my son Gregory and his daughter - my granddaughter - Elise live. The beautiful green city of Vancouver. So what happens at Easter time in Vancouver? Decorating Easter eggs are a great favourite at home, in schools and in community centres there. The Canadians love Easter egg hunts and in fact, it is alleged, that the World's largest Easter egg is a product of Canada, and I now quote from the Internet:

"In 1975, the Easter egg or Ukrainian 'Pysanka' was constructed, in the remembrance of early Ukrainian settlements in an area east of Edmonton, the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta. Due to the complicated geometry of the egg shape of Pysanka, it was very difficult to raise such a huge structure. Professor Ronald Resch, a computer scientist at the University of Utah, undertook the project of designing the egg. With his strenuous efforts, Pysanka was raised, with intricate design. The egg consisted of a huge jig-saw puzzle, with 524 star patterns and 2,206 equilateral triangles."

Also, this year Easter Sunday in Vancouver, large decorated "dinosaur" eggs (from the make believe local dinosaur the Britanniasaurus Rex) will be on show at the Britannia Mime Museum. Or kids can take rides in the exquisitely beautiful Stanley Park on the Stanley Parke Miniature Train and hunt for eggs.

After the usual Church going, Easter Sunday lunch includes lamb, meat, chicken; baked beans and I suppose whatever else grabs their fancy.

Let's now whiz over to Denmark where one of my husband's daughters lives with her husband and their two children Christian and Jacob. Again, I am quoting from the Internet: "In the Scandinavian country of Denmark, Easter is a blend of colourful traditions, which are a part of the national cultural heritage of the nation. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark is Denmark's national church and is the largest Christian church in the country. Special services are organised in the church, as a part of the celebrations of Easter. On the eve of Easter, the Danish homes and shops are decorated in green and yellow colours. New-leaved branches and daffodils are largely used for the decorations.

The Easter egg is the predominant symbol of Easter in Denmark. Children usually receive Easter eggs made of chocolate as the gifts for the festival, from their parents …And what about the food?……….. It is important to understand that white bread is for salmon and shrimp, dark rye bread for herring and anything with meat - and that mayonnaise and remoulade sauce are not to be used indiscriminately. (So if you ever find yourself at a smørrebrød table in Denmark, asking your host what goes with what might be a good idea to avoid eternal culinary shame.)" End of quote

So does it seem that Easter eggs are really only for the children? Perhaps, but of course, many adults not only supervise but join in this tradition. Shall we become children again? It is spring (well not really in the Caribbean because we are always in spring and summer), but it is significant as we all know for rebirth, freshness and the joy of light over darkness.

Happy Easter everyone, and please be safe on the roads and cut down on the drinking - those who gave it up for Lent - moderation please, especially if you are beside the sea! It seems to be very tempting - from so many past reports - of people ignoring lifeguards (if they are there), and just jumping into the arms of the sea that are so unforgiving if you are intoxicated.