This Easter, I thought I would revive a Dutch tradition and make a wonderful stollen. I found out, after I had made it, that I should have formed it in the shape of a cross, in memory of Christ’s death and Resurrection. Next year, this is what I will do.
This is a rich, sweet bread filled with dried fruits and almond paste, then sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Soaking the raisins, and the currants stirred up some old childhood memories.
A big thank you to the crusaders, who 650 years ago brought back the almonds, the candied peel, and the spices, that add so much to the fine dough, made with so much butter, that makes this rich delicious stollen.
Sharing this culinary delight with family, made reviving this tradition, learning more about my heritage, even more delightful.
My earliest Easter memories include that of a candy store. My oldest sister was the proprietor. Using money given to us by our parents, we would spend all afternoon deliberating over the brightly colored, sweet treats.
Another memory includes weaving and decorating paper Easter baskets. Baskets then used for our afternoon Easter egg hunt.
My favourite, though, was the wearing of our new Easter hats, to church on Easter morning. Pretty hats, with flowers and ribbons.
A new tradition, a first for me this year, was the building of a Paastok – a branch of a shrub decorated with Easter related ornaments. Another wonderful Dutch tradition.