Cady Luck Leedy’s Tuesday Travel Tips: #2

Tip # 2. It is very important to carry the right bag! This is a little story about bags, one of the most important parts of traveling!

The Borse Family

The Borse Family, Papa, Mama and Baby Borsa

There once were several Borse (Italian word for bags) that lived in  “The End” cottage. They were very excited to be going on vacation! Papa Borsa was big, blue, and handsome, with lots of pockets.  His favorite feature was a big pouch for an extra pair of shoes right on his front that was easily accessible. He could carry a newspaper, an umbrella, and all kinds of goodies in his side pouch. He also had a heart sleeve, a place he held dear, that carried the Mrs’s  lipstick and chapstick and anything small that would make the Mrs look good at all times. All the small items are easy to get to without opening the main bag.

How to do the Shoes

How to Do the Shoes

That’s why Mama Borsa fell in love with him at first sight. She knew he was the brains of the family and carried the computer, the Ipad, and IPhone and all their connectors, so he was always ready to compute. His big belly was ready for anything! Be sure to wrap the shoes in the plastic bags the newspaper comes in! You can never have enough plastic bags and newspaper bags are some of my favorites! Those bags are so handy! Papa Borsa was so thoughtful, with a plastic sturdy bottom on the outside, so he wouldn’t bring dirt into the cottage. He came from Lug and had lots of brothers and sisters in bright cheerful colors!

Mama Borsa was an organizer, she wasn’t too big or too small, but just right. She had lots of pockets and zips and came with several straps, so was very adjustable to all kinds of situations.  Since she was in charge of the purse strings she had a small change purse for credit cards, money and identity cards that clipped to her innards and could never be dropped or left on tables to be lost. She came from the family of Baggallini’s.  They were a family of zippy, deep pockets, and closures known for their endurance and strength.  She was called Odessy by her family, but just Mama at home. 

Papa and Mama Borsa, had many children, but they decided for every trip,  that Veggie Borsa, should be one of the children to go. He was adopted from the check-out aisle at the market and was the baby and liked to carry lots of things with him all the time, because he was very stretchy.  Mama had to keep an eye on him when shopping, if he left her side.  He would be found with all kinds of gifts and goodies, and since he was so flexible he would stretch and stretch until he filled up. Mama and Papa were always surprised that he could carry so much and still not be too heavy to carry home.  Papa Borsa was so proud of him! Especially when they went to market.   With Baby Veggie Borsa along you didn’t need to pay for Papersacks Borsa to carry the groceries home.  Baby Borsa was glad to help and never dropped or broke one thing! Even wet he never let the family down. He was a real bagger!  After a big day when he was ready for his nap, he would fold up so tiny and could be tucked in almost anywhere! And he slept!

This year, the cousins Pacsafe and Secrid, were going on vacation too. Pacsafe was always so secretive!

One of the Pacsafe Cousins With Sacrid

One of the Pacsafe Cousins With Secrid

He had a very strong, wire-coiled exterior and strap that could not be cut through and tough locking straps so you could lock him to a chair or a post! Nothing was going to phase Pacsafe! No one would get away with him! Secrid was a small little fellow that always traveled with Pacsafe. When you saw one, you saw the other! He carried the credit cards and his strong aluminum shell prevented the theft of credit card numbers when no one was paying attention. But Secrid always paid attention! They were very happy to be joining the trip this year!

The Borse Family looked forward to the big plane ride. There was a big overhead bin where they all could cuddle.  Papa hoped he would meet a briefcase to discuss the world in general.  Mama hoped to delve into all the fashion and food of the world, with her new bag friends.  And Baby Veggie thought he might be the only one along for the ride. Pacsafe hoped someone would try to steal him on vacation, so he could show his muscles, and Secrid was itching to go shopping and zip his cards through the machines! After meeting up with all their friends, they finished their snacks and settled in for a nice long flight! See you on vacation! Enjoy!

PS  The Papa Borsa Bag sits easily on my small luggage and over the pull-out handle. Nothing to carry. My Mama Borsa Bag is a cross-over bag so it frees up my hands. Nothing to worry about leaving somewhere. I take Baby Borsa whenever I am out shopping or just going to the corner for baguettes!

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird

An Iron Early Bird up with the vendors on the Buda side of Budapest, Hungary! I do believe I see the WORM too! My entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge!  Enjoy!

The Early Iron Bird in Budapest, Hungary

The Iron Early Bird in Budapest, Hungary

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat

We’re off to Cesky Krumlof in the Czech Republic!  Another fairy tale village. See you there! Enjoy!

We're Afloat in Cesky Krumlof, the Czech Republic

We’re Afloat on the Vltava River in Cesky Krumlof,  the Czech Republic

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All Aboard for Amsterdam!

Along the Canals, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Living Along the Canals, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

We’ve left Brugge and made our way by train to Amsterdam! This is another city treasure built on millions of wooden pilings, that have held up for hundreds of years! The Royal Palace sits on 13,000 pilings, still solid after 350 years! The wood pilings hold up the buildings as long as it stays wet and is not exposed to air! Since WWII all new buildings have concrete pilings driven 60 feet deep through the first layer of sand, through more mud, and then a second layer of sand. Today’s biggest buildings sit on a foundation that goes down to 120 feet deep! So now that we know we won’t be sinking any time soon, let’s explore this beautiful city of canals, lined with trees and gabled townhouses.

The Icons of Holland: Windmills, wooden shoes and tulips.

The word “Netherlands” means lowland. In medieval times, the inhabitants of the lowland along the Amstel River built a system of dikes to protect their land from flooding. Amsterdam sits like a fan spread out with four surrounding canal rings. There are more canals in Amsterdam than Venice! The icon Dutch windmills were built to to harness energy to lift the water up out of enclosed areas and divert it into the canals and drain the land. They grew hardy plants that removed the salt from the soil, slowly turning mushy marshes into fertile farmland. Later the windmills were used to turn stone wheels to grind their grain.

Why do the dutch wear wooden shoes (Klompen)? Wooden shoes allowed farmers to walk across soggy fields and were easy to find if they came off in high water, because they float!

In the 1630’s Holland was gripped with “tulip mania.” Tulips were native to Turkey, (tulip comes from the turkish word for turban.) The Holy Roman Emperor’s ambassador to Constantinople first sent bulbs westward in the mid-1500’s. The harsh soil conditions of Holland turned out to be ideal for growing tulips. Financial speculators invested wildly in these rare plants, growing and selling exotic varieties. You could buy a house with just three tulip bulbs! Later, during WWII when the people of Amsterdam were starving, they dug up and ate tulip bulbs. Dutch people are known to be among the world’s most handsome people— tall, healthy and with very good posture. Like a tulip! Tulip anyone? Now let’s explore Amsterdam! It’s another great city to get to know on foot!

A Restaurant Along the Canals, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

A Restaurant Along the Canals, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Along the Canals, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Along the Canals, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

There are 765,000 people in Amsterdam and just as many bikes! Everyone rides a bike here.  Be very careful, look in all directions when crossing a lane!

Yikes, Bikes, in Amsterdam!

Yikes, Bikes, in Amsterdam!

Bikes Everywhere!

Bikes Everywhere!

Bike Seat to Sit On!

Bike Seat to Sit On or Chain your Bike To!

Riding, Riding! Everyone is  On a Bike!

Riding, Riding! Everyone is On a Bike!

Riding, Riding!

Riding, Riding!

This is Why One Rides a Bike Here! Pedestrian Only Here!

This is Why One Rides a Bike Here! 

Cozy Amsterdam! More Bikes!

Cozy Amsterdam! More Bikes!

The buildings do shift a little, all leaning on each other!

The Very Early Morning Biker!

 Very Early Morning ! The Bikes are at Rest!

A Cosy Outdoor Cafe, Lots to Pick From, Amsterdam

A Cosy Outdoor Cafe, Amsterdam

If you are very persistent and really must have a car, how about these?  Such contrast!

Vintage Wheels!

Vintage Wheels!

Or Electric Car!

Or Electric Car!

Or maybe this is your ride?

The Red Truck, Amsterdam

The Red Truck, Amsterdam

Or this?

Or Just Go Afloat!

 Just Go Afloat!

Boat Tours, Amsterdam

Boat Tours, Amsterdam

Along Another Canal, Amsterdam!

Along Another Canal, Amsterdam!

Along the Walk in Amsterdam!

Along the Walk in Amsterdam!

Calla and Tulip Stalls in Amsterdam!

Calla and Tulip Stalls in Amsterdam!

Please Don't Water the Plants!

Dogs, Please Don’t Water the Plants!

This Girl Should Have Taken a Bike!

This Girl Is Very Tired! Get a Bike!

For our stay in Amsterdam we loved the Maes B&B. We had a bedroom, living room, and a fantastic bathroom! Very close to everything and located in one of the gabled townhouses, it was a delight to see what one of these buildings looks like on the inside! Every morning we were treated to a hearty, home made, cooked breakfast, with the staff meeting our every need. It was a great stay in Amsterdam! Check it out here, Maes B&B.

Home Away from Home, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

Home Away from Home, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

Our Room, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

Our Room, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

Our Room, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

The Bedroom Room, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

Our Room, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

Sparkling Clean, Modern Bathoom, Maes B&B, Amsterdam

Enjoy Amsterdam!

Beautiful and Tropical? Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Beautiful and Tropical? Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Cady Luck Leedy’s Tuesday Travel Tips

Tip # 1 

The Knee Bone is Connected to the Thigh Bone. The Thigh Bone is Connected to a Headache.

Bellagio,Italy

Bellagio, Italy

I really want to talk about luggage here. See all the steps?  What if you had to go from a) the bottom of that tiny stoned stairway to  b) the top where your lodging is? Would you want  to drag a large overgrown bear with you? Or better yet, could you carry that bear over your shoulders?  Now let’s also throw in, it’s hot outside, you are tired and you are not even sure if this is the right stairway to heaven.  Get the picture?  Less is more. You can’t take it all with you. Italy, France, Turkey, Germany, (you fill in the blank) like any other place has stores.  AND carrying too much will give you a headache to  boot.

So you say you will rent a car?  Well you still have to get from the airline terminal to the rental car agency.  Sometimes in order to get there this will include stairs, tiny narrow escalators, long tunnels with more stairs at the end, or a combination of all of them.  How much does that suitcase weigh?  What about the Borse, how heavy are they?  (See the next post about the Borse family)  Some of the most beautiful villages in Italy are all uphill.  Even downhill feels uphill to me.  Be prepared to pull or carry. Light.

Varenna, Italy

Varenna, Italy

Once after landing at the Florence, Italy airport I made my way to the car rental area and found myself in line behind a group of two men and three women, who were traveling together.  Now I could sense this was going to be trouble from the get-go because the women were telling the men, in detail, what to do.   One gentleman filled out all the paperwork, as instructed by the ladies and when the agent thought they were through and handing over the papers, the women decided the other gent should be added as a driver as well. Back to the beginning. I stood in line for over an hour and the line behind me got longer and longer.
“Hellooooo, my knee was saying. Why are we standing still for such a long time?”   When it was my turn it took ten minutes and out the door I went.  Note:  Make all your car reservations at home and it will save you time and trouble.  When I got outside I found my car parked right behind The Group and watched in awe as they tried to get fifteen pieces of luggage into a mid-sized sedan.  Big luggage. They tried every which way under the sun, again at the direction of the ladies, and finally decided that the two large cases would have to go in the back seat of the car and the three women would sit on top of them.  Bent over.  Noses touching the seat in front of them.  Those poor men!  I hoped they didn’t have to go very far!  How would they be when they arrived at their destination?  I did not want to know.

I like to take the train most of the time.  The trains that are “Mind the Gap” are easily accessible, just step from a platform over a small open space and you are easily on. Prince Charming is never around when you need him.  Some trains in Italy are small.  The trains in Italy may look like this:  1. Narrow entrance to get on and off .  2.  Three or more giant steps that you must be prepared to hoist your luggage to and then yourself.  For me it is luggage first than me.  3. Trains are on time (well Italian time) so you have to get a move on when the train comes to a halt. 4.  Be prepared for the entrance to be crammed with people who do not want to move to a seat.  Picture this. I was taking a train from the Zurich Airport by way of the local train. I had to take a train to get to another train. The train stopped, the door opened and all I saw were faces and piled high luggage.  I quickly assessed the situation. The train was ready to depart  so up went my case and I scrambled on behind it. Nobody moved. We were eyeball to eyeball with my suitcase squeezed between us. I couldn’t even turn around to face the door and just hoped my fanny would not get caught in it when it closed.  I looked up and read the sign. Do not lean on the door.  Luckily, I only had one stop to go before we all poured out.

Menaggio, Italy

Menaggio, Italy

Sometimes after you reach your destination in paradise there are stairs just waiting to greet you.  So you have a room booked on the first floor?  Well that will be the second floor in Europe. Most hotels do not have an elevator or if they do it is tiny,  not room enough for you AND a large suitcase.   You must be able to carry your luggage up the stairs. By the time you get there heavy luggage will make your knees weak, your legs screaming, your back aching, and give you a killer headache.  You will need a drink!  Or two, but won’t want to walk back down those stairs!

So what kind of luggage do I travel with? One on wheels, durable, but light weight.  It measures 16X23 inches and has an easy to recognize name tag

My new best friend

My new best friend

and strong pull out handle to slip on Papa Borsa because he doesn’t like to be carried.  Remember that your luggage does not like cobblestones, so it must have a durable handle that can lift it to carry and will not break easily.  My favorite accessory is the luggage scale.  Don’t leave home without it. You don’t want to get to the airport upon departure to have the smiling attendant say your ticket is now @$$%%^^^%#$$$$ because it is overweight.  You will be directed to another line to take stuff out or re-arrange it. Re-arrange it to what?  Use that scale beforehand and know how much the suitcase weighs.  Practice walking with your suitcase full. Go up and down your stairs at home carrying it.  Can you do it?  Remember the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone and the thigh bone is connected to the back bone.  All the way to your head.  Save yourself a headache.  Travel light. Now let’s get down the stairs!  How about these?

Stairs in B&B, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Stairs in B&B, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Next….. what do I pack and how do I pack it?

Posted in Cady Luck Leedy's Tuesday Travel Tips, Destinations, Photo Travel Themes, The Daily Post, Travel Prep, Travel Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

One Word Photo Challenge: Copper

Beautiful copper tiles on the Chateau de La Rochepot! A fairy castle built on a rocky peak, became the home of Regnier and Phillippe Pot, both Knights of the Golden Fleece. Enjoy this little corner of France!

Chateau de la Rochepot, Near Beaune, France

Chateau de la Rochepot, Near Beaune, France

Chateau de la Rochepot, Near Beaune, France

Chateau de La Rochepot, Near Beaune, France

 

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Travel Theme: Smooth

Here is my entry for the Travel Theme: Smooth! What a dreamy, romantic day in Le Petite Venise neighborhood of Colmar, France!  For additional entries for Smooth, look at the blog, Where’s My Backpack,  HERE.  Enjoy!

Colmar, France

Colmar, France

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Triple Treat in Belgium

Damme, Belgium

Along the Canal at Damme, Belgium

Doesn’t the picture above just convey what you dreamed the Netherlands would look like? It does to me and I was not disappointed! Today we are having a triple treat! We are taking the “Triple Treat Bus Tour,” offered by Quasimodo Tours. The day is overcast with occasional wind gusts and blowing rain, but nothing dampens our tour out into the countryside of Brugge. The Triple Treat Tour  features several country homes, the village of Damme, the oldest gothic buildings in Flanders at the former monastery at Ter Doest, where we will have lunch, a tour of a chocolate factory, and last stop, a beer brewery! We are in for a day of fun which started when the  Quasimodo Guides picked us up at our B&B and took us to the bus waiting for us in the town square.

The bus takes us out into “Burbs” of Brugge. Then down this narrow lane and deep into the wood, passing the grazing cows we come to the moated castle of Tillegem.

Through the Woods and Down a Narrow Lane!

Through the Woods and Down a Narrow Lane!

The Cows in the Country at Tillegem, Belgium

The Cows in the Country at Tillegem, Belgium

Had to take a picture of the cows! And now for the Castle of Tillegem! Baldwin, the Iron Arm, first count of Flanders, constructed a wooden tower surrounded by battlements where the castle now stands.  Since 1980 the castle and beautiful park has been the property of the province of West Flanders.  I had to take a picture of the castle from every angle!  The castle is not open to visitors.

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

The Moated Castle of Tillegem, Belgium

Next we drove to the neo-gothic Chateau of Loppem, full of artwork and other treasures! Built between 1859 and 1862 for Baron Charles Van Caloen and his family, the castle’s original architecture and interior decoration is remarkably well preserved.  The park and castle are owned by the Jean van Caloen Foundation and is open to the public. I took so many pictures inside here, but they were dark, fuzzy and not too good.  Trust me when I say this home was a delight to see.

Chateau of Loppem, Belgium

Chateau of Loppem, Belgium

Chateau of Loppem, Belgium

Chateau of Loppem, Belgium

It’s now pouring and really gusty as we get to Ter Doest!

Lambert, Lord of Lissewege, donated land to the Benedictus friers in 1106, to build a priory. In 1270 the Benedictines left and the Cistercienzers Order, who had ties to the Templer Knights, took over. In 1172, Richard, the Lionheart, one of my relatives, was captured by Leopold of Austria on his return from the Crusades. It is said that the abbot of Ter Doest paid the larger part of the ransom in order to get Richard out of prison. It is assumed he came to Ter Doest for a time after his release. He was in fact in Damme, where we are headed later today.

The gothic barn, built around 1280, is the largest remaining barn of its kind, and was used to store crops. In 1308 the barn and abbey were confiscated during protestant religious wars, so the farm we see today was built from the debris of the destroyed abbey. Today a lovely restaurant and B&B also sit on this site! Let’s go have lunch!

The Restaurant at Ter Doest, Belgium

The Restaurant at Ter Doest, Belgium

The Old Barn at Ter Doest, Belgium

The Old Barn and ArtWork at Ter Doest, Belgium

Artwork at Ter Doest, Belgium

Artwork at Ter Doest, Belgium

After our great lunch at Ter Doest, we made our way to Damme.  Situated right along the river Reie, the river has now been canalized into the long , straight, tree-lined and picturesque Damse Vaart Canal from Brugge, just 6 kilometers away, to the Dutch border in Sluis. This makes a great bike trip from the city. Even though it was raining and windy there were bikers doing just that!  We all met up in Damme! What exquisite scenery!

Picure Perfect Along the Canal in Damme, Belgium

Picture Perfect Along the Canal in Damme, Belgium

A Windmill Along the Canal in Damme, Belgium

A Windmill Along the Canal in Damme, Belgium

The town is a favorite venue for eating and a destination for boat trips. It is also known for being a great “book town” with numerous bookshops and regular book fairs! Just so nice to explore too!

The Village of Damme, Belgium

The Village of Damme, Belgium

The Village of Damme, Belgium

The Village of Damme, Belgium

Wrought Iron Sculptured Art in Domme, Belgium

Wrought Iron Sculptured Art in Damme, Belgium

Our next stop was the tour of a Belgium Chocolate factory, but sad to say I was addicted to the Dumon’s Chocolates, and wanted to wait it out until evening to stock up on my favorites. Finally, our last stop back in Brugge, was The Fort Lapin Brewery. There was a variety of Belgium Beers to taste (included in price of tour) but my hand must have been busy holding those pints because I didn’t get any pictures! What a fabulous tour! Be sure to check Quasimodo Tours in Belgium.  Enjoy!

Posted in Belgium, Bruges, Destinations, Food, Gardens, Photo Travel Themes, Travel Prep, Travel Tips, Vineyards of the World | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Begijnhof of Brugge, Belgium

The Meadow Woods of the Begijhof

The Meadow Woods of the Begijnhof

Before 1240 a community of pious women settled in an area of south  Brugge in a low- lying meadow or vineyard. These lay women called Beguines, spent their lives in piety and service without taking the vows that a nun would. Due to war and military fatalities there were more women than men in the medieval low lying countries. The order of Beguines offered women (often single or widowed) a dignified place to live and work.  When the order died out many towns took over the begijnhofs for subsidized housing. Believe me when I say you could be so lucky to live in one of the small subsidized cottages of the Begijnhof of Brugge. Today we are strolling from the town square through the curved portals of buildings delving further and further into the neighborhoods of Brugge. 

Walk Past the Little Market on the Way to the Begijhof

Walk Past the Little Market on the Way to the Begijnhof

I Loved These Trees Along our Walk!

I Loved These Trees Along our Walk!

Beautiful Pots of Hostas Along the Way!

Beautiful Pots of Hostas at the Pink House!

Tiny Statuaries Everywhere Along Our Path

Tiny Statuaries Everywhere Along Our Path

Statuaries in Tiny Courtyards

Headless Statuaries in Tiny Courtyards Along the Way

We get further from the town center! I feel like I’m in the country!

Picturesque Church in Brugge, Belgium

Walking Along Canal to Begijnhof in Brugge, Belgium

A Stroll to Reach the Begijnhof, Brugge, Belgium

A Neigborhood Stroll to Reach the Begijnhof, Brugge, Belgium

We pass over the three-arched stone bridge, the Wijngaard Bridge,  to the main gated entrance. Here is a large beautiful meadow and a complex of thirty white stoned gothic buildings dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries, built around a central yard.

An Image of the Holy Elizabeth of Hungary, Patron Saint of the Beguinages

An Image of the Holy Elizabeth of Hungary, Patron Saint of the Beguinages

The Gardens in Begijnhof

The Gardens in Begijnhof

Garden Courtyards of the Begijnhof

Garden Courtyards of the Begijnhof

Beautiful Artwork for Meditation and Prayer in the Begijnhof

Beautiful Artwork for Meditation and Prayer in the Begijnhof

The Retirement Homes in Begijnhof

The Retirement Homes in Begijnhof

Aren’t these just the cutest places to live?

The Houses of Begijnhof

The Houses of Begijnhof

Just follow the garden paths!

Beautiful Gardens to See, Begijnhof

Beautiful Gardens to See, Begijnhof

A Woman Calls to Us From Her Rooftop Sanctuary, Begijnhof, Brugge

A Woman Calls to Us From Her Rooftop Sanctuary, Begijnhof, Brugge

Notice the sweet little heart above her head? Another memorable day in Brugge! I hope you enjoyed our walk through the Begijnhof!

Another Church Along Our Walk in Brugge

Our Final Church Along Our Walk Home in Brugge

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Spring Time Fun and the Hot Cross Bun!

 

Preparing the Hot Cross Buns

Preparing the Hot Cross Buns

 

Spring time offers foods which are rich in history and symbolism. These foods can be broken down into three groups: 1. Food specifically related to Christ, such as ( lamb, for “the lamb of God.”)  Easter was the time to start eating the season’s new lamb. 2. Food related to pagan rites of spring (eggs for re-birth) (ham for luck), (lamb for sacrifice) and (cake/bread for fertility) 3. Modern foods such as candy and the Easter basket.

Eggs are traditionally connected with re-birth, rejuvenation and immortality. This is why they are celebrated at Easter. In the early Christian times eggs were forbidden during Lent, so this made them bountiful and exciting, forty days later. They were dyed or decorated in bright colors to honor this celebration. Red eggs brought to the table on Easter Sunday symbolized life, and were given as emblems of friendship.  Eggs with the pattern “XV” etched on them stood for “Christ is Risen”, a traditional Easter greeting. We hunt for eggs during an Easter Egg Hunt to identify with riches. Eggs were a treasure, a bounty of nature, and the treasures were deposited by hens in unsuspecting places. To find such a hidden nest was equal to finding a hidden treasure.

Preparing the Hot Cross Buns!

The Baked Hot Cross Buns!

The word “Easter” came from the name for the anglo saxon goddess of light and spring, Eostre.  Special dishes were cooked in her honor so that the year would bring fertility.  Most important of these dishes was a tiny cake or small spiced bun. The association of protection and fertility, birth and re-birth, became a Christian tradition, especially in English society. During Tudor times, the English custom of eating spiced buns on Good Friday was established when a London by-law was introduced forbidding the sale of such buns except on Good Friday, Christmas and burials. Issued in 1592, the thirty-six year of Queen Elizabeth I, by the London Clerk of Markets the proclamation read: That no bakers at any time or time hereafter make, utter or sell by retail, within or without their houses, unto any of the Queen’s subjects any spice cakes, buns, biscuits  or other spice bread except at burials or on the Friday before Easter or at Christmas, upon pain of death or forfeiture of all such spiced bread to the poor. A cross was etched or decorated on the bun to represent Christ’s Cross. “One-a-penny, two-a penny, hot cross buns”, was the call of the day. Superstitions regarding bread that was baked on Good Friday date back to a very early period. In England particularly, people believed that bread baked on this day could be hardened in the oven and kept all year to protect the house from fire. Sailors took loaves of it on their voyages to prevent shipwreck and a Good Friday loaf buried in a heap of corn kept away rats, mice and weevils. They also hung hot cross buns in the house on Good Friday to protect them from bad luck during the year and finely grated bread, mixed with water was sometimes used as medicine.

The Hot Cross Buns!

The Hot Cross Buns for Gifts!

Bath buns, hot cross buns, spice buns, penny buns, Chelsea buns, ( hot cross buns sold in great quantity by the Chelsea Bun House in the 18th century) and currant buns; all small, plump, sweet, fermented cakes that are English institutions! Join me today as I bake my hot cross buns! To enjoy this recipe too see, Hot Cross Buns on the King Arthur Webpage !  My favorite place for baking needs! Happy Easter!

Posted in England, Festivals, Food, King Arthur Store and Bakery, LIST (Life in a Small Town), The Daily Post | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments