Glad Påsk!

School holidays – yay!! Long lies, chilling out, late breakfasts, hours of lounging ahead. Oh sorry, forgot, we have kids, scrap all that – we can but dream. Hope you all have some nice plans though even if it’s only doing the same stuff but in a different location – we all deserve a bit of a break from the everyday.

So, we know how we spend Easter – rolling eggs, eating chocolate, separating scrapping siblings, but how do the Swedish do it? Well, like most things they do it with great enthusiasm, style and a dash of witchcraft.

It would be a rare Easter gathering that didn’t involve some egg painting. This ancient tradition brings the happy colours of spring to the Swede’s Easter table and the eggs are then gathered together and used as a centerpiece. They are often later hung from trees or birch twigs with brightly coloured feathers and some are maybe scattered round the garden as an Easter hunt.

Girls Decorating the Påskris with mormor (Swedish Grandma)
Påskpyssel Easter Decorations with the cousins

A traditional Easter lunch is likely to consist of different varieties of pickled herring, cured salmon and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled anchovies baked in cream). The table is often laid like a traditional smörgåsbord. Spiced schnapps is also a feature of the Easter table. At dinner, people eat roast lamb with potato gratin and asparagus, or some other suitable side dish.

Påsklunch
Swedish Påsklunch being prepared
Family Påsklunch in Sweden

Just like here in the UK, Swedish Easter is filled with candy, chocolates, and toffee, delivered to the kids in large brightly colored påskägg – eggshells of cardboard or plastic – the bigger, the better. Every year Swedish kids are high as kites from skärtorsdag until late on påskafton, when the påskägg has been emptied.

Easter Treat

My favourite Swedish tradition is the Easter Witches. On skärtorsdag, Maundy Thursday, modern Swedish children dress up as påskkärringar (Easter hags) paint their faces, carry a broom and knock on neighbor’s doors for treats, much like American children do at Halloween.

The tradition is said to come from the old belief that witches would fly to a German mountain the Thursday before Easter to cavort with Satan. On their way back, Swedes would light fires to scare them away, a practice honored today by the bonfires and fireworks across the land in the days leading up to Sunday.

So, there you have a not in any way complete, potted history of how our own #superswede Charlotte would be spending her holidays if she weren’t here. Have a lovely one wherever you are…

Ruth x

All images are from a Swedish family holiday 2017

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Bake Sale Fundraiser

Hello lovely ones, Ruth here again. Many of you will know that our fabulous Charlotte has been walking 10,000 steps a day throughout March to raise money for Cancer Research #walkallovercancer. I have been keeping an eye on her progress (from the comfort of my sofa, toast in hand) and not only has she been hitting her steps target, on a couple of days she has done over 20,000 and many more around the 15,000 mark! Amazing woman!

She has discovered many beautiful walks in and around our city and I know she has really enjoyed being joined by friends along the way, all in support of such a great cause.

Cancer affects so many of us. My mum has had breast cancer twice, my unbelievably awesome friend beat it in a mindblowingly dramatic fashion and other friends have thankfully had it diagnosed early through our brilliant NHS. Cancer Research do amazing work and without the funds raised by people such as Charlotte, well, it doesn’t bear thinking about to be honest.

We have been so touched that our customers and local businesses have sponsored Charlotte on her epic journey over the last month and as one final fundraising push we are holding a bake sale this coming Saturday (March 30th) in Spektakulär where you can come in, eat cake, donate (honestly, every tiny amount counts) and hear about Charlotte’s daily ramblings. Walking that is, not her usual ramblings.

It starts at 10am and will finish when the cake is gone and if you have ever experienced Charlotte’s baking then you know you are in for a treat – it is fantastic! She hilariously suggested this morning that I bake too. Don’t worry, I like you all too much for that…

See you Saturday xx

Glad Påsk – Happy Easter

We like to wish you a wonderful Easter. I am pretty sure you are all looking forward to a little break. Time of the year to relax and welcome Spring and of course stuff your face with chocolate. Now if you like to avoid the supermarket mass-produced Easter Eggs, why not pop in to us instead? We have wonderful luxury LAKRIDS (Danish liquorice) and yesterday Alex at Nordic Affär told me a huge box of amazing DUMLE had arrived! So Zuzanna has prepared lovely Moomin mugs filled with Dumle. Now you can enjoy one of my favourite sweets Dumle (Soft toffee covered with milk chocolate) and who does not love a beautiful Moomin enamel mug from Finish Muurla!?!?!! A super gift!!!

 

During the Easter period we are delighted to let you know we are open as usual…no need to panic!!! Zuzanna is kindly covering for me on Saturday so we can head north to the grandparents.

Since this is our first school year I see holidays from a different angle and yes this break is needed. Stina is tired!!! And I am sick and tired of her tears and whining! So a week at grandparents for them is well needed (for all of us).  I am sure that we are going to paint eggs and have an Easter Egg hunt in the grandparents garden which will be nice. While in Sweden I am positive Swedish grandma (mormor) is off to Blåkulla on her broomstick (sorry mum for calling you a witch, but lets face it, according to yourself and Swedish traditions you truly are one;)).

 

Glad Påsk – Happy Easter

Easter time, this year we took it a bit more easy when it comes to Easter designs in the shop. Focused more on colours and that happy Spring feeling. When I was home in Sweden I brought some feathers with me (yes yes I am sure they exists here too) but it is not the same. Ruth collected some branches from her garden (Thank you Ruth) and we created a happy colourful Spring window for you!

How to celebrate a Swedish Easter… Well lots of different way I guess, here is some info from Sweden.se, or have a look at this website Vastsverige.com, which was really good (why not take the opportunity to book a holiday in Sweden as well:)). I am trying to remember what we did as children during Easter and I have a few images in my mind. One of my dad going all red in his face trying to empty a fresh egg of in contents so we could colour the egg shell it self and hang in our birch branches (yes Christmas tree at Christmas and Birch branches at Easter). One memory of my dad cutting birch branches from, I am pretty sure not a place we were supposed to cut it from (remember the very swift walk back to the car) and also the big paper eggs full of sweets and us dressing up as small witches, Glad Påsk written in our foreheads and knocking on doors saying Glad Påsk holding up a empty kettle hoping for sweets. The photo is borrowed online and it is a very true picture how it looks like, or used to. Sadly this is a dying tradition being replaced by Halloween. And no one seem to give sweets anymore unless it its wrapped in paper (bacteria awareness gone crazy) and I hear kids seem to ask for money (!!!) and my mum said that it is also more popular to give a fruit…please NO! It was sweets we were after as kids. I even remember that feeling of extreme disappointment when someone gave me a fruit! And sadly I have told the girls grandma and auntie not too buy big chocolate eggs for the girls (oh dear, evil mum, yup that’s me). So sweets, dressing up, Spring and the food. Oh yes THE FOOD!!! Oh sign now I get all hungry and a little bit homesick. A Swedish Easter buffet a smorgasbord of tasty homemade food… Lax, eggs, Jansons temptation, herring (tons of flavours) paskmust (special drink) or schnapps for the grown-ups, the bread, meatballs and so much more… Here in the UK it is all about chocolate, Easter here is a proper Sweeties holiday. Not like Christmas, Valentines, Halloween or any other holiday. We still have sweets left over at home from last year. Maybe I am over reaction but seriously how much sweets does not the big supermarket sell this time of year…insane amounts! Like last year we will head to Aberdeen and to the girls grandparents. Which will be great. Paint some eggs that we can roll down some hill in some park (never remember which one). Lovisa’s 2nd Birthday is also coming up so we will have a little party for her as well while we are all gathered. I wish you all a lovely and relaxing holiday! Charlotte x