Today it is officially the first day of spring! The hens are laying eggs, the cows are giving milk and the flowers bloom like pretty balloons in the pastures. And hark – I can hear a choir of angels – or singing nuns – or … Wait! Back up… Because when I went out this morning, this is the scene that greeted me:
A glorious sun shining on the frozen lake so that it looked like a carpet of diamonds. Fresh snow and minus 13 C! Welcome to spring. By the way, did I mention that this is the first day of spring?
Some of you might know this day better as Lady Day or as the Feast of the Annunciation. Or to put it more simply, the Angel Gabriel told Mary that she was going to have a baby. And for some reason, the Swedes celebrate this day by eating waffles. A bit of googling told me that in medieval times, vendors used to sell waffles outside churches on special religious celebrations. In fact, they used to compete so fiercely about whose waffle was biggest that France was forced to instigate a ‘Waffle Law’ – a kind of restraining order that said waffle vendors had to remain six feet apart!
I can just imagine the French waffle vendors fighting – can’t you? Imagine all this with a French accent if you will…
“You are just a load of hot waffle, you leetle toad!”
“Your muther was an escargot and your father was a flaky croissant!”
“You mean, one of those croissants made wiz zee rich butter…”
“Yes. And with pastry so soft it melts in ze mouth. Oh, cabbages! We are supposed to be enemies…”
“Oh, yes! Sorry! You are just so full of crepe!”
And so on!
Now – where was I? Oh yes – trying to find a connection between the church and waffles. Just done that!
The other reason why Swedes eat waffles on 25 March is because it’s supposed to be the first day of spring. (Have I already mentioned this?) That’s right – hens lay eggs, cows give milk and those nuns are singing high up in the hills… Whatever! Anyway, eating heart-shaped waffles (for ALL waffles in Sweden are that shape) with cream and jam is definitely the first sign of spring. No matter what the weather is doing!
(My sister arrives from England this evening, so we have decided to eat the first sign of spring tomorrow instead… Oh – and if I don’t post quite so often this week, then blame it on my visitors. You know how demanding they can be – always wanting to eat food or talk or do something that can interfere with blogging…)