And a special HI for all the new subscribers!
We have just returned
from a short holiday at
Ukuthula Lodge in the town of
Rooiberg in the bushveld. Click on the links to go take a look!
I am still busy with
Easter and Easter recipes. This time the recipes were sent to me by Annie
from Middelburg, thanx a lot, Annie!
I am doing this letter
slightly in advance. When I send this out we should just be back from a
week at Ukuthela lodge. More about that later with some of the pics I
To me, in South
Africa, an Easter egg is chocolate coated marshmallow. I was very
surprised when, years ago, a friend of mine, JoAnn in Michigan, said that
they decorated REAL eggs as Easter eggs. To me that would take the
chocolate out of Easter!
Here are some more
Easter facts for you:
The Easter Bunny: Beloved Easter Symbol
Easter Bunny playing a ViolinOf all the symbols of Easter, none is more
beloved than the Easter Bunny. And, of all the symbols of this season,
none has a more varied, unique and universal background than this
floppy-eared chocolate confection deliveryman. With his place—and yes, for
some reason, the Easter Bunny is always referred to as "he"—in the
traditions of many cultures, Rabbit can most certainly answer the
question, "What's up, doc?" (after all, what would Elmer be without
The Advent of The Easter Bunny
The first documented use of the bunny as a symbol of Easter appears in
Germany in the 1500s; although the actual matching of the holiday and the
hare was probably a much earlier folk tradition. Not surprisingly, it was
also the Germans who made the first edible Easter Bunnies in the 1800s.
The Pennsylvania Dutch brought the beneficent Easter Bunny to the United
States in the 1700s. Children eagerly awaited the arrival of Oschter Haws
and his gifts with a joy second only to that brought about by the winter
visit of Kris Kringle.
Easter Eggs: Decorating, Hunts and Bunnies
Easter Eggs are an important part of the Easter tradition. Learn about
their history, and about Easter Eggs around the world.
Group of colored eggsThe association of eggs with the Easter Bunny is
actually a recent one. It seems to be the result of an ad campaign
(believe it or not) by European candy makers who wanted to advertise their
product. The egg, long a symbol of fertility, had long been a traditional
staple of Easter celebrations. The pairing of the Easter Egg and the
Easter Bunny at the end of the nineteenth century was not only a stroke of
marketing genius, but also well-founded in the traditions of the past.
Decorating Easter Eggs
While no one can say when the practice of giving eggs actually became
associated with Easter, the decorating of eggs is as diverse as the
cultures that engage in the practice. It is known that the eggs were
painted with bright colors to celebrate spring and were used in Easter
egg-rolling contests and given as gifts, a practice that predated the
advent of Christianity. Medieval records note that eggs were often given
as Easter gifts to servants by their masters. What is known is that the
egg, like the rabbit, was a symbol of renewal of life and therefore a
logical symbol for the celebration of Easter.
The methods of decoration are as varied as the peoples who practice it.
Some of the most elaborate are the Ukrainian Pysanki eggs. These ornate
objects are truly works of art. First, melted beeswax is applied to the
white, unblemished shell using a brass cone mounted on a stick; this tool
is known as a Kistka. Then, the egg is dipped into the first of a series
of dyes; this process is repeated numerous times. The wax is then melted
off the egg to reveal the ovoid masterpiece.
Easter Eggs Around the World
The Greeks dye their Easter Eggs red to symbolize and honor the blood of
Christ, while in those in Germany and Austria, traditionally give green
eggs on Maundy (or Holy) Thursday—the day commemorating Christ's Last
Supper. In Slavic countries, decorating eggs in special patterns of gold
and silver adds luster to the shell and to the sharing. The Armenian
tradition is to decorate hollowed out eggshells with religious images
significant to the holiday.
The Easter Egg hunt itself has also taken many cultural twists and turns.
In America, of course, the colored Easter Eggs are hidden and then
children search for them. In the northern counties of England, children
act out the "Pace Egg Play" and beg for eggs and other presents; the term
Pace itself is a derivative of the ancient Hebrew verb posach (to pass
over), which has evolved into the better known word and holiday title
Pesach, or Passover.
Group of colored EasterPennsylvania Dutch children believed that if they
were good, the Oschter Haws would lay a nest of brightly colored eggs.
And, in a far-removed invocation of the egg's primal
symbol—fertility—Polish girls used to send eggs to their beloveds as a
token of their feelings. Even more interesting is the fact that a roasted
egg can take the place of a lamb shank (which mirrored the traditional
sacrificial lamb) on the Seder plate at a Jewish Passover celebration.
The egg, like the Rabbit, has become fused into the spring festival of
Easter throughout the world. Whether colored, hollowed or made of candy,
the source of a child's delight or a symbol of faith, this image of
newlife and renewal certainly has made its own nest in the human cultural
Chocolate Easter EggAlthough taken as a given, one question that is rarely
asked, but should be, is why Easter has to fall on a Sunday. In 325 AD,
the council of Nice issued an edict that read, in pertinent part, "Easter
was to fall upon the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after
the Vernal Equinox; and if said full moon fell on a Sunday, the Easter
should be the Sunday after."
The Easter celebration was coordinated with older, pre-Christian
celebrations of spring. The direct relationship to Sunday as the day
sacred to the Sun, the ultimate symbol of life, is obvious; yet the subtle
connections to the earlier celebrations of the time of planting and the
Moon are of equal importance in determining the day of the Easter
The cross and the lily are both Christian symbols relating to the
religious significance of the season and the renewal of faith. Similarly,
the lamb has a religious basis, both in Christianity (Christ as the Good
Shepherd) and in Judaism (the Paschal Lamb). The view of a lamb as a
symbol of new life is the foundation for both religious images.
I asked last time
for the real meaning of the words of the Afrikaans children's lullaby,
Siembamba. Well, I got quite a few responses and put them all on
this page. (In Afrikaans, sorry)
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Search my website,
type in any key word and if that word is on my site you will see it in
the results, search for recipes, ingredients, place names etc
excerpts are from the electronic newsletter Insider Secrets,
Personal & Finance Confidential . You can subscribe to this free
clicking here. Recommended by FunkyMunky as a worthwhile read!
The easiest way
to tell if someone is lying to you
When someone is remembering a scenario, their eyes naturally move to
right. When they're lying, their eyes tend to move to the left. This
to different parts of the brain being used to remember/deceive. So,
next time you suspect someone isn't telling you the truth, watch the
movement of their eyes carefully.
3 nerve soothing tips for the nervous flyer
flown for a while but I am a nervous flyer! So I will remember these
tips! - Peter
There are three things I advise these nervous fliers to do.
1. Avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates on the day of the flight.
will give you too much nervous energy. Eat lightly and nutritiously.
2. Arrive in plenty of time. If you travel to the airport at a
pace and give yourself time to relax before the flight, you will
3. Always take a really good book. Think of the easiest-to-read, most
entertaining, most page-turning author on your shelf. Then take one of
books with you. There's nothing like it for making the time fly by.
Unexpected expenses? Get your Barclaycard online!
monthly short term insurance premium,
free online quotation! And while you are busy,
click here and apply online for your Barclaycard or Manchester
Herb Section - Violet
Violet is not usually regarded as a herb, but it has so many
culinary and medicinal applications, it deserves a mention.
The violet has been cultivated for years because of it's lovely
scent. It is an asset to every garden.
The Greeks considered violet to be a symbol of fertility. The
Romans made wine from violet.
Violet is a perennial plant, low growing, and makes a lovely
ground cover. A violet plant grows to about 15cm in height.
The leaves can be picked all year round, and the flowers on
opening. The more you pick, the more they bloom.
Violets make an excellent edging, and are undemanding. They also
attract butterflies to your garden.
Violets are a lovely addition to small flower arrangements, and
can also be used in potpourri.
Add violet leaves to a facial steam.
Crushed violet leaves and flowers in almond oil soften callused
skin on the feet and hands.
Violets have a calming effect on the nervous system, act as a
gentle laxative and help relieve colds and coughs.
Chew the flowers or leaves to relieve a headache. Chew 5 at first
and then 3 an hour later.
Make an infusion of leaves and flowers to alleve post nasal drip
and whooping cough. The tea is also effective for mucus in the
throat, nose, chest and lungs.
Bruised violet leaves make a soothing poultice for skin infections
Use a strong violet tea as a wash for eczema and rashes.
Violets are best used on their own in cooking because of their
subtle taste, but combine well with lemon balm, bergamot,
allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mint.
Add the flowers to salads and vegetables for a dash of colour.
Crystallised petals make a beautiful garnish for cakes.
Make a violet vinegar by half filling a jar with fresh violets,
then covering with a good white vinegar, adding a stick of
cinnamon. Let it stand in the sun for 10 days, straining twice
during that time, and adding fresh flowers and leaves. Bottle in a
screwtop jar, adding a few flowers for decoration. Use for salad
dressings, in the bath and as a hair rinse.
Thanks to everyone who has mailed us fridge magnets depicting your
State, City or Country.
If you collect fridge magnets, I will gladly swop with you!
email me and we can make arrangements. Thanx a lot!
My website is
interactive, there are a few pages you can contribute to:
Cocktails - I am now also
collecting typically South African
Cocktails, if you have any to contribute, please email me.
Elephant Stew -
add your suggestion
Sarmies - add your fav sarmie (some great
sarmie ideas here!)
Animal Facts - Some interesting stuff
a caption - new pic added
Discussion Forum -
Add to a current discussion or start a new thread.
Why not post a message on the
Discussion Forum. The topic can be food, wildlife, travel or
photography related, or anything else of interest. Let's see if we can
get some interesting discussions going