Let's make Green Thursday Soup
with Potato Pancakes
Spring Garnished Green Thursday Soup!
The One Time a Year
Saffron Easter Bread Story
From Karen Kinnane
Every year my German American Grandmother Emily and Grandfather Pete (Dutch ancestry) used to make the most wonderful Easter bread. It was a ritual which we all loved! First they went in Grandpa's old silver blue 1954 ford to Pompton Lakes to the drug store at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Wanaque Ave.
Once inside the drug store they consulted with the pharmacist in order to buy some safron which was even so long ago extremely expensive. The druggist packed up the tiny dark red shreds in a pill bottle with on old paper label on which he typed "saffron".
Home they went to the cottage in Oakland , ready to make the Easter bread. Times were hard then and could not afford much so the bread was not fancy. Since they didn't have all the other goodies that are sometimes found in Easter breads they wanted to keep it simple so the flavor of the Saffron would stand out.
Safron crocus is a tiny flower and you can raise your own saffron if you have a sunny patch in the garden, buy some of the bulbs and plant them in the fall. To harvest you get down on your hands and knees and with a tweezers you remove the tiny shreds of saffron from the flower. It takes a lot to make a couple of loaves of bread because the stamens / anthers are miniscule.
Saffron has been used since ancient times as a food, dye and medicine. The beautiful gold color has always been a symbol of wealth. It took a while to get up to Europe. Legend has it that a few crocus bulbs were carried in a fellows plants In the 15th century when sailing to England. The city of Walden in Essex became the perfect place to grow this spice so it developed quite an industry and changed their name to Saffron Walden.
It made it's way to America when some of the Anabaptists and Dunkards came to Lancaster county in Pennsylvania to escape religious persecution. That is why you see Saffron in Pennsylvania Dutch recipes.
Saffron Easter Bread
Saffron Easter bread is served in some areas of Germany. Saffron has been a symbol of gold and wealth for centuries and gives a wonderful intense flavor as well as color. Easter is a time of celebration and historically also a time of hope for a good bountiful year on the farm. Karen Kinnane's family would save and shell out money for the expensive saffron once a year, so this bread became very special. I think you will love the flavor and aroma as well as the bright color of this simple bread, that is not overly sweet or filled with goodies but wonderful with good quality butter and coffee or tea.
Our Goulash spice blend features 3 different paprikas, (Hungarian Sweet, Smoked Paprika,
just a tiny amount of Medium Spicy Hungarian Paprika) toasted Caraway and Cumin seeds, Bay Leaves.
Great German flavor for stews and soups comes from the right spice.
This Eintopf Special Includes:
A recipe book and short biography of my Grandmother Emma Block. Her recipes, culture and cooking styles that were brought over from Germany. How they evolved when she came to America in the early 1900s and settled in Portland, Oregon on the west coast of the United States. Over 100 recipes
The Hefekranz traditon of braiding goes back many years. The braiding of bread was
perhaps started as a symbolic tradition. Though it can not be fully coroborated, Max Höfer a bread researcher says that many years ago when a husband died the wife would sacrifice her life in his honor and follow him to in the grave. Later just a women's braid went into the grave and as time passed a braided loaf of bread went into the grave.
There were many ways to make a "Hair Sacrifice" be it the shaved monks head or giving a braid as the hair was
by some cultures considered the best part of you. It was also a way of honoring someone or giving a gift to
give a braided loaf to honor the deceased. It some areas it was given as a proposal of marriage.
Since then it also has been baked for many festivals, Christtmas, New Years and of course Easter.
Easter the shape is often in a circular wreath and called Hefekranz.
Some other historians claim that it was developed by the first bakers union in Switzerland started in 1256
in the middle ages. The first recorded braided loaf was in 1430.
Regardless it is nice to carry on centuries old traditions and make a braided loaf for Easter.
It is really fairly easy.
There are many ways to decorate your loaf and you can also add different fruits or nuts.
A German tradition is the Easter Fire (Osterfeuer)
n Germany, the Easter bonfires can trace their origin as a custom back to the 16th Century but probably date back to pre-Christian times. The light from the fire symbolically represents the driving-out of winter and the coming of warmth. The practice is also supposed to increase the fertility of fields. In the Christian tradition the Easter bonfire is a sign of the resurrection of Christ.
In Germany, each village collects their tree trimmings on Holy Saturday. As you can imagine, when a WHOLE village makes a brush pile, its pretty big! They make a flag and stick it on top of their brush pile, and then "guard" it Saturday night from neighboring village kids who would try and take it. They then burn the fire Easter Sunday.
Since many of our family and friends work on Easter Monday, we will have our fire the following Friday night, April 5th @ 7:30pm. (Weather Permitting!) Our fire will celebrate both the resurrection of our Lord and the coming of Spring!
We hope to see many of you, and yes, feel free to bring your brush to add to the pile...the site will be where the Frankenmuth Corn Maze is...across the road from Weiss Centennial Farm.
You can also garnish the soup with other fresh Spring foods like some edible daisies
is a chef and wonderful friend giving me encouragement through the years here and donatedher recipes for our newsletter.
She also does wonderful volunteer work like providing meals for school children in need in Tuscon, Arizona.
Many German-Americans and German immigrants are interested in Native American items from books and movies to jewelry and arts and craft supplies. Karin will take care of you personally with her online store Native Rainbows
Ursprung Buam - Hoam nach Tirol
Antonia - Fliegerlied
The Bird Song
Fingerl Flitzer - Drei Madeln aus dem Bayerwald
Angela Wiedl,Melanie Oesch,Herlinde Lindner-Erzherzog Johann Jodler/Zillertaler Bravourjodler