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Posts tagged ‘tradition’

Shining Brightly

Lithuanian graveyards are bustling at this time of year, not with the dead (as some movies might suggest), but with the living. In every town, in every village, people gather in graveyards to tidy graves in preparation for All Souls’ Day (Vėlinės). Read more

The Christmas Cake [Recipe]

“Don’t slam the door!” my mother would yell as I walked into the kitchen. The Christmas cake was in the oven and in the early eighties, when oven seals weren’t quite what they should be, slamming the door could create enough draft to cause the cake to sink in the middle. Or so the theory went. Read more

Colcannon [Recipe]

This time last year I was pining for a little taste of home. Halloween was coming and I was looking forward to a steaming bowl of colcannon, just like my mammy used to make. Unfortunately I could not find any kale or green cabbage, a key ingredient of the dish, here in Lithuania. I tried several supermarkets and farmers’ markets, but only white cabbage was available. Upset, I consoled myself with cake. Read more

Twinkle

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree,
You know not how you’ve aged me.

As a child I always loved putting up the Christmas Tree. We had one of those fake, glittery ones popular in the 70s and a beautiful collection of colourful, sparkly ornaments built up over a number of years. Mam would put up the lights, ensuring they were perfectly symmetrical with one light at the top to reflect off the star. My sister and I would then add the decorations. When it was finally complete we would enjoy our first slice of Christmas cake and perhaps our first movie of the season. Read more

Lithuanian Christmas Eve Biscuits | Kūčiukai [Recipe]

Christmas is a time for tradition. What’s fascinating to me is how much those traditions vary from country to country and even from family to family. Some children post their letter to Santa up the chimney, some through the regular mail. Some leave out milk and cookies for Santa, but in our house it was a bottle of Guinness and a few mince pies. (Clever ole Dad!) Some traditions don’t believe in Santa at all. Read more

A Taste of Home | Barnbrack [Recipe]

I longed for a taste of home. Something simple, wholesome, comforting – something my mother used to make. Halloween was coming and I longed for a bowl of colcannon, that dreamy combination of creamy mashed potato and deep green curly kale. Mam always made colcannon for Halloween and always took the trouble to hide a coin, a ring and a rag for us to find. We always knew what was coming but there was something safe and soothing about the familiarity. I longed for that feeling.* Read more

St. Patrick’s Day Blues

I must admit to being a little homesick today. How could I not be? St. Patrick’s Day was always one of my favourite days of the year. As a child it meant a day off school and a brief respite from the abstinences of Lent. In my college years and early twenties it meant finding a pub with good Guinness, music and craic. This day last we were up the Dublin Mountains in Johnnie Fox’s eating the finest Irish fare. Read more

No turkey this Christmas

There’ll be no turkey for me this Christmas. In fact, there’ll be no meat at all. I’m spending Christmas with my in-laws in Lithuania, where the main celebration is on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. Read more

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