Posts Tagged ‘Scandinavia’

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What am I celebrating tonight?

April 30, 2013

bonfire

April 30 is Walpurgis Night – the festival exactly 6 month opposite Halloween that marks the beginnings of spring, rather than the harvest season.

St Walburga 3

The holiday is named for St. Walpurga and it originated in northern and central Europe.  Walpurga is the patron saint of those suffering from rabies – make of that what you will.

Traditionally celebrated with dancing and a bonfire, in Scandinavia, there are often fresh funnel cakes to celebrate this night.

funnel

Here is a funnel cake recipe from Alton Brown:

Funnel Cake
 
Prep Time:  10 min

Cook Time:
10 min

 
Level:  Easy
Serves:  10 cakes
 
Ingredients

1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
Vegetable oil, for frying
Powdered sugar, for topping

Directions

Boil water, butter, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Add flour and work it in until it is all incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. With mixer lowest speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and mixture is smooth, put dough in a piping bag fitted with a number 12 tip. Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan. Pipe dough into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once. Remove cake from oil, drain on paper towels, and top with powdered sugar. Continue until all of the batter is used.

Credit:  Alton Brown at Food

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What am I commemorating today?

July 10, 2012

The founding of Dublin, Ireland in 988,  represented by the raven banner of the Kingdom of Dublin.

In 988, Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill led the initial Irish conquest of Dublin. As a result the founding of Dublin is counted by some from the year 988, notwithstanding that a village has existed on the site of Dublin since before the Roman occupation of Great Britain nearly a thousand years earlier. Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill was dethroned by Brian Boru (1002–1014).

A short history of Dublin from the In Your Pocket Guide offers that,

The name Dublin comes from the Gaelic dubh linn or “black pool” – where the Poddle stream met the River Liffey to form a deep pool at Dublin Castle. The city’s modern name – Baile Áth Cliath – means the “town of the ford of the hurdles”. Ireland’s four principal routeways converged at a crossing place made of hurdles of interwoven saplings straddling the low-tide Liffey.

In spite of this venerable founding date, the area of modern Dublin has been occupied for at least 2000 years and was an early Norse settlement – indeed one of the longest Norse occupations outside of Scandinavia.

But settlement of this area goes back even further than the Vikings, witnessed by the Clare Dolman standing stones below:

All of this rich history contributed to the development of modern Dublin.