For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bunnies and Hares

Maybe one day, one year, I'll do an extensive blog about the symbolisms surrounding Easter. There are so many and they tell such interesting stories about different cultures, different beliefs, different people.
But this post is only about our personal Easter symbolisms. It takes a bit of explaining, so if you'll bear with me...
In Holland there is no such thing as an Easter Bunny. We have an Easter Hare. For different reasons, that I'll not go into now.
About thirty years ago (waah, yes, that long!) I met Ken in a pub in Arnhem, where I used to work weekends and holidays at that time. The pub was called Café 't Haasje, which means as much as 'The Hare' (no hounds involved). It was an English style pub, residence of the Storyville Jazzclub.
In March 1979 Ken and I got married in a free registry-office wedding, no special wedding dress, no big reception, no big crowds. But we did want to throw a big party and the owner of 't Haasje kindly offered us the use of his pub.
It was wonderful and very special to celebrate our wedding in the place where we'd met.

The invitation we sent out for this party had a beautiful drawing of a hare on it, and we were given quite a few hares in different forms and shapes as wedding presents. One of them was a mould of a hare, and I'm sure it was meant to make the traditional Dutch 'speculaas', a type of spiced biscuit. But although it has been a centre piece in our kitchen for all those years, I've never used it.
So now you know what special role the (Easter) Bunny/Hare plays in our lives...

For the past couple of years Owen has been trying to use the mould to make a chocolate Easter Bunny/Hare. He didn't want any help with it, he had his own ideas about how to do it. Somehow they never came out as he wanted them too, but luckily he'd find comfort in eating the results...
Last year he took the mould to a chocolate making workshop and tried to make a one with milk, black and white chocolate at the same time. The person who gave the workshop tried to instruct him, but he said he'd rather do it 'his own way'. We had a very interesting chocolate jigsaw bunny/hare for Easter.
This year Owen decided to do it differently. He phoned his Granny and asked her advice. Then he melted milk chocolate only, made sure the mould was in a stable position, closed the bottom end with alufoil and then carefully poured the melted chocolate in.
He left it overnight in a cool place and made sure it had set the next morning. Then he poured steaming water in the ovendish that he'd used to stabilize the mould, held the mould over it for a few seconds and - lo and behold! - a perfectly shaped milk chocolate Easter Bunny/Hare came out! In one piece!
He's every so proud and asked me to take photo's. So I did. And as I now know how to blog them, I'll share them:).

The master at work. The melted chocolate has been poured into the mould and is being straightened.

The fantastic result and the mould it was made in.

The problem now obviously is: What next? As much as Owen likes chocolate, he can't really bring himself to eating this Easter Bunny/Hare. But somehow, I'm sure his love for chocolate will win. After all, he's got these beautiful photo's as a reminder.

Oh, and the educational value of all this? Well... clearly that would be that learning through trial and error is all very well, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with asking the expert help of someone who's done it before... ;;.)))

But we don't need to tell Owen. He's found that out all by himself.

1 comment:

lucy said...

What a fantstic hare! Well done to owen - lots of skills learned there I think :)