Sunday, 31 March 2013

Hi Everyone
Below is the long awaited March Blog from Mrs P and her blog crew. This month the blog is all the work of Priyesh Mistry and Alex Holdcroft from 8P who have done a commendable amount of research about Easter and also have come up with a quiz for you to have a go at. Submit your answers when you return to school and have the chance to win some chocolate....

Hi everyone!
This is P.Mistry & A.Holdcroft – you may remember us from before Xmas – Mrs P’s blog team!
The theme this week is Easter and food. We have done some research into: Traditions across the world, Traditional foods, the history of different celebrations, and recipes.
There are even some really cheesy jokes but should give you a laugh. Then there is a multiple choice quiz with an Easter egg for the prize. Hand it in before Easter. Following the quick quiz, Mrs Phillips has another competition for you – a bit harder and worthy of a housepoint and some chocolate.
For Christians the egg is a symbol of Jesus' resurrection, as when they are cracked open they stand for the empty tomb. No-one actually knows when eggs were first used as symbols at festival times but it was long before Jesus' time. Eggs were always thought to be special because although they do not seem alive, they have life within them especially at springtime when chicks hatch out. Long ago people gave gifts of eggs carved from wood or precious stones. The first sweet eggs that were eaten were made in the last 100 years from sugar or marzipan. Since then chocolate eggs have become popular and these are given on Easter Sunday. After eating one, you’d better get some eggs-ercise!
Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime. Easter eggs are common during Eastertide as they symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus. Though an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life; similarly, the Easter egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe will also experience eternal life.

HistoryThe custom of the Easter egg originated amongst the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. The Christian Church officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection; in A.D. 1610, Pope Paul V proclaimed the following prayer:

“Bless, O Lord! we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance to thy faithful servants, eating it in thankfulness to thee on account of the resurrection of the Lord.”
Although the tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans. These eggs can be hidden for children to find on Easter morning, which may be left by the Easter Bunny. They may also be put in a basket filled with real or artificial straw to resemble a bird's nest.

Easter Egg Traditions

An egg hunt is a game during which decorated eggs, real hard-boiled ones or artificial ones filled with, or made of chocolate candies, of various sizes, are hidden for children to find, both indoors and outdoors. When the hunt is over, prizes may be given for the largest number of eggs collected, or for the largest or the smallest egg. Real eggs may further be used in egg tapping contests. Egg rolling is also a traditional Easter egg game played with eggs at Easter. In the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries children traditionally rolled eggs down hillsides at Easter.[9] This tradition was taken to the New World by European settlers, and continues to this day each Easter on the White House lawn. Egg dance is a traditional Easter game in which eggs are laid on the ground or floor and the goal is to dance among them without damaging any eggs[11] which originated in Germany. In the UK the dance is called the hop-egg.

Easter eggs for the visually impaired

Beeping Easter eggs are Easter eggs that emit various clicks and noises so that the visually impaired children can easily hunt for Easter eggs.
Some beeping Easter eggs make a single, high-pitched sound, while other types of beeping Easter eggs play a melody.
Since 2008, the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) have sponsored a nationwide charity campaign in the U.S., building beeping Easter eggs every year for visually impaired children.


Christian traditions

While the origin of Easter eggs can be explained in the symbolic terms described above, a sacred tradition among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ.The egg represents the boulder of the tomb of Jesus.
A different, but not necessarily conflicting legend concerns Mary Magdalene's efforts to spread the Gospel. According to this tradition, after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to the Emperor of Rome and greeted him with "Christ has risen," whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, "Christ has no more risen than that egg is red." After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red.

Parallels in other faiths

The egg is widely used as a symbol of the start of new life, just as new life emerges from an egg when the chick hatches out.
The ancient Zoroastrians painted eggs for Nowruz, their New Year celebration, which falls on the Spring equinox. The Nowruz tradition has existed for at least 2,500 years. The sculptures on the walls of Persepolis show people carrying eggs for Nowruz to the king.
There are good grounds for the association between hares (later termed Easter bunnies) and eggs, through folklore confusion between hares' forms (where they raise their young) and plovers' nests.
There are also parallels (though no direct connection) between the easter egg tradition and the celebration of Passover in Judaism, notable because in Christian tradition, Christ was celebrating Passover with his disciples on the evening before Good Friday. An egg is one of the components of a traditional Seder plate, a traditional centerpiece of the Passover meal. The tradition of hiding easter eggs for children to find is also similar to another Passover tradition, whereby the head of the household hides a piece of matza (the "afikomen") during the meal. After the meal, the children search the home for the afikomen, and are rewarded once it is found.

Egg-citing Simnel Cake!

Simnel cake is a light fruit cake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, one in the middle and one on top, that is toasted, and eaten during the Easter period in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other countries. It was originally made for the middle Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday; also known as Refreshment Sunday, Mothering Sunday, Sunday of the Five Loaves, and Simnel Sunday - after the cake. The meaning of the word "simnel" is unclear: there is a 1226 reference to "bread made into a simnel", which is understood to mean the finest white bread, from the Latin simila - "fine flour", though John de Garlande felt that the word was equivalent to placenta cake, a cake that was intended to please.
Conventionally eleven, or occasionally twelve, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, with a story that the balls represent the twelve apostles, minus Judas or Jesus and the twelve apostles, minus Judas. This tradition developed late in the Victorian era, altering the mid Victorian tradition of decorating the cakes with preserved fruits and flowers.


The cake is made from these ingredients: white flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fragrant spices, dried fruits, zest and candied peel.


Simnel cakes have been known since at least the medieval times. They would be eaten on the middle Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday (also known as Refreshment Sunday, Mothering Sunday, Sunday of the Five Loaves, and Simnel Sunday), when the forty day fast would be relaxed.[13] More recently, they became a Mothering Sunday tradition, when young girls in service would make one to be taken home to their mothers on their day off. The word simnel probably derived from the Latin word simila, meaning fine, wheat flour.
A popular legend attributes the invention of the Simnel cake to Lambert Simnel, but this is clearly false since the Simnel cake appears in English literature anyway.
Different towns had their own recipes and shapes of the Simnel cake. Bury, Devizes and Shrewsbury produced large numbers to their own recipes, but it is the Shrewsbury version that became most popular and well known.

Eggs-otic Koulourakia

Koulourakia are a traditional Greek dessert, typically made at Easter to be eaten after Holy Saturday.
They are a butter-based pastry, traditionally hand-shaped, with egg glaze on top. They have a sweet delicate flavor with a hint of vanilla. Koulourakia are well known for their sprinkle of sesame seeds and distinctive ring shape. In fact, the word is the diminutive form for a ring-shaped loaf or lifebelt. These pastries are also often shaped like small snakes by the Minoans, as they worshiped the snake for its healing powers.
Now the pastries can be shaped into braided circles, hairpin twists, figure eights, twisted wreaths, horseshoes or Greek letters, although they are still often shaped into a snake style. They are commonly eaten with morning coffee or afternoon tea. Like all pastries, they are normally kept in dry conditions in a jar with a lockable lid.
Often, a clove is added in the middle of the pastry for added flavor.

Easter Biscuit

Easter biscuits are a traditional British cuisine gift, given to guests on Easter Sunday.
Originating from the West Country, they are made from flour, butter, egg yolk, baking powder and sugar. Lightly spiced, the currant-studded soft and round biscuits have a soft, biscuity, sugary crunch. Some traditional recipes include Cassia oil.
Most often, they are slightly bigger than traditional British biscuits, at up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

Hot Cross Buns

A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday.


In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent, beginning with the evening of Mardi Gras (the evening before Ash Wednesday) through Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. They are believed by some to pre-date Christianity, although the first recorded use of the term "hot cross bun" was not until 1733.
It is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre (the cross is thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon);[2] "Eostre" is probably the origin of the name "Easter". Others claim that the Greeks marked cakes with a cross, much earlier.
In the reign of Elizabeth I of England (1592), the London Clerk of Markets issued a decree forbidding the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced breads, except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. The punishment for transgressing the decree was forfeiture of all the forbidden product to the poor. As a result of this decree, hot cross buns at the time were primarily made in home kitchens. Further attempts to suppress the sale of these items took place during the reign of James VI (1603-1625).


English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mold during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

Other versions

In the UK, the major supermarkets produce variations on the traditional recipe such as toffee, orange and cranberry, and apple and cinnamon.
In Australia and New Zealand, a chocolate version of the bun has become popular; there are also coffee flavoured buns sold in some Australian bakeries. They generally contain the same mixture of spices, but chocolate chips are used instead of currants.
In the Czech Republic, mazanec is a similar cake or sweet bread eaten at Easter time. It often has a cross marked on top.

The cross

The traditional method for making the cross on top of the bun is to use short-crust pastry; however, more recently recipes have recommended a paste consisting of flour and water.

Cadbury Crème Egg

A Cadbury Creme Egg is a chocolate product manufactured in the shape of an egg. The product is made up of a thick milk chocolate shell, with a white and yellow fondant filling which mimics the albumen and yolk of a real egg. Creme Eggs are the best-selling confectionery item between New Year's Day and Easter in the UK, with annual sales in excess of 200 million and a brand value of approximately £50 million.

Eggs-tra Recipies

For some Eggs-tra recipies, see Mrs P!

Eggs-treme Jokes!

What does the Easter Bunny get for making a basket?
Two points, just like the other basketball players.

How many Easter eggs can you put in an empty basket?
Only one. After that, it’s no longer empty.
How does Easter end?
With the letter R.

How do you know carrots are good for your eyes?
Because you never see a rabbit wearing glasses.

How did the soggy Easter Bunny dry himself?
With a hare dryer.

What do you call a rabbit with fleas?
Bugs Bunny.

How are rabbits like calculators?
They both multiply really fast.

If a rooster layed an egg on top of a hill, which side would it roll down?
Neither, roosters don’t lay eggs.

What kinds of beans never grow in a garden?
Jelly beans.

Why can't a rabbit's nose be twelve inches long?
Because then it would be a foot.

What do you get when you cross a bunny with an onion?
A bunion.

How can you tell which rabbits are the oldest in a group?
Just look for the gray hares.     

Now for the quiz....     
The Easter Bunny kindly provides us with eggs, but do you know why? Test your Easter food knowledge in our fun foodie quiz.
1. How long does Lent last for?
20 days
30 days
40 days

2. Why do we have eggs at Easter?

They are a symbol of rebirth
They taste nice
Jesus ate them at the last supper
3. Easter eggs only became chocolate this century, before that they were?
Made with lace
Carved from pancake batter
Painted bird eggs
4. The traditional roasted meat eaten at Easter is?
5. Which of these are traditional cakes made and eaten at Easter?
6. What is the traditional Christian date that Hot Cross Buns should be eaten on?
Shrove Tuesday
Good Friday
Palm Sunday
7. Paska is eaten as part of a traditional Easter meal in Eastern Europe. But what is it?
A type of chocolate egg
A type of baked egg
A type of bread
8. We all know that the Easter bunny kindly brings us eggs, but where did this rabbit symbol originate from?
It's the pagan emblem of fertility
Rabbits represent the disciples bringing food
They are the Russian symbol of peace
9. If you were celebrating Easter in Greece you'd be tucking into some nice Koullourakias. But what are these?
Bread sticks
Chocolate covered rabbit

10. If you were celebrating in America, the main dish of Easter Sunday to be tucked into is?

Now for Mrs P's challenge.
Write me a piece about why you enjoy cooking, making sure you use all the following words somewhere in your text. No more than one side of A4.
eggstraterrestial  (ET)