Easter is on a different date every year and was quite late this year. But nature sprung into action as usual providing us with hen, goose and duck eggs. Eggs are a symbol of Easter in the traditional sense. ‘Eostre’ is the Goddess of Spring, meaning new life after winter, and in the Christian sense representing the tomb.
We decorated our window with painted eggs. The colours and patterns on these represented life cycles. Eggs are a complete food and the variety we stocked offered not only novelty but different nutritional constituents. Those allergic to hens eggs can sometimes tolerate duck or goose eggs. Some people say duck eggs are richer and favour them for baking, probably because of the higher fat content. In Asia, goose eggs are believed to give special health to the unborn if eaten during pregnancy. They are certainly high in iron and folate.
We promoted traditional baking recipes for the month of April. With special offers on marzipan for Simnel cake. Simnel cake is a light spicy fruit cake dating from medieval times layered with marzipan and decorated with marzipan balls to represent Jesus and the Apostles ( a Victorian tradition). Our Easter Biscuit recipe was very popular. These spicy rounds were traditionally gifted on Easter Sunday. As an alternative to baking with eggs, our hot cross buns substituted egg with 1 tbsp ground flax and 3tbsp water to cater for vegans and allergies.
Sales of baking supplies, spices (for recipes and their medicinal value) and of course dairy free chocolate and eggs were good during this period. The people of Dorchester value being able to buy ingredients loose, and having recipes ready weighed out is all part of the Down To Earth service.
Some of our recipes are now available on downtoearthdorset.wordpress.com.