• KH

A Latvian Easter in London

Updated: Feb 11

Usually, for me in Australia, Easter weekend would consist of 4 days of a non-stop party. My friends and I would usually go to the beach, on a boat or to pool party of some sort. I’ve always enjoyed it and looked forward to a long weekend where all my friends and I were not working although it was not traditional at all. Traditional for us maybe but not in the religious sense or we cooked and did activities together.

This Easter long weekend was a bitter pill to swallow with temperatures in London soaring to 26 degrees yet none of us being able to get together with family and friends to enjoy it. That being the case I decided that I wanted to do at least some activities at home so Didzis being from Latvia, told me the more traditional activities he used to do growing up. Cooking traditional Latvian dishes, dying eggs with natural dyes that you can find in the kitchen and garden and having egg wars with the final product.

We collected all our natural flowers and leaves in a park nearby, set up our egg dying station and became very creative with our styles. You put the onion skins in a small cloth ( I cut up an old shirt ) and throw anything in there from blueberry jam for colour, leaves and chilli flakes for pattern, then cover the entire egg with onion skins, close it up tightly with yarn and put it in the bowl to boil for 20 minutes. Once unwrapped, glaze it with butter for shine.

Some of the dishes we made were Pīrāgi (bacon pie). A simple traditional Latvian dish with only 4 ingredients. Ham lardons, onion, pepper and pastry. Cheese salad and a Latvian layered salad with tuna. Basically, everything that makes my heart stop at the thought of all the dairy, but It was delicious to indulge in. We had so much food between two that it took us a couple days to get through it all.

It wasn’t the usual Easter where I see my friends and enjoy the sun, but it was so nice to try something new and incorporate new traditions to our Easter. The egg dying was so much fun I will definitely be doing it every year when we have our own children.

What are you Easter traditions?