Happy Easter wherever in the world you may be spending it. Last year I spent Easter in Paris, but this year it was an authentic Easter at home. First of all, I made a feast on Sunday, which was delicious and nearly caused a food-induced coma. The aftermath was lying spread eagle on the bed groaning like one should on a holiday Sunday after a gigantic meal. There was roasted chicken, because they don’t really sell Turkey in Brussels and if they did there definitely would have been a few unconscious afterward. There was potato salad, eggplant salad, and HOT CROSSED BUNS!!! Yum. (For any European readers, hot crossed buns are comparable to “Cozonac”- Romania, “Panettone” – Italy, or “Cougnou” – Belgium).
I went all out this year and even colored some eggs. Before doing so, I did not do any research online to see all the possibilities. I went to the simple cook and then dip in a solid color. Some of them turned out ok, but the green and the yellow eggs looked distasteful. While waiting for the eggs to get color from sitting in a bath of dye, I looked online and found many creative and beautiful ways of dying eggs. Next year I’m so boiling red cabbage and using the colored water to dye the eggs. I will just need to find some other vegetables that will naturally color the water.
Before Easter weekend started, having taken Good Friday off work since it is not a statutory holiday in Belgium, I had already done my chocolate shopping. The only problem was that I had left it too late before Easter and the fancy Belgian chocolate shop I usually go to was sold out of little bags of coloured eggs. Never before have I had an Easter without those little colored chocolate eggs…well maybe when I was in Paris, but that doesn’t count.
So I bought some little chocolate bunnies and chicks. They were so cute that it wasn’t an Easter tragedy. And when I came home the Easter bunny had already came for me….maybe because of the time difference in Belgium (8 hours ahead of my hometown in Western Canada – Not Quebec), he got confused?
He brought me a big chocolate bunny and some other hollowed chocolate eggs. In his confusion the Easter bunny must have forgot to hide some Easter eggs around the house because I couldn’t find any. And so the Easter egg hunt began. I put on the sandals because it has be +23 degrees at least in the past few days (Its April and I already have a tan!) and I went to hunt for some eggs. It was Saturday, the day before Easter and it was also 6:30 at night or I should say 18:30, the European way of telling time, which is the “normal” time that all the stores close. So I knew my chances were slim. Luck would have it that two of the chain grocery stores will still open.
I went to the first grocery store “Carrefour” and went directly to the whole aisle of chocolate and candy, found in every grocery store in Brussels. In the entire 30 foot wall of chocolate, there was not one Easter chocolate. Not even a little chick or bunny. I turned the corner and found a sad looking cardboard stand which had small boxes and a big plastic egg with tiny snickers bars and other American chocolate bars. Uhhhh no.
On to the next grocery store: Delhaize. This one was better; there were about five separate cardboard stands throughout the store all with different types of chocolates. One had a bunny-shaped cardboard box with wrapped chocolates inside, but they were square not egg-shaped. There were chocolate chickens and rabbits, but no eggs to be found. Debating on whether I would find any more selection in another store, I almost bought a box of individually wrapped chocolates, but they weren’t what I wanted. I had lots of chocolate at home already. I needed eggs!
So on to the night shops. These convenient stores stay open past 7:00pm and they usually have some pretty good stuff. Some shops I could tell just looking through the window that they didn’t have Easter eggs so I went past. I checked a total of five night shops before deciding to go across the city to one of the night shops I knew had the colorfully wrapped chocolate eggs.There was one more nigh shop within walking distance so I stopped in. Low and behold they had Easter eggs, BUT they were “Milka” brand and thus the eggs were all wrapped in the same pastel purple foil. Hmmmm. The hunt was becoming over the top and having found some form of Easter eggs, I bought 3 bags of the Milka eggs.
In the end the Milka eggs did the trick and they are far more delicious that the regular color-wrapped Easter eggs. Next year, I will plan ahead. Note to self: buy Easter eggs EARLY! One week ahead or more should do it.