(Culinary) Customs

Enjoy some traditions from the English-speaking world!


This week have a look at a traditional Good Friday (Karfreitag) recipe.

A recipe

This is a very nice video that takes you to the British coast and gives you the chance to meet some British people preparing and selling pies as a popular snack during football games. 












Here's the recipe for one of the most popular British desserts: "Eton Mess" is very simple, but fit for a queen!

It seems that it was first served at Eton college at the annual cricket match against Harrow school. There are many explanations why the dessert is called "mess" - one being that it looks a bit messy (unordentlich). And that is certainly what is meant when media commentators speak of "Eton mess" when they refer to (sich beziehen auf) fighting conservative politicians (many of which studied at Eton). 
















Do you pay attention to (darauf achten) what people eat, cook and bake in the books you read? 

The lady in this beautiful and relaxing video will show you how to bake some goods from famous novels.





Have you ever tried or even baked Hot Cross Buns?

British people eat them all the time but especially during Lent (Fastenzeit) and they are traditionally for Good Friday (Karfreitag). 

In this video you find the true expert Mary Berry from the British TV show "The Great British Bake Off" explaining how you can make the perfect Hot Cross Buns. 


There are many recipes for Irish soda bread with slight variations - they are all yummy, and all best eaten fresh!

Those who have the chance to visit my bookshop "Sweet Things & Stories" on St. Patrick's Day will get a small homemade bread as long as stock lasts. If you can't drop by, here's the recipe I usually use, it's easy! Try it warm with salted butter, delicious!


225g flour (wheat or spelt=Dinkel)

225g wholemeal flour (Vollkornmehl)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda (Natron)

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons butter

1 tespoon sugar

350 ml buttermilk


Preheat oven to 190°C. Sieve flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Add butter and grind (zerreiben) it together with the flour mix with your fingers. Add the buttermilk and knead the soft mixture only very shortly, then put it on baking paper, sprinkle a little flour on top and cut a cross into it, then put it in the

oven for about 35 minutes (put a small water bowl on the floor of the oven). When you turn the bread and it sounds hollow when you knock on it it should be ready.  



I found this recipe for Welsh cakes on visit.wales.com (you can also watch the video above) and transferred the British measurement for you: 

You'll need these ingredients for 10-12 cakes:


about 225g self-raising flour (mix German flour with baking powder)

about 55g sugar

about 115g margarine or butter

1 or two handfuls of sultanas

one to two free range eggs




Sieve flour into bowl, then add margarine or butter, rub in finely together, add sugar and sultanas and mix.


Add one egg and mix, if the mixture is too dry and not bound together add the second egg.


Roll out on a floured board to about 6mm thick, cut with a (approximately) 5cm cutter then cook on a greased pan or bake stone on medium heat for about 4 minutes each side - they must be cooked in the middle but not become dry, so they should be springy but not wet to the touch.


When cooked dust with sugar and enjoy.

A tradition

What you can see in this video is a (very) special football game played on Shrove Tuesday and Asy Wednesday (Faschingsdienstag und Aschermittwoch) in Ashbourne in Great Britain. It is nothing for the faint-hearted (nichts für Zartbesaitete)!

Here two quotes (Zitat) from the comments:

"Only the British can achieve civilized violence in the midst of organized chaos" (Nur die Briten können inmitten eines organisierten Chaos zivilisierte Gewalt erreichen).

"As someone who lives nearby, can confirm that everyone knows someone who knows someone who has scored (or been hospitalised) at some point Shrovetide!" (Als jemand der in der Nähe wohnt, kann ich bestätigen, dass jeder irgendwen kennt, der irgendwann beim Shrovetide Spiel ein Tor gemacht hat oder ins Krankenhaus kam!)

If you want to learn more about the game try this page

If you're into tennis (wenn Du Dich für Tennis interessierst) you have certainly noticed that the most popular snack that is served during the tournaments (Turniere) at Wimbledon are strawberries with a bit of cream. 2019 you could get them (at least ten) for 2.50 pounds in a box called punnet. They are first quality strawberries that are collected the same day at 4 o'clock in the morning on farms in Kent. 

According to THE INDEPENDENT, the tradition to eat strawberries and cream together started in 1509 when a Cardinal served this combination at a banquet under Henry VIII.

Why is the dessert served at Wimbledon? You could already get it at the first tournament in 1877. Of course, strawberries are available in early summer  - just at the right time for Wimbledon. But they are also a traditional food for wealthy (reich) people: because they are perishable (verderblich) and not always available they became a luxury that Victotrians started to serve with the tea. 

Nowadays you can get strawberries all year long and in the video below you can see how famous tennis players eat them when they are in Wimbledon. 


World Book Day on April 23rd is a fantastic day for children in the UK because it's much more celebrated than in Germany. There are lots of events, readings and books for one GBP only and children also have special events at school and often dress up as (sich verkleiden) their favourite book characters. There's even a song for World Book Day! Watch this year's song in the video above! 

There's also a little song called "Hot Cross Buns". It was originally a street cry (Verkaufsruf) that the vendors (Verkäufer) in the streets used to sell their buns to the people.

Today it's a nursery rhyme (Kindervers) and it's often used in English classes because it's so simple.



St. Patrick's Day on March 17th is celebrated worldwide with parades and events, the one in Dublin is of course the most important one, being part of a four-day festival called "Awakening" this year. It usually also offers offers beer and whiskey stands, fun fairs and free live music while Irish monuments are spotlit in green light. This year, due to the pandemic, the parade will be mainly virtual and can be watched on SPV TV. However, a few of the biggest parades are taking place in New York, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Boston and London - and lots of the worldwide festivities will no way be cancelled but held differently: Dublin, OHIO, for example, had a "reverse parade" last Saturday, out in the fields, that could be watched by the people from inside their cars. No sweets were thrown, but activitiy packs for children could be downloaded and people were asked to wear their finest green clothes, decorate their cars, "bring their Irish Spririt" and share their pictures online. Until March 17th people in Dublin, Ohio, can still go and see an Irish exhibition, get a "Celtic Cocktail Trail Digital Pass" or search for Irish fairy doors in the shop windows downtown. 

In the above video, though, you'll find the "real thing", the live parade from 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. Enjoy. 





March 1st is St. David's day, David being the patron saint of Wales. Did you know that St. David's in Pembrokeshire is the smallest CITY (not a village) in Britain?

Although there'll be only online events this year in St. David's, the special day is usually celebrated with a whole series of events, among others a Dragon parade and a marathon. 

If you'd like to learn ,more you can watch the video above or follow this link.