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Icelandic Holidays With Recipes

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Three Icelandic holidays happen this week: Bolladagur, Sprengidagur, and Öskudagur with two yummy foods to enjoy.

Monday, is Bolludagur (Bun Day or Cream Puff Day) in Iceland. Many people will get their fill of these delicious bollur treats.

Tuesday is called Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) or Shrove Tuesday. This is historically the last day people could eat meat before Langafasta (Lent). Many Icelanders will be eating a traditional meal: Saltkjöt og Baunir, (Salted Lamb or Horse and Split-pea Soup). My friends in Iceland say they make pönnukökur on this day, too.

Wednesday is Öskudagur (Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, ashes in small bags were secretly pinned on the clothing of people. Modern-day children dress up in costumes and sing in shops for treats. It is much like the North America Halloween.

Öskudagur is also a day for weather predictions. Whatever the day is on Wednesday, it will be the same for 18 more days.

Langafasta (Lent) starts Wednesday. In Iceland, the old folk tales say that even mentioning meat during Langafasta was forbidden. The fast of Lent lasts forty days in some traditions and ends just before Easter.


Bolludagur Buns 1 cup water 1/2 cup butter 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup flour 3 large eggs 1 cup whipping cream 2 Tbsp. vanilla 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar raspberry jam or other filling 8 ounces chocolate

Directions: Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large saucepan, stir together water, butter, salt and sugar on stove medium-high until butter melts. Add the flour and beat until thick. Remove pan from heat. Whisk or beat quickly the eggs into the batter. Drop the batter on a greased baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Do not open the oven during baking.

Cool on a rack. Whip cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Slice cooled buns in half. Fill with jam and cream with melted chocolate or other frosting as a glaze on top.

Saltkjöt og Baunir

Saltkjöt og Baunir (Salted Meat and Beans) ½ pound Yellow Split Peas 8 cups water 1 chopped onion ¼ pound chopped bacon 2-3 pounds of salted lamb meat (I use ham instead because lamb is hard to find here) 2 pounds rutabagas or potatoes …. or a mixture of 1/2 and 1/2 ½ pound carrots Salt, Pepper, and seasoning to taste

Simmer the peas and onion in a large covered pan for at least 45 minutes. Add bacon, lamb or ham, and cook for another 45 minutes. Add potatoes, rutabagas, and carrots. Simmer another 20-30 minutes depending on how much you like the vegetables cooked and how small your vegetable chunks are cut. Add seasoning to your taste.

YUM! Have a wonderful season of Lent, friends.

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