Updated: Jan 16, 2020
Are you making cream puff buns today? Here are a few details and recipes about the Icelandic Holidays this week. Share a variation or a story about your families traditions surrounding Lent.
Today, is Bolludagur (Bun Day or Cream Puff Day) in Iceland. Many people will get their fill of these delicious bollur treats. The children try to wake up before their parents and spank the parents in bed with brightly colored paper wands. The children yell, "Bolla, bolla" (Bun, bun). The number of spanks equals the number of cream-buns they will get that day. A recipe for making your own buns is at the bottom of this post.
Tuesday is called Sprengidagur (Bursting Day), Fat Tuesday, 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). The recipe is at the bottom of the post. 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 - this week it coincides with Valentine's Day. 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, which is Sunday, April 1st this year.
See a few recipes below. Share your variations with our readers, too!
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 (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.