The Local Flea Market

Yesterday was a big day in our little village of 300 inhabitants: The yearly flea market was held in the premises of the school.

Let me tell you a little bit about this school. There are two types of schools in Denmark, state-schools and private-schools. For a lot of years state-schools dominated, but at some point some cut-backs were necessary in the budget, and numerous state-schools were closed, mostly in small villages, like ours. So the state-school that operated here was shut down about 10 years ago, and you can guess the effect it had on the village: Families with small children moved away to be closer to the school, no new families moved in, the population started to grow old and rare. So, like in many other places, a foundation was set up to start a new, private school in the old building, 3 years ago. Our school has a young inspector (who happens to be our next-door neighbour), many dedicated teachers, classes from 0 to 9, maximum 17 students per class, a sports hall, a playground, and it puts a big emphasis on creativity, music, and motion. With the reopening of the school life, new, young families, children returned to the village. The school is about 200 metres from our doorsteps, and was a very highly weighted factor when we were contemplating buying the house. It is in our, and everyone’s interest, that the school is running nicely. But of course, being a private school, it doesn’t get financial help from the state. It is dependent on the foundation and all the help of the parents: donations, weekends spent by parents working on the playground, or cleaning the school.

The flea market is organised by the school’s support association, and parents do all the work on it. We don’t belong to this group of parents yet, as our children are too young for school, but in a few years we are going to be one of them, so we decided to help out with the market. We donated a few things we don’t need anymore (unused, outgrown toys, clothes, etc.), my husband helped unloading all the trailers that kept coming with all the stuff for 3 days, and I helped organising, pricing and selling them. It was great fun, a good way to meet new people, and had a good meaning to it: every penny earned by the flea market goes to the school. Last year they raised a huge amount of money, and I don’t have this year’s figures yet, but I think it was very successfull again.

flea market

Also, I am a sucker for flea markets. I love to go and look and find hidden treasures, plus save some money. Being part of the “crew” meant that we could all take a good look at the selection in forhand, choose our favourite items, and put them aside for ourselves.

Let me introduce you to my new baby: A beautiful, perfectly working Columbine II sewing machine 🙂

columbine

She was a very hard choice, because she had to fight for me with an older Singer and a Husqvarna model, but she won, and came home with me after I paid some ridiculous amount for it.

My other favourite find is this charming, old breadcutter, as you can see it on the logo, the manufacturer is an official supplier of the Danish Royal Court. My breadcutter could be exactly the same as the Queen’s 🙂 Anyway, I am not sure I’m going to use it for cutting bread or just for keeping my cooking books on it…

raadvad

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Happy Birthday To Her!

The day that changed everything: 4 years ago today, when Cherry was born.

Baby Cherry

Start of a new era, start of a new time : parenthood. Some say there was life before that day, but I don’t really remember. How did I spend the first 26 years of my life? – Mystery…

And when did this tiny little baby become the big, beautiful, clever, cheeky girl who blew the four candles today on her birthday cake? – No idea…

SAMSUNG CSC

Happy birthday my little squirrel, I love you 🙂

A Snowy Easter and the Perfect Milk Loaf

I have been absent for a while from my little blog. I had a good reason: My parents were visiting us for the Holidays, and since I see them so rarely, I’d rather spend the time with them than with my computer when I have the chance 🙂

I picked them up at the happiest place on Earth  about two weeks ago, and I dropped them off at the saddest place on Earth this Sunday: the same airport. I am turning 31 this year, but after I saw my Mummy and my Daddy off at the security check, I went to the lady’s room, locked myself in a cubicle, and simply cried my heart out. Once I felt fit enough I washed my face and went to the car and drove home, knowing that I am not going to see them for 3 months…

However we had a wonderful time while they were here, even though the weather was far from Spring. Like everywhere else in Europe, poor Easter Bunny had to lay the eggs in the snow this year.

wintereaster

It didn’t stop us feel all eastery and decorate the whole house with eggs and flowers.

decoreggs

And Saturday we had the traditional Easter dinner, Hungarian style: ham, cooked eggs, and braided milk loaf 🙂 A little bit of Denmark was also represented in the form of tiny chicken tartelets:)

eastertable

Milk loaf is the best yeast dough you can find, something between a bread and a cake, and it cannot be missing from our Easter table. Usually you can buy beautiful milk loafs in any Hungarian baker shop, but Danes don’t bake such a thing, so I had to turn to my cookbook and used the recipe of my great-granny to create some milk loaf for us.

Milk Loaf

My favourite thing in Easter Milk Loaf is the raisins popping up in it, but my husband cannot stand raisins in any kind of baked product, so I decided to make one of the loafs without raisins, and instead I put some cocoa powder in one of the braids. My kids simply loved the results, Cherry basically only ate milk loaf with honey for the two days while the loafs lasted.

I tought I will share the old family recipe with you, because milk loafs are a treat for a birthday breakfast, for Easter, for Christmas or just because 🙂

Milk Loaf Recipe:

  • 1 kg flour
  • 40 g yeast
  • 4 eggyolks
  • 150 g margarine
  • 100 g sugar
  • 7 dl milk
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Put the flour in a big bowl. Take 4 dl of the milk, warm it up a little, stir in  2 tablespoon of the sugar and crumble the yeast in it. Cover the milk and the yeast will appear in the form of foam on the top within 8-10 mts. Now make a little hole in the middle of the flour with your hand, pour in the yeasty milk, stir in a little bit of the flour around the hole (this is called the sourdough), sprinkle some extra flour on top, cover the bowl, put it in a warm spot and leave the sourdough rise.

dough

Once it has risen a bit, warm up the rest of the milk and melt the margarine.  Pour the milk on the soursough, add the rest of the sugar, the eggyolks, and finally stir in the melted margarine, bit by bit.

The dough should be shiny and airy. Sprinkle some flour on top again, cover the bowl and leave it to rise. It should rise up pretty high, about double as high as it was, within about half an hour.

Now sprinkle some flour on your worksurface, and pull the dough out of the bowl. It is sticky and thin, but don’t worry, that is the way it should be, just put some flour on your hands, and it makes it easier to work with the dough. Make 6 rolls out of it, and if you want to add something extra to the different braids (like raisins, dried fruit or cocoa powder), now is the time. Take one roll by its two ends and spin them into opposite directions. Repeat the same with all of the rolls.

braided

Now braid 3 rolls together, and the other 3 rolls together. Put them in greased bread forms, or you can put them next to each other in an ordinary cake form as well.  Now cover them again and leave them to rise. Once they have risen close up to the edge of the form, grease them with some whipped egg and put them to the warm oven.

baked

Bake them on cca. 175 C for about 40-45 minutes. Enjoy 🙂

raisins and cocoa