A friend has reliably informed me that the ribbon covered bush/stick things we saw in Austria are actually called Palmbuschen…   On Palm Sunday people take them to church to be blessed, and then take them back home to either display in their fields (where they will hopefully bring luck for good harvests for the coming year), or keep them indoors where they will take pride of place by the family crucifix.  Apparently they also protect the household against thunderstorms and disease.  We haven’t had much of a problem with thunderstorms yet, and even though we are not religious, I am beginning to think we could do with a palmbuschen what with the amount of bugs we have had so far this year…

Here in Bavaria another notable Easter tradition is the very sweet Osterlamm cake, that is also sometimes taken to church to be blessed (before being devoured after Easter lunch I expect).    I was the kind of child that would have wanted to keep one of these until it grew green “wool”, and my mother would have had to secretly dispose of it.   Knowing The Seven Year Old would probably feel the same way, I resisted the urge to buy one…

Although all these bushes and cakey lambs are all very well, and it’s lovely to experience the traditions of others,  there are certain English Easter things that I always miss each year.  Mostly (M&S) Hot Cross Buns.   Obviously they are quite hard to come across, so each year I resort to trying to make my own.  Experience proves that even if they are not quite up to scratch, they make the house smell great while they are baking, and this helps with the M&S deprivation somewhat (I have since discovered that the combination of my husband and the bread machine make a much more authentic bun, so it’s their job from now on)… !    The first batch I made didn’t look too bad though, so I subjected some German friends to them.   I also made them bacon rolls with HP Sauce, and insisted that they try Marmite.  I wonder if I will ever see them again?

Anyway, I will leave you with a few topical pictures taken recently.    Happy Easter!  I hope the Easter Hare (he is here anyway!) is good to you!


  1. says

    I remember palm crosses when I was a child going to church too. And I used to get the ash on my forehead too.
    I haven’t had a hot cross bun this year. Must put that right.

  2. Kelloggsville says

    M&S are doing a wholemeal one this year too which is glorious. I suppose the palmbuschen are the same idea as our palm crosses from palm sunday which was keep in the house all year then take back to church just before pancake day to be burnt into ashes for the ash Wednesday (day after shrove Tuesday) service.

    • bavaria says

      Jealous of the M&S hcb’s!!

      I had no idea about the palm crosses… Years ago when I was working in London, I remember people passing me one day with ash on their faces and wondering what on earth was going on… It was probably Ash Wednesday then? It’s only taken me 7 years to work this out!!

  3. says

    Was talking about hot cross buns with my brother last night and we were bemoaning that supermarket buns aren’t even half as good as those from the baker’s shop. Sadly the baker’s closed long ago and I haven’t found an alternative. Had thought about making my own, but will try the Marks’ ones first I think.

    • bavaria says

      I have to say, that the ones made in the machine are suprisingly good, and definitely worth a try! If you have an M&S nearby you could do a taste test!! :)

  4. says

    The M&S mini hot cross buns are the best, great size for the kids and available all year round.. Another thing to miss.. Never thought of using a bread maker to make them, another reason to get hubbie to buy me one…. Happy Easter….

    • bavaria says

      I had forgotten about them… It’s worth getting a bread maker for these alone, trust me!… Happy Easter (:

  5. says

    I’ve never heard of Palmbuschen – learn something new every day! I just have to say that – in addition to enjoying what you have to say on your blog (and how you say it) – I just love your photography! I wish I had your eyes!
    Happy Easter!


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