Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Biscuit with Little Mice

Two weeks ago, we went to visit our friends who had just received a son. I love babies and children, so wherever they are, there I’ll be. I do not know how to describe it but somehow being with them makes me feel young and silly again. I could just play with them for hours. I could cuddle babies till they fell asleep in my arms. They are the sweetest, most honest beings.

So, all the time when I was there, I was served with tea and a kind of biscuit slathered with butter and sprinkled with drizzles of white and blue mini balls. It was nothing like I ever tasted before. It was different, nothing like you will ever expect from a biscuit, so to speak. And I was right because it is more than just a biscuit. The lady of the house mentioned the name of the biscuit to me but having an attention span of a two year old did not do justice to my memory. After several futile attempts of Googling ‘masjmosje’, absolutely nothing came up.

When G came for dinner days later, I had my curiosity answered. It was actually ‘Beschuit met muisjes*’. However, not many know that muisjes is actually served when a family received a newborn daughter or son. If it’s a son the drizzles will be blue and white. If it’s a daughter, it will be pink and white. If suddenly you see orange muisjes sold in the supermarket, it means that a child is born into the royal House of Orange. According to Wikipedia, the tradition of celebrating a birth with beschuit met muisjes dates back to the 17th century. At that time the muisjes* were white for a boy. Later this changed to blue. It was thought that the anise was good for the mother's milk and ease the contractions in the womb. It was also believed to ward off evil spirits. The name 'muisjes' was derived from their resemblance to the shape of a mouse, with the stem of the anise seed resembling a tail, as well as the fact that the mice was seen as a fertility symbol. How bizarre!! (look closely at the image) At first I thought, they were in shape of sperms which reminds me of the film The Switch where Kassie, played by Jennifer Aniston organized an insemination party. She then sends the invitation cards with tiny cut-outs of sperms which disperses when the card is opened. LOL!

So how would you like your biscuit? With little mice on top, alstublieft*!

*Beschuit met muisjes: biscuit with little mice

*Muisjes: pronounced 'moeshes' which means little mice

*Alstublieft: please

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