January 27, 2014

Baby is Here and a Dutch Tradition - Beschuit met Muisjes

ismoyo's vintage playground - Newborn baby announcement - vintage suitcase - photo inspiration
In between changing diapers and trying to get some sleep, i am very happy to introduce our newborn son to the world.
It's been a long and rough ride getting here, but we made a wish and he came true.
ismoyo's vintage playground - Dutch newborn baby tradition - beschuit met muisjes
The baby is a mix of Afro American, Dutch and Asian heritage. And daddy and me are planning on incorporating the good things of all the cultures in his bloodstream.
Starting with a classic Dutch tradition that started in the Middle Ages. In the Netherlands the birth of a baby is celebrated with "Beschuit met Muisjes". Rusk-like rounds of twice baked bread topped with butter and sugar covered aniseed. "Muisjes" translates into "Little Mice". The aniseed are called this because of their shape and sometimes the little stem sticks out resembling the tail of a mouse. Depending on the gender of the baby, the muisjes are either white and blue, or white and pink. The anise is thought to stimulate milk production, and symbolizes fertility.
The tradition is that when family and friends come over to see the newborn for the first time, or when mommy or daddy goes to visit the workplace during maternity leave to show off the new baby, the people are treated to Beschuit met Muisjes. Older siblings also bring them to school to share with their classmates. (sidenote, be very careful eating this Dutch treat, the muisjes are rock hard and can cost you a filling or chip a tooth. Second sidenote, i don't know anyone who actually likes eating beschuit met muisjes)
Muisjes are sold in every supermarket in the Netherlands and i am amazed that the Ruijter company is the only company making them.

I have to thank my best friend who came to visit me in NY very early in my pregnancy for bringing me two boxes of Muisjes. One pink and one blue (at the time we didn't know the gender of our bundle yet).

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