Easter: Family, Food and Pomp

This week we are talking about what Easter traditions we may have.

Mine are in flux.

I was raised in a non-religious household. We didn’t celebrate Christian holidays as much as we celebrated on Christian holidays. Easter was no exception.

My mother put on a spread for Easter and at least one aunt and uncle would come in, but it was never the feast as we had for Christmases and Thanksgivings. And unlike those holidays, the menu varied.

What never varied was coloring Easter eggs on Holy Saturday. That is something which I continue to this day, first with my sons and now with whatever grandchildren I can grab. (Sometimes, with the grandkids, we have to do it on Good Friday.)

I used to do Egg Hunts with my kids, over and over. They never tired of it. They loved the game so much that we did a hunt with differently sized and colored hearts cut from construction paper for St. Valentine’s Day, and the same with shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day.

With the grandkids, I moved the egg hunts outside, (the weather usually cooperated). I changed the eggs to plastic, to which I added small, wrapped candies one year, but it still was a mess. I moved to coins,( from 3 pennies up to quarters), per egg. If any kid’s booty was much below the others’ haul, I made it up to them. Alas, I think they find themselves beyond this. (Bet f I could afford folding money in the eggs it would get their interest!)

Another thing that never varied when I was a kid was the imported, beautiful Easter baskets stuffed with all kinds of Easter candy, and a big chocolate bunny for my brother and for me, with a white chocolate one for my sister. (My beautiful, tiny, imported closing basket was eaten into by a mouse who smelled the remnants of candy in the attic one year. Then I was given a standard American one, but it was bigger!)
How I loved the Pecan Eggs, with white, fluffy filling. I haven’t found anything anywhere near to how good those were, even though I have searched for many decades.
I often got a stuffed animal, as well.

When I grew up and found faith,(or it found me), I entered the Catholic Church immersed myself into the rituals that were available: Holy Thursday with its remembrance of Christ’s suffering for us, as well as Good Friday and on the first Holy Saturday Easter vigil of that year, I was baptized, Confirmed and made my First Communion. I continued to go to the rather big pomp and circumstance of Easter Vigil for years. None of the celebrations were done as deeply and well as it was in Northern VA. It probably no longer is these days anyway.

When my sons came along, I continued many of the traditions, but the long hours at the long ceremonies were impractical with little ones. Also, by then my husband often had to work part time on Easter, so the menu was something easy to have ready and cook quickly, but be special. I generally made lasagna. We went to church whenever it was possible, whether the night before or Easter Day. I had gotten into really baking and getting creative with cookies and cakes by then, along with fancy candies.

When we moved to Kentucky and Joe no longer had to work on Easter, I started having dinners which were a little bigger. When my mother was still with us, we’d join with my family after they moved here. I had a ball getting fancy foods ready. It was not as much fun when I worked cooking for big businesses, where I could use little of my creativity, but with the small places and my own, I let myself go.
After a time, daughters-in-law ad grandchildren joined the feasts here.

Now, the family keeps scattering.

I really don’t know who will be here this year, but I am getting food ready for what looks like two separate dinners, Turkey breast and ham, with a number of vegetable sides. I won’t make as many goodies. The kids have gotten what they consider too big for baskets and the dads, (my sons), are not keen on all the sugar. I have crafty-things for the girls and a tee shirt for the grandson. I’ll probably throw an apple pie together. There will be some cookies,(two types only).I made a small chocolate cake and, as always, an ice cream cake for my husband, who eats no goodies during Lent. Ice cream cake is his favorite indulgence, but for the past few years I have changed from the 3-D lamb with homemade candy flowers to an easy Easter Egg shape. The hardest bunny and/or egg shaped work and candies are not going to be here; no one will be around long enough to eat them anyway. I am going to make enough to enjoy myself, but not over-do. It will be easy to make the girls their bunny-shaped chiffon and per his request, bunny made of the Rice Krispy bar recipe for the grandson.

Life changes, ebb and flow
Places change and children grow
Days pass by; they are ago
God is guiding, this I know.

I hope you have a blessed and happy Easter.

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About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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10 Responses to Easter: Family, Food and Pomp

  1. jeff7salter says:

    all that food in your final paragraph makes my mouth water.
    And just reading the word “lasagna” reminds me of how much I miss a good, real, meat lasagna, with actual noodles (yeah, the kind loaded with gluten). Lasagna used to be my go-to meal and one of the best I’ve ever tasted was in a little diner on Milam Street in downtown Shreveport. It wasn’t much more than a hole in the wall… of a crumbling building constructed around 1900. None too clean, either. But they surely could toss together lasagna. And, yes, it was an Italian family who ran/owned the joint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hardly make actual lasagna any more, ( ‘lasagna’ means the flat type of pasta). What I usually do is use the same recipe, but put the cheese mixture into large pasta shells.It takes a little longer to make, but it is easier to serve. You might try the newer gluten-free pasta out there .They are improving them and the makings of lasagna are flavorful enough to help them, too.
      When one of my sons was a teen he had gotten a bad flu and dehydrated, so we had to put him in the hospital. He was there overnight and doing OK, but didn’t feel like eating.Our doctor had left orders that as soon as he ate and the nurses saw that he was doing well, I could take him home. A nun I have never seen before or since came in. She was older and Italian, so the conversation turned to food.I told her about stuffing the shells. The talk made my son hungry, so he rang for the nurse, ate and a couple of hours later, he was home.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    The kitchen is one room I’ve never spent much time in. Cooking and baking are your gifts, and I’m sure your loved ones appreciate that. You and your family definitely bond over food, and it sounds like this holiday will be full of delicious treats. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Patty.I have rhythm and MAYBE could have handled percussion, but girls just did not do that when I was a kid. What I am saying is, Don’t look to me for music! We all have talents.
      I rather had no choice, though.I was my mother’s kitchen slave, and she never let me give second-best. People are still talking about her food.

      Like

  3. On the holidays I imagine the tables prepared at your house and long to get to that point someday. Everything you make sounds so wonderful! Wyatt wanted a rice crispies treat but it is not something that I can make, every time I have attempted it has never been quite right.
    The hunts sound like fun.
    Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Easter, Angela! I have heard people say that they have trouble with Rice Krispy Treats and I never understood,until I had not made them in a while and used the recipe on the box: they seem to have changed it.I think they wanted to cut back on the fat and sugar, but golly, it’s the nature of the beast!
      Try using a little less of the cereal, (or increase the amount of butter/margarine). I also put a tiny bit of vanilla in with the melting marshmallows.
      BTW, I still do it on the stovetop.It’s sticky, but the microwave just doesn’t do a good job with the marshmallows.

      Like

  4. Joselyn says:

    I’ve always used plastic eggs for the kids’ egg hunt. The first year, our dog found half the eggs before the kids could and ate the candy out.

    Liked by 2 people

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