Religion-based guest post week continues! On Tuesday, my childhood friend Heidi-ho posted on Passover Traditions. Today, close friend of the Natoris (Junior and Senior) Georgia Frasch shares her Easter Traditions. Enjoy!
Having grown up in a staunchly Catholic household (I am now Episcopalian. What’s the difference? I have no idea. I’m radical that way). I am well versed in the vicissitudes of Easter Tradition, secular and sacred.
I have never quite reconciled myself to the relationship between dead person coming back to life and bunnies- so I am just gonna go with the happy, pastel version of Easter! Somewhat.
Ham and lamb are traditional Easter meals. I find it inconceivable that a nice Jewish boy like Jesus would have come within 40 feet of a plate full of pork but lamb has always been the symbol of sacrifice- as in Abraham, who had to sacrifice his son. In our family, we like to present a ‘Pascal butter lamb’ on Easter and then my siblings and I would fight over who got to chop off it’s head.
Butter aside, I do serve lamb at Easter, along with asparagus and parsleyed new potatoes…all foods that herald the onset of Spring. But let’s be real….Easter isn’t about the dinner…it’s about the candies and desserts!
I somehow missed the crafty gene and I attribute this to the fact that I was asked to leave my Brownie troop in 2nd grade. So I am in complete awe and reverence for people like Amy Atlas who recently presented some of these fabulous Easter inspired desserts on her blog.
As aforementioned, I am more of a wordsmith and not quite as adept with a Bundt pan but me n’ the kids…we somehow manage. In our house, we love to take a classic butter cookie recipe and adapt it for the holidays…in December, we make Santas and reindeer, but for Easter, we shift to these sweet, Easter themed cookie cutters and frost them in shades of the season.
Classic Sugar Cookie
* Heat oven to 350 degrees
Cookie Dough Ingredients:
* 1.5 cups of sugar
* 1.5 sticks of butter- softened to room temperature
* 2 eggs at room temperature
* 1 tsp. of vanilla
* 4 tsp. of milk
* 4 cups of flour
* 1 tsp. of baking powder
* ½ tsp. of salt
* Cream butter and sugar together.
* Beat eggs and vanilla into the mixture
* Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
* Add flour mixture to eggs and sugar, alternating with milk.
* Form dough into a ball and then flatten into a disc. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for one hour. Dough can be frozen at this point, just put in a zip lock freezer bag and thaw when ready.
* Roll out dough to ¼” thickness on a well floured board.
* Cut dough with floured cookie cutters.
* Place on greased sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are browned. Frost once cookies have cooled.
* 1.5 cups of Confectioners’ sugar
* 3 tbls. Softened butter
* 1 tbls. Vanilla
* 1 tbls. Milk
* Food coloring-be judicious with the food coloring..a little goes a long way, start by putting one drop at a time until you reach the desired hue.
* Combine sugar, butter, vanilla and milk until creamy. Thin with a few more drops of milk if necessary. Add food coloring and spread over cooled cookies.
And then there is the Egg Hunt……growing up, we would color the eggs using the saved skins of boiled red onions which produced a wildly Bordeaux hue . Then along came the 70’s and we bought the box of Pas and started dipping. For many years, our parents would hide these eggs around the house and on Sunday morning we would race with glee, throughout the rooms, searching for the eggs. Until the one year when we couldn’t find all that were hidden. For days. And then the scent led us to the hiding place of the malodorous culprit. After that, we went with plastic.
In our household, we like to use the coloring of eggs as an excuse to par-tay!
And then……Easter Sunday arrives and we hit pay dirt…the Bunny Doth Cometh…….and don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out but presenting young children with a straw hamper filled with pure sugar products, early, is never the best idea. I have since switched over to creating baskets of goodies filled with useful, yet fun gifts….flip flops, sunscreen and sunglasses to start off the season, books, new packages of brightly colored underwear (Gap does the best), a few new sand box toys, books, packets of flower seeds with little clay pots, craft kits……and of course, chocolates! Not wanting to be remembered as a Scrooge once I am six feet under, I scatter a few candies over the whole, hot mess, wrap it up in cellophane and then hide the baskets around the house so the kids can search when they awaken….
But the candies…oh…the candies….who doesn’t love the Holy Trifecta of Easter candies? Peeps, chocolates and jelly beans!! Who doesn’t smile at a fluffy yellow chick? Especially if said fluffy, yellow chick is made of marshmallows and come 12 to a pack? Ever have a Lindt, chocolate bunny? Best if kept in freezer and nibbled on, after 11PM, part by part. Start with ears. Work your way down. And speaking of all things sacred and profane, jelly beans now come in assorted, GOURMET flavors!
Our family always attends church on Easter Sunday. My girls get new Easter dresses and in lieu of the classic bonnet, we opt for headbands. For our son? Well, we just try to be sure he does not wear a sports themed tee shirt. We have learned to lower the bar. Since it is very rare that we get all three dressed up, I always try to snap a photo before they scatter in different directions. Some year’s pictures are better than others but this is my favorite one. For obvious reasons.
…..that awful moment when you realize that you have tucked your Easter dress into your underpants……….. HAPPY EASTER!!!!!
Thanks Georgia! Love you loads! And I hope everyone has/had a wonderful Easter/Passover. Have a great weekend!