I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 18, 2014

Back in the Day: An Ohio Easter

 Hi guys! Happy Holidays, Happy Easter, Happy Passover.
Welcome, Spring!

 [You can just enjoy the pictures of my house's decorations, if my childhood rambling is a ZZzzzz, ;-) ]

I suppose almost all cultures that experience seasons have a springtime ritual, a time to celebrate winter's end and the coming warm days ahead.
My friend L and I were out and busy yesterdayday, shopping for the weekend. BJ's [like Costco?] and Target yielded wonderful spring produce and fun bright scarves and shorts. Target was especially fun,because there were a number of happy, excited, younger than us moms and daddies with shopping carts brimful of Easter Basket makings.

My Easter menu is easy.... Crock pot pulled pork, requested by my kids instead of the traditional roast pork I love. The kids bring home Vermont maple syrup pulled pork sauce every winter for this dish they love. And a crisp sweet slaw made with broccoli straws, shaved brussel sprouts, and matchstick julienned apple. A raspberry vinaigrette dressing, maybe  a bit of pancetta, for a salty touch . BJ's had very nice pancetta, in bulk of course. I see a lot of pasta carbonara in our futures....

And of course we will have devilled eggs. A tradition in our household. This year my daughter chose a recipe from the Easter issue of Martha Stewart Living which calls for watercress and horseradish in the eggs' filling. Hmmm. Martha, c'mon, how likely am I to find watercress here? I'll let you know if it turns up at the fancy supermarket. (so far No, but they did have, uh, dandelion greens. Huh. no.]

I like having food traditions. Lasagna for Christmas Eve, eggplant parm only for special birthdays...and my Easter specialty is the devilled eggs.

The other day when we were talking here about childhood Easters, I was remembering  Easter when I was a very little girl, back in Ohio. Looking back I can't imagine how my young parents did all this in one day!

First of all: a new dress and maybe new shoes or hat, not just for me but for the entire family. My poor brother always got a close crew cut and had to wear a sport coat and bow tie. I think we found our Easter Baskets and had our Egg Hunt when we woke up in the morning. Eggs were always dyed on Good Friday, a holiday from school. And then we'd dig out our real straw, reused, recycled Easter baskets and refurbish them with new bows and fresh ''grass''. Ready for the Easter Bunny to arrive.

We always got a big chocolate bunny, foil eggs, jelly beans. As we got older, maybe toys or crayons and coloring books. My mom and I both wore real flower corsages---mine always a pink carnation! Hers were gardenias--- that my dad would order when he got the flowers for the cemetery visits.

Next we'd go out for brunch at the big city hotel that had a beautiful lavish Easter Brunch with a real white Easter Bunny and wonderful food. Our choice was always eggs Benedict! And Shirley Temple cocktails, how retro is that!? Grenadine in Sprite, I think? My parents would have mimosas or Bellinis. After brunch we'd go to the city's amazing Botanic Garden where the greenhouse would be filled with spring flowers and Easter decorations. The big space always smelled of hyacinths and whenever I smell hyacinths I am transported back to that time.

Next on the day's agenda was a trip to the park-like historic cemetery here where my dad's family are buried. We kids would would play  by the duckpond and we'd all admire the many flowering trees and shrubs, the flowers and chartreuse green spring grass. It never seemed like a sad visit, though it must have been so for my dad who lost both his parents and his oldest brotherwhen he was a very young boy. If Easter was late there'd be baby ducklings in the pond. Oooh. Heaven.

Home. Nap? Off to my aunt's for Easter dinner. The day just went on and on. This aunt was an older woman who raised my dad after he was orphaned. She was actually his sister in law, widowed very young, and perhaps saw herself as a grandmother figure of sorts. Too bad she and my mom didn't get along. I liked going to her house. She had German shepherd dogs, collected Hummels, had gorgeous vintage dishes and glasses and silverware for the holiday table. And she made quilts! Appliqued quilts with the finest tiny stitches. (I have two: Magnolias and Dogwood, from local Ohio company  Mountain Mist's patterns.) Lots to fascinate a shy little girl.

She always made roast lamb. Eeew. She always put garlic on it and bickered about that with my dad.  Maybe... roasted potatoes and carrots? No dessert!---the ladies were both frugal and slim. But we had our chocolate bunnies for later.

LOL I am exhausted just thinking of those days.

Later, as a young mom in NYC I didn't go to such extravagant lengths---there was a famous Ocean Edge Resort Cape Cod Easter Egg Hunt one year. Famous because there was a blizzard and my kids cried because they couldn't find the eggs in the snow. And there were a few years of brunch at the Plaza in the city, a stroll along Fifth Avenue with all the crazy NY Easter Parade people. We'd end up at the Central Park Children's Zoo. I wonder if my kids even recall those holidays, they were very tiny, stroller aged. I recall every second though, with such joy.

Below, my real assorted fowl eggs from Naked Eggs. The colors are natural! Look at that blue....


 I used shredder paper for grass because I didn't like the plastic grass from Target....

Happy Easter---make joyful memories, my friends!



gone to the beach.

piping plover footprints trail