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


  1. Your Easter menu sounds yummy and the pictures are very inspiring. I must admit that I haven't done much of any decorating for Easter this year. We just had some more snow this week and a couple days for very cold temps. It has been very hard to think Spring with the winter we had. But, your pictures make me want to pull out a few things to brighten up the house.
    My doll quilt arrived and it is a perfect match for me! Well done and thanks so much....I absolutely love it!!!!

    1. Even a pot of bright supermarket tulips can really cheer things up when springs is so very chilly.

      I m so happy you like your doll quilt!


  2. Those natural Easter eggs are the prettiest. And your decorations are lovely. My brother and I always woke up at Easter to find baskets at the end of our bed that the bunny had left in the night. :) All Easters were spent at my Mammaw's house in Mississippi -- whether we were in TX or LA, we drove there, to spend the weekend with family. Dying eggs, hunts in the backyard, and since it was the south, it was warm enough for homemade ice cream, peach or banana, churned the old fashioned way, all the cousins would take turns cranking that handle. Those are my fondest memories of Easter. When my boys were little, we did hunts with friends but as all the kids got older and people moved away, it all stopped. Now it is just another day. This is the first year we will have Easter off. 2 more days of Spring Break and then it is back to the rat race. Not looking forward to it at all. Best wishes to you and yours, Tammy

    1. Homemade peach ice cream! swoon!

      All sounds so fun.

  3. I love the rabbits on the quilt, with their long floppy ears, LOL. Your childhood Easter day sound like too much for me! Maybe if all the activity was spread out over the whole weekend I could manage.... Then maybe not. That's a lot of stuff to do!

    I think the Naked Eggs are so cool and pretty! I looked at their shop after you told me about them, wish I could think of a good reason I *needed* some, LOL.

    I still love your not-really-chocolate bunny, he's so cool. And the plover trial is so neat, I'd be tempted to follow to see if I could spy on the nest...

    Hope you have a good Easter!

  4. Lovely memories and wonderful treasures.
    Happy Easter to you and yours!

  5. I made that bunny quilt/ runner years ago. I can t recall the name of the book where I saw it.

    The plover was a wanderer,lol, or he knew I was following. He finally disappeared into the higher dunes.

    Have a good weekend!

  6. Oh, so much to comment on. Your memories of Easter when you were a young girl in Ohio, and then a young mother in NY are absolutely charming. You really paint a picture. The Botanic Garden sounds magical, and that cemetery...I don't think they build them like that anymore. It's beautiful.

    Your decorations are so fun and so original. The Naked Eggs are little pieces of art aren't they?

    I have four siblings and like you, I wonder how our parents did it all. My sister and I always had new, matching dresses that my Mom made herself. There was always the last minute rooting through closets to find something appropriate that my brothers could still fit into, baskets for each of us that were hidden to be found in the morning before we had to rush off to church. Then it was the LONG drive to Baltimore where my grandparents lived. It was always such a treat to spend time at their house. We usually had an egg hunt, and I remember my grandmother's colored eggs being so pretty and so perfect. I can't really remember what we had for dinner, I'm thinking the traditional ham and scalloped potatoes, or something like that. (I wasn't really interested in food as a kid, candy yes, food, not so much.) Being one of five kids, it was easy to get lost in the daily chaos, but when we visited with my grandparents they always made me feel special. I suppose that's what grandparents do...the good ones anyway. :)

    So, our hosts tomorrow are serving pasta carbonara, made with pasta that two of the other guests make fresh--delish! I was tempted to make deviled eggs to take with, but we'll be coloring hard boiled eggs while we're there and I didn't want to go overboard on the egg theme. I do enjoy a deviled egg, let me know how yours turn out. Oh, my brother is making pulled pork for his Easter dinner also. As good as the pasta carbonara will be, I'm a little envious of you guys and your pulled pork.

    I took your advice and made a coconut bundt cake instead of the cupcakes, much less work. It definitely needs some dressing up though. If it's picture worthy I'll send one.

    Have a Happy Easter, enjoy your family,


    1. Hi! Hope your cake & yummy sounding Easter dinner are wonderful. I love that your mother made you and sister matching handmade dresses! Wonder if she saved them? My mom saved a couple of my Easter dresses...not handmade, my daddy would bring them from a special shop in Lexington KY. The dresses are so tiny! But I remember him bringing them home in a palest blue dress box with a satin ribbon.

  7. Everything turned out well, it was a good day. I don't think my Mom kept the dresses, or maybe she did for a period of time, but they're long gone now. You're lucky to have a couple of yours. Seriously, didn't things seem so elegant when we were kids. Your special dress packaged in a pretty box, tied with a satin ribbon!! My stars, I miss stuff like that.



Thank you for taking the time to write a comment here.