March 24, 2008

It’s Easter Sunday, and as I write this I sit aboard my dad’s 1958 Beechcraft Bonanza bound for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico via Phoenix, James Taylor singing in my ears. The beautiful clear skies that surround us conjure up memories of past Easter Sundays.

My very first memory, in fact, is of Easter Sunday 1970 and I was 23 months old. I remember it as clearly as yesterday. My little pale pink knit dress with tiny pastel flowers (I still have it), my itty bitty white leather shoes, and I think I actually remember wearing diapers, although I may be making that up. My memory begins on our patio in Lafayette, California, my tan Easter basket in hand. I was beyond excited. I can see a magenta egg in a wine barrel flower planter and I run toward it. I see another under a bush, another right there in the seam of the concrete patio. Then I remember my older brother, then four and a half, crying his eyes out because I found more eggs. So I put some in his basket to even it out. It really was an unfair advantage when I think about. I mean, little girlie girl placed amongst a bunch of brightly colored eggs. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance. If mom had hid little green Army men he would have whupped my butt hands down.

I looked forward to Easter and I counted down the days when I was a child. (I still do! You’re never too old for an Easter basket, right?!) I was enamored with the little silver, blue, pink and pale green foil-wrapped chocolate eggs. As a child my mom always included a sugar egg, the kind with the little peep window with the baby chicks inside. I never ate it (well, maybe a lick here and there) I just peered inside at those little chicks. Do they still make those today? I also loved Robin’s Eggs, the tiny pretty colored hard candies. And, the malted chocolate covered eggs. Another favorite part of Easter was eating the Deviled Eggs made from our findings. I loved how the whites were always stained blue, pink and whatever other Paas coloring with which we used to dye them.

As an adult what I most look forward to is Easter Dinner. The planning, the preparation and the sharing with loved ones. My Easter menu is fairly simple:

Lamb: a rack or beautiful butterflied leg, perhaps marinated in balsamic or rubbed with lots of garlic and fresh rosemary.

Potatoes: the bit of Irish in me needs them! Nice creamy scalloped potatoes or a gallette.

Salad: baby greens, maybe toasted pecans and grapefruit supremes with a simple vinaigrette.

And, finally, Easter Bread. What’s better than a sweet, warm braided loaf right out of the oven?

Note: We encountered technically difficulties in Mexico (hard to believe, I know!) so I was unable to publish this on Easter Sunday.



Carla's picture

Having an English husband I end up baking things that are British.This year my husband wanted "That dessert with the spices in it and marzipan rabbits on the top of the cake. I baked Simnel Cake for Easter and it was delicious. I found it on the internet on Diana's Desserts website. It was so good that I'm going to put it in the Family Holiday Cookbook.