Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!
Easter has always been a special time for my family and me. As an Italian American kid, Easter had been greeted with great expectation because I was completing my Lenten fast of meatless Fridays and no candy for 40 days. On Easter morning my family and I would get dressed up, go to church, and then come home to a large brunch which would include baked egg dishes, sweet Italian bread that had colored eggs baked right into the dough, thick slices of glazed ham, and bowls of strawberries. My mother and grandmother would set the table with special plates, linen napkins, the good silver, beautiful spring flowers, and bunnies. My younger brother and I were allowed to drink orange juice out of colored vintage stemware. It was a feast, for the eyes and the stomach, sitting round the Easter table, a spectacle to behold. After brunch was over, my father would become excited and start running from window to window shouting, “I think I just saw the Easter Bunny run by!” My younger brother and I would begin running to all the windows with him with great joy and hope that maybe we could spy a glimpse of the famous rabbit ourselves. Oddly, my father was the only member of our family that ever caught a glimpse!
I had a special Easter basket which the Easter Bunny refilled each year. I loved that basket and still have it today. The basket is pink and yellow and had green grass. It has tiny little white lilies that twine around the basket’s tall handle on one side, and once filled, would be wrapped with colored cellophane paper and tied with a huge beautiful bow at the top. The Easter Bunny filled the basket with all my favorite Easter candy treats…including yellow peeps! I would perch my Easter basket in a prominent location in my bedroom, and over the course of the next weeks, I would savor eating each piece of candy until there was no more.
I have added all of these traditions, antics, and recipes to my annual Easter tradition since I am a wife and mother now. I have enjoyed running from window to window with my son over the years. But he is now 16 and has sadly learned long ago that the Easter Bunny was in cahoots with Santa Claus…along with those mischievous leprechauns, who trashed our living room and painted the dog’s tail green on St. Patrick’s Day. The other day, I hesitantly asked my son if he wanted to color eggs this year…something he grumbled about last year, but to appease me, conceded to dye eggs. But this year he replied, “If you want to mom. I’ll color eggs with you.” Oh, the sweet joy of coloring eggs with my son! I guess there are some things that we should never out grow!
I have photographed an Easter tablescape, which includes my grandmother’s Easter Brunch Eggs, roasted asparagus with sautéed bell peppers, orange baked ham, Italian sweet bread with colored eggs, and strawberries. May you have a very happy and delicious Easter!
Links to the recipes are below.