The Easter of Dining Dangerously

Kathleen Rice Adams headerAm I the only one whose family traditions center around food? Pick a holiday—any holiday—and I guarantee my family spends most of the time preparing food, consuming food, and talking about food. It’s too bad the Olympic Games don’t include food sports, because we’d have a lock on every medal.

Much as Thanksgiving is Turkey Day, Christmas is Prime Rib Day, and July 4 is Hamburger Day, Easter is the day devoted to ham. One year, in a stark departure from tradition, an out-of-season prime rib roast sneaked onto the menu. Because the weather was nice and the men in the family had been pining to barbecue all winter, they decided the roast would be delicious cooked on a spit over charcoal. In another stark break with tradition, the women acquiesced.

Easter logo 2015aWe would live to rue the concession.

While the women slaved away in the kitchen to get the rest of the meal ready, the men… Well, heaven knows what they were doing, but they weren’t watching the roast. The next thing we knew, flames were licking around the closed top of the grill and the heretofore succulent beef had become a charred lump.

We regrouped, moved July’s tradition up by a couple of months, and ate hamburgers…with scalloped potatoes, green beans almondine, and homemade bread (in addition to hamburger buns). At least the men got to grill something.

No matter what other part of a holiday meal took a turn for the strange, the desserts have always been scrumptious (probably because baking seldom requires charcoal).

One of my favorite Easter desserts is lemon bites: a shortbread-like crust filled with tart, sticky goodness that forms a crackly surface as it bakes. This is the recipe my family has used for as long as I can remember.

Lemon Bites
Where is a food stylist when you really need one?

Lemon Bites

(Makes 16)

Crust

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Filling

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. grated lemon peel (optional)

4 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs

4-6 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Powdered sugar for dusting the top after baking (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  1. Mix flour, butter or margarine, and powdered sugar. Press into bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of an ungreased 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 pan. Bake crust 20 minutes.
  1. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat granulated sugar, lemon peel (if using), lemon juice, baking powder, salt, eggs, and food coloring (if using) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour onto crust. (No need to let crust cool.)
  1. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the center is firm when pressed lightly with a fingertip.
  1. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Notes:

Don’t double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan. The bigger pan requires a longer baking time, and the crust will burn on the bottom.

I used four drops of food coloring to attain the lemon color in the photo.

 

Linda Broday Remembers Easter

Easter has always been a special time for me. Growing up I didn’t have an abundance of anything except love. No matter that we were poor as church mice, my sister and I always knew our parents loved us. That knowledge sustained us through a lot of lean years. The only time my sister and I got a new dress and shoes was at Easter. If we only had money enough to buy shoes, my  mother made our dresses. In fact, I can’t recall too many times when we had a store bought dress. Or an Easter basket. That cost too much.

Here’s a picture that was taken in the early 60’s of my dad, me, and my sister. I’m the one in the middle. We must’ve done very well that year because we’re sporting not only new dresses and shoes, but purses as well. And look at the flowers in our hair. My sister and I thought we were just the cat’s meow. So proud and happy.

linda-easter

We’d get up early on Easter Sunday and get dressed in our finery. It was like Christmas morning. Mama would usually take our picture before we headed off to church. She’d have a roast in the oven that would be ready when we got back home. Those were wonderful times. I can close my eyes now and smell that roast cooking. My mother was an excellent cook and could make a meal on a little of anything.

I sure miss those times and my parents who have both passed on. They left so many warm memories. I hope you’re all making plenty of memories with your children. And I wish you all a very wonderful Easter.

The Night Before Easter

spring_easter_bunny_ecard

The Night Before Easter

‘Twas the night before Easter. All was calm and laid back.
Fred, the mouse in the kitchen, snarfed down a late snack.
The eggs were all dyed but still drippy and sticky…
To be honest, they looked just a little bit icky.


There were big jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and such,
And as Fred stuffed his face, he sighed, “This is too much!”
Phil and Rose were in bed watching late night TV,
While munching saltines with low-sodium Brie.

Then a sudden commotion rang out in the night.
It shook Phil and Rose, really gave them a fright.
Phil’s hair stood on end, and his eyes bugged out big…
Rose whipped off the covers and knocked off her wig.

They lunged to the window, yanked open the blinds…
What they saw was amazing; it boggled their minds:
Across the night sky, with a noise like the dickens,
Soared a minivan drawn by eight overgrown chickens!

At the wheel sat a bunny — cute, fuzzy and fat —
In designer blue jeans and a Panama hat.
Like a speeding space shuttle, those chickens they flew,
As the van driver called to each hen in his crew:

“Now, Ashley! Now, Sheila! Now, Kelsey and Bo!
On Bethany, Liza! On Daphne, on Flo!”
The van made its landing lickety-split …
Nearly wiped out the shrubs and the barbecue pit!

Then up on the roof, much to Phil’s consternation,
They squawked of egg prices and space navigation.
They made so much noise that Phil started to stammer,
“If you guys don’t shut up, we’ll get thrown in the slammer!”

Fuzzy hopped down the chimney, amidst all this racket,
And emerged from the fireplace, adjusting his jacket.
This bunny was chic, he had class, he had flair ..
Not your average bozo, not your typical hare.

His ears were enormous; his huge overbite
Was right under a nose like a pink neon light.
His manner was smooth, he was hip, he was cool;
This floppy-eared bunny was no fuzzy fool.

“While I’m here,” he smiled, “Everybody relaxes …
I’m not selling storm windows, won’t audit your taxes.
I’m just here to bring you some fun and delight.
Eat, drink, and be merry! Let’s party tonight!”

So they sipped diet soda and swapped silly jokes,
Those birds and their bunny just being plain folks.
Then flop-ears said, “Hey, friends, we’ve had quite a ball,
But my chickens and I are now due in St. Paul!”

He crossed both his eyes. Then he wiggled one ear,
And he yelled to his chicken team, “We’re outta here!”
As the minivan rose in the 3 a.m. sky,
He called out, “Later, Phil! And to you, Rose, good-bye!”

As he sped out of sight, his two friends heard him say,
“Happy Easter to all! Have a beautiful day!”

 Author Unknown

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