When I was little, Mom made certain things for certain holidays. Turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Prime rib for New Year’s Day. Ham for Easter. She would prepare a big bone-in ham, scoring it with a knife, and placing a clove where the scores met. I remember occasionally biting into a clove and wiping my tongue with a napkin like Tom Hanks in the movie Big. I don’t like cloves even today.
At some point in the day, if the weather cooperated, we would schlep out to Pawnee Park with my grandmother in tow. We would hide our eyes while she hid the plastic eggs. When we got the go-ahead, we took off with squeals of delight to begin the big hunt. Grammie loved being the Easter bunny.
For the past few years, we have been in AZ for Easter. And I have taken to providing the Easter dinner. Sometimes it’s just Bec. Sometimes Dave and his family are at our table. Often Erik and his family join us. I make a ham, but mine is spiral cut, so no cloves.
This year Easter was very different, of course. Not just for me; maybe I just whine more than others. I wasn’t with anyone in my extended family as I prepared my Easter meal. I love cooking for holidays, but for the most part, the fun comes with cooking with my sisters. And while they might have been cooking, they weren’t cooking with me.
Jen is with B.J. every Easter. And every Easter she prepares a prime rib. Why? Because if B.J. should be asked to choose between a slice of ham or a slice of prime rib, its Team Prime Rib all the way. So her menu was much the same as usual.
Bec spent Easter with Erik and his family. They have all been very careful about quarantining (in fact, I think Erik is the only one who has ventured out judiciously to the grocery store), and they gathered over “traditional” Easter barbecue ribs. After all, ribs are just another part of the pig, slathered with a delicious sauce. It’s ham’s best friend.
Heather and Lauren were winking at tradition by serving a ham slice with fixings. Dave and Jll did a brunch after watching their church service on their computer. Court and Alyx were pan frying ribeye steaks. My favorite Easter dinner came from my niece Maggie, who served her family chicken tortilla soup! A new Easter tradition perhaps?
We watched — as we have throughout the quarantine — Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC on my iPad. The difference this Sunday is when Bill came out of our bedroom at 6:45 a.m. (Mass started at 7), he was dressed for church — his good pants, a nice shirt and his dress shoes. His mom would have been so proud of him. I nearly cried. I, of course, was still in my pajamas, and not particularly fancy ones at that. But Jesus saved my soul too.
I gave a shout-out to my mom by eating her traditional Easter breakfast — Polish sausage and a soft boiled egg…..
Alas, Bill and I had kind of a lonely Easter dinner, prepared solely by moi. I made a tiny little prime rib…..
…..a very small twice-cooked potato casserole….
…..six little deviled eggs…..
…..and a pumpkin pie that’s been in our freezer since Christmas.
He is risen! And I’m certain we will never forget this Easter celebration.