Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter Schmeester

Patty here...

Yesterday was Easter and I kept my Sunday traditions: I did the laundry and vacuumed cat hair off the furniture. Late afternoon was spent with my accountant, pouring over my tax return.

Easter is the holiday that holds the fewest childhood memories for me. I'm not a foodie, so the day isn't associated with eating, other than the smell of vinegar used to dye Easter eggs, and being forced to comsume those eggs in the days after. Blech! Our family must have had Easter dinner but I have no recollection of the menu. Ham? My mother wasn't a gourmand by any stretch of the imagination, but she liked to bake so there were hot cross buns, which I don't see much anymore.

My mother would reprise the previous years' Easter baskets and "grass" and fill them with a few candy eggs and a hollow chocolate bunny. Post holiday, she packed the baskets away for the following year.

One of my favorite Easter gifts was a stuffed bunny with a squeaker in its tail. It was lime green with white markings. Metal strips in its ears allowed me to bend them to reflect changes in bunny-tude. Ears up: eagerness or surprise. One up, one down: jaunty, devil-may-care. Ears down: shy or clandestine.

My mother took my sister and me to Easter services at our church. My dad stayed at home to read the newspaper. He was a lapsed Catholic who had had a difficult time of it. He figured if the hand of God had been guiding his life, he might have a better chance on his own.

Most years I got a new Easter dress, which was always a starched, chiffon-y or taffeta-y confection in pastel shades of green, lavender or yellow with a full shirt and layers of crinolines underneath that made me look as if I were in the World Cup Square Dancing competition.

A pair of stiff patent-leather Mary Janes completed the getup. My mother wore a hat and gloves with shoes that matched her purse. As we grew older, she sometimes bought us Easter corsages.

One of my Easter dresses. That's my sister on the right, wearing her big-girl corsage.

So, what were (are) your Easter or Passover traditions?

Happy Monday!


  1. I have lots of nice memories from my childhood of Easter baskets and new frilly dresses for church (and the occasional snowsuit over the dress). But time marches on and upon adulthood my hubby and I both became lapsed Catholics and we do nothing to recognize the day on our own. However my sister-in-law, who is an amazing cook, invites us over every year. So we go for the social time with the family and the fantastic food and enjoy the day.

    1. Mo, your snowsuit reference brought back memories of Halloween when my costumes were frequently ruined by winter weather gear. I guess I need to cultivate more friends who cook. Next year...

  2. from Jacqueline

    Lovely toasted hot cross buns on Good Friday - there would be a line at the shop at the end of the road (waiting for the baker's van to turn up), and the buns would still be warm and yeasty. We'd split them, and toast on forks in front of the kitchen fire. Then it was off to the farm where my mother worked. One year it snowed and on the way home we stopped to watch a lamb being born - my mother helped the ewe, and we gathered hay to keep the poor wee lamb warm. I was sent running to the farmer to bring him out, and afterwards was treated to the job of bottle-feeding any orphaned lambs. Easter Sunday lunch was roast chicken, and afterwards we could open our Easter eggs - British Easter eggs are fantastic, big and filled with chocolates. Someone always bought me a "Milky Bar" egg because I love white chocolate. I also like really dark chocolate, but not simple "milk chocolate" - funny, that. My brother and I would go down to the woods on Easter morning, to bring wildflowers for my mother - a ritual repeated every Mothering Sunday (that's what Mother's Day was traditionally called, and usually falls before Easter in the UK). Easter is my favorite holiday, always has been. I once dated a guy for several years who always bought me a hat at Easter time - I still have those Easter bonnets!

    1. Our J, I once dated this guy who gave me a heart-themed gift every time we went out on a date. That was decades ago. The relationship didn't take but I still have those heart thingies. Such creativity. I LOVE hats. I hope to see your boyfriend bonnets in a future post.

  3. Dear Patty:

    Did the long-ago guy you dated ever sing this to you?

    "In your easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
    You'll be the grandest lady in the easter parade.
    I'll be all in clover and when they look you over,
    I'll be the proudest fellow in the easter parade.
    On the avenue, fifth avenue, the photographers will snap us,
    And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.
    Oh, I could write a sonnet about your easter bonnet,
    And of the girl I'm taking to the easter parade."

  4. Paulie, is that you???!!!! You look so different :O)

    I did date a singer once. He had a faboo voice, sort of like the crooners of old. Kind of reminded me of Johnny Mathis's voice.

  5. From Mims:

    Okay, so the chocolate bunnies are the funniest thing I have seen in a while.

    For me it was annual hat angst. My first realizations that it was possible to look really, really silly in something. And there was always a hat, because we had to go to Mass. Probably planted the seeds of my disillusionment. Does this hat/religion do much for me? You know, I'm not much of a hat/religion person....

    1. Hat angst. Something new for the medical books. I'm sure you looked faboo in your Easter chapeaus. And if you still had them all, think of what a wonderful exhibit they'd make at the Smithsonian.