Apr 9, 2007

Easter Postmortem (So to Speak)

I always mean for Easter week to be more spiritual than it ends up being. I only read a handful of my Lenten readings. Could never decide what to "give up for Lent," or to do for Lent. Easter egg hunts don't help. The boys and I went to one at my Dad's retirement community. Let's just say my Dad and I differ as to whether one should give hints about egg location to crying five-year-olds. One of us believes that children should learn self-reliance, and should receive no help. The other of us believes self-reliance is grand, to a point, but that perhaps at Easter time we can teach cooperation and even a little compassion, eh? At the end we had to sit through a drawing for prizes, in which 28 children won giant scary chocolate bunnies. But we didn't win anything. The whole endeavor was decidedly unfun, I thought, although Will and Jack said it was fun later. Children can wrest fun out of almost anything.

Passover is such a coherent tradition, so unsullied by commercialism, whereas Easter has been taken over by that sinister bunny, littering the place with chocolate eggs and pastel-colored tschochkes (Did I spell that right?). We don't do Easter baskets at our house. Someone asked me if the Easter bunny visited our house and I said something like "No, but we went to church." Quite the conversation-killer.

Of course we also had a lovely meal, and here it was, served up for the usual suspects: the four of us, my Dad, my brother, his girlfriend, and two of her three children. Oh, and sometimes I just pick one cookbook to get all my recipes from, you can tell.

Shrimp and cocktail sauce, provided by Dad
Watercress Apple Salad with Peanut Dressing (Gourmet Cookbook)
Cheddar Grits Casserole (Gourmet Cookbook)
Fruit salad (provided by my brother)
Bread (ditto)
Pecan Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (April Gourmet)

John cut each of the two cake layers in two to form four layers, because he did it once before and so now it's his job forever. I decorated the cake with edible orchids, and the visiting children were shocked that they were REAL FLOWERS, not made of frosting or candy. My brother ate a whole orchid. He eats anything. Jack had one petal. The rest of the flowers were only admired from outside our bodies.

So there you have it, a typical Easter at the Dream Kitchen, served up with hope and love, and a sprinkling of guilt and skepticism thrown in. And not a little Passover Envy.


M-j said...

I hear you on the bunny issues. It makes me insane when people say, "Santa is watching!" or "What did the bunny bring you?" When I am trying to teach my children that GOD Is watching them at the Jesus gave us himself on Easter. Very difficult, indeed. We did, however, have a great day, despite Bug Boy's best efforts to derail the entire event. Global Nuclear Meltdowns all around. Gee, I am really happy school started again!

Phantom Scribbler said...

Well, except that if you were really celebrating Passover, the shrimp, the bread, and the pecan spice cake (and probably the grits, unless you're [pretending to be] Sephardic) would be Right. Out.

It makes for a long week. How about I trade you three or four days of Passover for an Easter basket?

Lilian said...

Yes, I completely agree about the Easter Bunny and chocolate... My mom did give us chocolate baskets (that she hid in the backyard) for Easter, but I don't think I'm doing that for my children... (didn't do it this year). I don't tell them about Santa Claus either and I think that eventually we'll tone down the Christmas celebrations and make them more about giving to others who really need, than to one another.

Even though I'm a Christian, I think celebrating the Jewish holidays makes much more sense since all Christian holidays are laced with cultural practices that are not related to Christianity at all...

Lucy T said...

I hear you too. My little 4 year old almost got expelled from preschool this year when she announced (during the singing of "He knows when you are sleeping") "How can he do that? He's not real!" The teacher was so upset with me!
Two days ago I was flipping channels and saw a show called Moral Court. A woman was suing her husband (on the mock trial show) because he didn't want to lie to their soon-to-be adopted child about Santa Claus. She felt that was um, morally reprehensible! The judge sided with her and fined him $1,000 dollars.
as for the menu, shrimp for Passover really wouldn't fly . . .phanthom scribbler made a good point there.

BOSSY said...

Wait - Bossy did the dishes once and now it is her job forever. Is that how that works?

susan said...

We attended an Easter Egg hunt and brunch at some friends, and I was surprised to discover that around here, the Easter Bunny brings gifts in some families. Weird.