I have a bit of a nostalgia problem. Also, once I experience something a certain way and like it, it’s “tradition.”
Growing up Catholic, Easter was, to use religious parlance, “a big fucking deal.” I still celebrate Easter with an enthusiasm completely out of proportion with my belief in its purpose…well, I celebrate the parts that are pagan in origin anyway.
Winters in Erie always kicked my ass. Skies were grey, air was frigid, days were short, snow was deep. Through the winter holidays, this weather could be charming. Like the time more than 20 years ago when my Mom and I drove home after seeing a play during the first snow of the season. The way the snow glittered in the lights as it fell took my breath away. Dreaming of a white Christmas and all that. Unfortunately, while I had no further need for winter after Christmas, it would hang around for several more months each year.
Living in this barren winter landscape, the other rebirth, Spring, was the most attractive part of Easter. Well, rebirth and chocolate I suppose.
In recent years, I have actually looked forward to Easter more than Christmas. And that’s saying something.
Why do I love Easter?
*Spring where I now live is lovely unlike the cold, yet snowless Christmases we get here (rebirth, blah, blah, blah).
*It’s an excuse to eat chocolate.
*I get to take vacation time without the hassle of going somewhere. At Christmas, we lose two days to travelling and have to pack the car with us, gifts, our crap, and a dog as if we were playing Tetris. At Easter, my Mom comes to us.
*Instead of making a bunch of different kinds of cookies and the dreaded buckeyes, all I make for Easter is this white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.
This is one of the few things that tastes mindblowingly good to me even though I had to make it. There is only one piece left right now and Dave’s entitled to it, and I’m near tears.
*Decorating for Easter takes about 5 minutes and involves this fabulous fiber optic light up Easter bunny. I don’t know about you, but this screams “Christ is risen” to me.
*None of that annoying gift giving crap. The only thing I have to shop for is chocolate. Here is a picture of this year’s Neuhaus Easter eggs.
*Easter is one of our Wegmans occasions and I love going there.
Thoughts on Easter 2011
The Peeps diorama contest (for some reason I feel the need to point out this is brought to you by the newspaper that broke Watergate) always helps me get into the holiday mood, and this year was no exception. My favorites never make the finals, I guess I’m not a good judge of art. My favorite is this take on Magritte.
Of course, how could I resist this Moses-themed diorama?
Mom came down on Wednesday and her job is to supply us with Romolo’s chocolate. Here’s what she brought this year. As you can see, we had to make due.
I have to give a shout out to the only grocery store Easter candy in our repertoire, Cadbury mini eggs. Maintaining my weight during Lent and Easter would be a lot easier if I didn’t know these things existed. I never knew about these until Dave’s Mom included a bag in an Easter care package she sent him the first year we were dating. We sat in the common room in my dorm and ate the whole bag in one sitting. I smell a tradition!
Seriously, about the smell? Ever notice how overpoweringly good the unopened bags smell? It’s intoxicating. I cannot buy these or open a bag without taking a deep breath and moaning with pleasure first.
In other chocolate news, I was super excited about this Easter bark from Romolo’s, milk chocolate studded with colored mini marshmallows and malted eggs, but the reality didn’t live up to my expectation. The marshmallows got stale.
I broke down and bought The Ten Commandments on Blu-ray. The gift set is awesome. The box splits open in the middle, parting like the Red Sea to reveal the discs stored in a replica of the Ten Commandment tablets and several extras.
Unfortunately, we only made it to intermission. We got a late start watching the movie, and it was almost midnight by the time we finished the first disc. We gave up, so the slaves didn’t get freed this year. Oops. I blame Lifetime. We simply were unable to turn away from the horror of the movie about Prince William and Kate Middleton.
I had to work on Easter Monday, which is NOT tradition. I like to have all of the named days off (OK, I don’t usually take off Maundy Thursday, even though I love saying Maundy). So we decided to have Easter dinner on Saturday and then go out to a fancy brunch on Easter. There was a buffet of appetizers and dessert, plus a choice of entree and side. The food was fabulous. That plus the ridiculous cost of the brunch encouraged me to eat myself sick (unfortunately, literally).
The weather was nice enough over the weekend to sit on the front porch, which I hardly ever have time to do even though it is one of my favorite things. I sat in my rocking chair, ate chocolate, sometimes read my mindless book, other times just watched over my neighborhood like the old lady I am while listening to Dave play the bean song on his guitar (it’s a real song that he plays over and over. Since I’m not familiar with it, I made up my own lyrics about beans).
Mom and I went shopping on Thursday (Maundy!) and I was pleased to find that I’ve gone down a size. This is almost certainly due to the discipline I had over Lent in reducing grains and sugar. We have a ton of chocolate left. I’m going to eat it. Uh-oh.
What are your Easter traditions? Do you have any chocolate left?