This Easter Sunday I took a long walk down memory lane as I passed some time looking through old photos. I was reminded of my childhood Easters…and then continued the journey through the subsequent years.
Afterwards, I got in the kitchen and created a delicious twist on a traditional holiday side dish!
My memories of Easter as a child growing up in Brooklyn revolve around poofy dresses, Easter bonnets and patent leather shoes. I also remember the one year my sister and I both had measles (or was it chicken pox?) and spent Easter Sunday in our parents’ bed.
Except for that year, there was always a celebratory dinner with extended family members, but all I remember about those dinners is chocolate bunnies and what fun it was to take a big bite of the ears. Yuck, I also remember it was milk chocolate, something I detest now.
Later, as adults with children of our own, my sister and I forged our own traditions. Easter had become a little less formal and a lot more commercial…there were exaggerated Easter baskets and gifts for the kids. Real ones! Kites, pails + shovels were de rigueur in anticipation of summer, but I also remember things like bikes and other high-priced items. That was the culture we lived in.
My son (second from left) with his cousins tells me he is still traumatized by his childhood wardrobe.
We’ve (well, especially Mary) have carried forward the Easter bonnet tradition albeit in a very tongue-in-cheek manner.
For many years we not only had a big Easter Sunday dinner, we also got together for Palm Sunday! Palm Sunday was more about some fancy Italian dishes like lasagne or stuffed shells and Easter was a ham or something else American.
It was during that time we became aware of 2 Italian traditions that Millie/Nanny (my brother-in-law’s mother) made: Pizza Rustica (cheese + meat pie) and Pizza Gran (sweet wheat pie).
Fast forward to 2011, we stopped the traditional Palm Sunday dinner only a few years ago and, although we used to alternate who did Easter, Mary has taken it on in recent years. She has also been the one who makes Pizza Rustica and Pizza Gran which we all look forward to, year-after-year.
This year she passed the baton. Her daughter made the Pizza Rustica and my son made the Pizza Gran*. The centerpiece of the dinner was a fabulous standing rib roast which was done to perfection. (Sorry folks, no photos).
This is one seriously delicious dish! Mangia Italiano!
And, like most families, the joy we carry forward beyond these dinners is our even more delicious children.
All the best to you and your family for a Happy Spring!
*similar recipe to ours except we use chocolate chips in place of citron