Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easters Remembered

We always had fun on Easter mornings in my house growing up, but our Grand Easter Tradition basically ended there. We weren't religious and so Easter basically meant waking up and looking for our Easter baskets and then spending the rest of the day high on sugar. In the late afternoon, we'd go to my grandparents' house in Darien, where the grown-ups would talk (boring!) and watch the end of golf tournaments (boring!) and then TALK about the golf tournaments (SO BORING!) and maybe play a couple games of the Jeopardy! board game until it was time (8 p.m.) for a formal sit-down dinner with dim lighting and a Tiffany centerpiece and roasted lamb with mint jelly and wine I wasn't allowed to drink.

When we got a little older, the most fun part about Easter was dyeing eggs, which became a giant production involving friends and family and anyone who wanted to stop by and help. We'd end up with 80 bazillion eggs and never knew what to do with them, until one year my dad decided he'd HIDE them for us to find Easter Morning. I now understand this was mostly a ploy to keep the kids occupied while mom and dad slept in, but it was a win-win proposition. We had a fantastic time looking for eggs because it turns out that my father was REALLY good at hiding them.

Of course, 80 bazillion eggs is a lot to keep track of, and there was never a year where we found ALL of them. Inevitably we'd find an egg months later tucked into a bookshelf or stuck in a decorative vase. They never seemed to smell bad, but then, we'd take GREAT care not to break them before getting them outside into the trash bins.

Two Easters in Connecticut stand out in my memory, for totally different reasons and neither of them are compelling stories, but I will paint you their respective pictures because this is my blog and I don't have much else to do today since I'm still on Medifast and can't use a religious holiday I don't really celebrate as en excuse to eat chocolate or drink wine.


Spring, 1994

I spent my first semester of college (1993) at The University of Delaware. It was a miserable experience except for being part of an all-female a cappella group called The D-Sharps. (Yes, for real.) Anyway, once I returned home for winter break I decided not to return for spring semester, but! The D-Sharps had planned a trip to New Orleans for spring break, and I saw no reason I couldn't go with them.  So I did.

The trip was really amazing in lots of ways, mostly because I had (until that point) led a fairly sheltered life. Nothing like spending a week in a New Orleans youth hostel with 12 other college girls to open your eyes omg.

I have no idea how it was planned, since these were the days before the internet travel sites, but somehow we got super cheap airfare by agreeing to be flown "indirectly." I am in no way exaggerating when I tell you we stopped THREE times BEFORE getting to NOLA. We went from BWI to CHICAGO to I don't remember, but I think it was North Carolina and then somewhere in Florida before getting to Louisiana.

We didn't really care how long it took us to get there on the way out because SPRING BREAK!!!! But coming back home was a different story. Spring Break was over, and worse -- the morning we left I woke up hungover AND with a severe head cold.

Taking off and landing once with a head cold is sad. Taking off and landing FOUR times is pure, unadulterated misery.

I finally got back home (after landing in BWI I had to drive myself the five+ hours back to Connecticut) on the Saturday before Easter. I spent the next four days in bed. On Wednesday, my ears finally popped.


Spring, 1995

I decided I had had enough of being overweight by the summer of 1994, following my freshman year of college. Now, at that time I was a size 14 and still able to shop anywhere I wanted. But I realized that there was nothing stopping me from being "thin" except me.

The following winter, completely unrelatedly, I took a part-time job working at an Italian bakery. This never undermined my diet because I was always able to think of the desserts as a commodity.  Every so often, I'd give myself a holiday from my diet and pick up something amazing and delicious from there, but rarely.

I was one of the few employees who volunteered to work the morning of Easter Sunday, since why not? Overtime pay? Sure.

It was a really cool experience.  As you can imagine, not only were the proprietors of the bakery Italian and Catholic, so were many of the patrons. Easter was a big deal. As was having traditional Italian food at your Easter feast.  So on Easter morning, there would be a line out the door and around the corner full of Church-goers and Church-comers picking up everything from your basic cannoli and biscotti to seven-layer cookies, rum baba, ricotta pies, sfogliatella, and struffoli.  I felt like I got to be an insider in someone else's tradition, and the morning was hectic and fun.

To get into the spirit of things, I showed up that night at my grandparents' house with a ricotta pie.

No one liked it except me.

2 comments:

  1. I have an unhealthy obsession with my mom's ricotta pie.
    Joanna

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  2. Ricotta pie sounds like the most amazing thing ever.

    ReplyDelete