Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Traditions: The Menu

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. It has been a busy few days for me, preparing a brunch menu for my family. I have 12 people coming, and the plan is just to break away from the traditional meal and holiday get together we have always aboded by.

My grandson last year

For years, maybe all of my life, we have had the same meal for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. It is a delicious meal, don't get me wrong. The tradition in my family has always consisted of the following list of dishes:

  • Turkey
  • ham
  • mashed potatoes 
  • my mothers homemade gravies (ham and turkey)
  • Stuffing of course
  • fresh fruit salad consisting of just fruit and cool whip
  • and finally, the relish tray that had sweet and dill pickles, Spanish olives, and jellied cranberry sauce.  I believe I got it all!
Although I will always refer back to that meal exactly as it was while I was growing up, I changed! People change, and personally, I have learned that different is good. Too much tradition can get stale over the years, so I decided it was time for me to create my own family traditions where it concerns holiday cooking.

Some of my extended family are just plain traditional stickers if you will. Offer to bring this instead of that this time and nope...its unheard of. "That's not what we do!" That's okay though. I love the fact that some hold traditions near and dear, and I do too, but as we grow and mature into our immediate families, I think there comes a time to make new traditions or even change a few things in the old traditions.

With my mother, we decided that brunch would be a fresh change for Easter. Remember...change is good! From now on, brunch will be an Easter tradition. The menu will change accordingly from year to year as our newest tradition evolves.

Although this year is very tight on the food budget for our Easter menu, I believe I have put together a charming variety that will appeal to everyone. This menu is also budget friendly which is a bonus for many of us during these hard times.

Drum roll please.............................

This is not the complete meal.
French toast with chunky apple glaze,
Breakfast Casserole,
Hatching Chick deviled eggs

Homemade Cinnamon-Raisin Bread made into refrigerator french toast or over night french toast.

Chunky apple glaze with oats to serve over our french toast.

Sausage gravy and biscuits w/ peas (I have to sell the veggies)
Breaded-fried pickled asparagus

Bacon...gotta have bacon!

Egg salad and homemade white bread. (lots of bread because its always a huge highlight)

Pumpkin cupcakes with a tangy frosting that has just a kiss of natural pumpkin flavor.

Yes...I chose to utilize what was already in my cupboards, and pumpkin was the best result! 

My mother lives for my bread, so I included a few different varieties. I love it when my mother loves my food! Although since I moved from NY to AL, I have little to work with in the kitchen anymore, due to leaving a lot behind, I still do what I can because I LOVE FEEDING PEOPLE! I will borrow pans and dishes where necessary to make things happen until I am able to build myself back up. So you know that love is in my food!

One tradition I keep is coloring Easter eggs with the kids. I did it with my kids, and now I do it with my grandkids! Sadly, only one of my grandchildren will be here because we moved from NY to AL last year, and they didn't come with us! Anyways...before I start blubbering like a sap...

We hide the colored eggs in the yard the night before, so that when the kids wake up, they get all excited and first have to look for their baskets inside. Once the excitement wears off from the baskets, it usually gives us time to come alive before they drag us out the door for the egg hunt.

To make "the golden egg" special to find, and fair for all of the kids (I had 3), I used to dye 3 golden eggs. Once each child found 1, they were to keep a secret if they saw another to allow each child to "win" a prize for that special egg. That just helped in fairness as well as happiness.

This year, there is only 1 child and 2 teens, so they will all contribute to the egg hunt, but the teens have been informed to let the little one win the golden egg, and they are usually very happy to do it. The prize is a second basket that my mom made up of fun little card games, and little things she knows he takes interest in. Nothing expensive because 5 year olds are not that hard to please and a second basket with TOYS is fabulous to any child.

But...what about the teens? They are such good sports about doing the egg hunt with the little one that I just have to find something for them to compete against each other for a prize too. Maybe we can let them do a scavenger hunt? I wish I had more time to lay out a good scavenger hunt, but this year, I will come up with something neat for them!

After Easter, I will have more time to post these recipes for you, but in the mean time, please comment and share your own Easter traditions. 

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