Tag Archives: Easter

What To Do When You Can’t Cook

I had several things I wanted to make and post before Easter – my Bunny Garden Carrot Cake, my sister Heather’s Flan, and a great rub for Grilled Lamb which I was planning for our Easter feast. Then I blinked and Holy Week seemed to blur by in a high-speed blip from the Bishop’s visit on Palm Sunday to the wonderful Agape meal on Maundy Thursday to Easter morning. I didn’t get a single post written, though I managed to buy some groceries and scribble a few notes. On Saturday Isabelle, Russell,  and Mary helped me make several dozen rainbow-colored peeps to take to the Easter service at our church. In my pathetic slacker mode I planned to at least post the Angel Food Cake I was going to make for our Sunday dessert on Easter Sunday.

Maundy Thursday Agape Meal

I got up early to revel in the quiet and peace that only seem to happen when everyone but me is sleeping. It always makes me smile to hear the snores and turnings of everyone as I tiptoe to the kitchen. Since I am the only one who is conscious it feels as if I have the house to myself. The sunrises have been glorious of late plus the trees are just on the cusp of budding out. Being the first one up allows me to absorb all of that whispered, early morning beauty. I put the kettle on to make myself a cup of tea,  part of my wake up routine every morning, and as it comes to a boil I start doing some dishes left over from the night before. I like doing dishes. Dunking my hands in the warm sudsy water I can simultaneously loosen my joints – scrub – think – as I slowly enter into full consciousness. Doing the dishes is my drifting time. I can look out the kitchen window and watch the birds flit from branch to branch as I plan out my day. And let me tell you in case you don’t know this, you can do quite a lot of dishes in the time it takes for the kettle to boil.

Spring sunrise

You can also, in the time that it takes for the kettle to boil,  have an accident, which in my case came in the form of a glass breaking in my hand as I twisted the sponge. The circular movement of my hand carved a horseshoe flap off my knuckle. If I’d been going any faster I probably could have managed an entire oval. I sank to my knees and grabbed the paper towels to stop the bleeding then screamed. I wanted the whole house to wake up – I wouldn’t have minded if the whole neighborhood woke up since I needed someone to drive me to the hospital. Easter baskets, breakfast, Angel Food Cake, and the broken glass were left behind as we sped off to the emergency room.

You would think going to the ER at 7:30 am would be fairly quick, but apparently, according to one of my nurses, Easter and Thanksgiving are when most people visit the ER.  For church it’s  the Chreasters (people who attend church on Christmas and Easter), but for the hospital it’s Thanksters (Thanksgiving and Easter). So I waited (still holding the paper towels on) until Dr. T. could look at my X-Ray and decide there was no glass in the wound and then finally, after several shots of numbing stuff, was able to sew me up. No holiday colors of thread to choose from, it was a choice of black or black. I chose black.

Flowering Easter Cross

Five stitches later Isabelle and I dropped Shawn off at church so he could usher in his pajamas (he had thrown on a pair of jeans but he was unshaven, sported a stunning bed head hairdo, and hadn’t brushed his teeth). I had the presence of mind to get a replacement for myself on Altar Guild while we were waiting at the ER. Belle and I zoomed back to the house, changed in less than 5 minutes, and somehow made it back to church with Russell, Mary, and the peeps in time for the end of the sermon. Shawn later joked that all the Chreaters who came to church dressed in their Sunday finest probably thought we had a very embracing community ministry since our church apparently allowed homeless people to usher.

When we got home I realized Easter dinner needed to be significantly truncated since I wasn’t going to be able cook. Turns out I didn’t have to lift a finger other than to feed myself left-handed. Everyone pitched in. I did manage to play my role as the one-handed (one-paw?) Easter bunny once Russell helped me out by bringing up all the baskets and Easter grass. So despite all the drama we had a lovely meal and I got out of doing any more dishes for a while.

Not having the foresight to become ambidextrous my kitchen time will be somewhat curtailed until I heal a bit. Obviously I can type, but gripping a knife or hefting a heavy pot aren’t things I can manage right now. So I’m catching up on some reading and watching a few of my favorite movies again. The good news is the Easter season is six weeks long so I have time to work on those recipes.

Until then here’s what I’m enjoying:

Do you have any recommendations?

Photo Credits:

Maundy Thursday Agape Meal by our Deacon Eric Elley

Sunrise by Shawn Allen

Flowering Cross by someone at St. John’s Episcopal Church

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Easter Nests

The Easter Bunny has been rather busy the last few weeks. Dusting off the plastic eggs, hunting down the best tasting jelly beans (taste testing a few along the way), searching for the right things to go into everyone’s baskets, and sending happy mail* with an Easter flair. The other day Ms. Bunny came across the most adorable chocolate nests filled with candy eggs. "chocolate nests"

Those chocolate nests made her think of Grammy Thompson’s Scandinavian Cookies. The cookies are shaped like little nests which you fill with jam instead of eggs, but they’re equally cute and rank very high on the adorable scale. I guess you’re getting a pretty good idea of how my brian functions seeing how I jumped from chocolate nests to sugar-coated cookies which somewhat resemble nests.

"Scandinavian Cookies"

Grammy T. usually brought us these cookies every year at Christmas time** and the tin she brought them in was full! My Mom was sweet enough to give me the tin after Grammy passed away, along with a hand-written recipe card for these particular cookies. I think of Grammy every time I make a batch and put them into her tin. With a week to go until Easter there’s a batch of these adorable cookie nests coated in pastel colored nonpareils waiting for Ms. Bunny to drop a dollop of jam in each.

"Grammy T's scandanavian cookie box"

There should be several other treats Ms. Bunny will be making for Easter this upcoming week including a ginormous batch of Peeps & Kisses as well as some fun Easter shaped sugar cookies, so stay tuned.

Scandinavian Cookies

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 egg yolks (save the whites and freeze for later use)

2 cups sifted flour

colored sugars, non-pareils (or sugarettes as my Mom called them), and/or finely chopped nuts

seedless jam or jellies for filling

Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Cream the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until smooth and no streaks of butter remain. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until the batter has lightened. Blend in the flour (if you don’t sift the flour before measuring these cookies will be too dry and crumbly). Roll the dough into small balls, then roll the balls into the sugar or non-pareils, or nuts and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Make a depression with one of your fingers in the top of each cookie and bake 5 minutes. Quickly press down the centers again and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cool. Do not fill with jam or jelly until you are ready to serve the cookies as it will make the cookies soggy. If you are giving these as gifts I suggest you find a teeny tiny jar to put in the cookie box or you can use one of those plastic containers for dressing you get at a salad bar. Barring either of those suggestions slip in a note suggesting they spoon in the jam of their choice.

Makes about 47-60 cookies depending on how small you roll the balls of dough.

"Cream all the butter/shortening and sugar until there are no streaks"

"rolling cookie dough in nonpareils"

"scandinavian cookies ready to bake"

Here is one of the HappyMail eggs I sent out. Turns out if you’re willing to put first class postage on something weighing 13 ounces or less you can pop it in your mailbox or one of the big blue mailboxes found all over the U. S. Pretty cool. So far I’ve mailed Easter eggs, flip flops (one at a time), plastic water bottles, and plastic sushi boxes (not filled with sushi of course).

"Happy Mail getting ready to send "

**For Christmas I roll these cookies in red and green nonpareils or colored sugars.

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Filed under 50 Recipes

Peeps and Kisses

Every year I make peeps to bring to church for the coffee hour following our church’s Easter service. I’ve been doing it ever since I realized ten years ago that you could actually make your own marshmallow peeps–who knew until Martha told me? Continue reading

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Filed under 50 Recipes