Two Easters, Lots of Leftovers, One Demented Bunny

Being Orthodox Christian, my mother’s family has always celebrated the Orthodox Easter, which typically falls on a different day from Western Easter, due to different theological calendars….bottom line? As a kid, we got two Easter baskets, one for Western Easter and one for Orthodox Easter.

Now we’re adults and we don’t get Easter baskets and I’m still bitter but we do get to spend two Easters with family. My mother and aunt, both wonderful hostesses each relish hosting their separate Easter. This year both the Orthodox and Western Easter fell on the same day; which is havoc in my family. Hair was pulled, tears were shed and one or two Easter eggs may have been thrown at the wall…and that was just my Dad, who was just tired of hearing who was hosting what. A compromise was reached: my mother hosted Palm Sunday dinner and my Aunt hosted Easter. Win win for the kid without the Easter basket.

Palm Sunday dinner was delightful. My mother made a wonderful dinner of Beef Tenderloin, Roasted vegetables, Scalloped Potatoes and Green Salad.
The star appetizer was a gorgeous Baked Raspberry Brie my sister made…

A warm, gooey swirl of brie, raspberry jam and pecans all wrapped in delicate puff pastry with fresh raspberries on the side. Delicious!

Desserts included eclairs, my chocolate-covered strawberries and this bunny, which my aunt made with love and care…and just a splash of……
…..well, we’re not quite sure since he looks a wee bit demented; but gorgeous and scrumptious nonetheless!

Easter dinner this past Sunday was a Lebanese feast!
My Aunt made Grilled Lamb, Stuffed Grapeleaves, Arabic Rice Stuffing (hushwee/biryani), this Raw Lamb dish, and the most yummy salad, I’ve had in a long time, a Shepherd’s Salad that my aunt adapted from here.

There were also some more traditional treats as well, Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Squash and Jello Salads. Yes, my aunt makes two full dinners for 13 people, what of it? Dessert was Lebanese cookies, American sweets and birthday cake. I threw together a quick batch of Lemon Cake Mix Cookies from this recipe. These are so easy and a delicious change from chocolate desserts.

Needless to say, I rolled home, with tighter pants and my hands clutched around my bag of leftovers.

Leftover lunch the next day was possibly even better than the first time around….

WW flatbread, grilled lamb, hummus and the divine shepherd salad.

All wrapped up together now….yum!

My leftover cookies were calling my name as well.

Apricot Fingers,  Rolled Baklava and Gribee (an Arabic butter cookie). These treats are deliciously sweet and usually only made on special holidays.

My favorites are the Apricot Fingers. Tangy, bright apricots are made into a paste that are piped in light dough fingers and laced with powdered sugar. So good!

And whaddaya know…. my cute mother the Easter bunny did bring me an Easter basket!

Jellybeans, Candy corn and a chocolate bunny….

……alongside some red-dyed, hard-boiled eggs.

Orthodox families often dye their eggs a deep red, almost purple color (using onion skins). The red symbolizes the blood of the crucifixion (hey, Easter ain’t all jellybeans and baby chicks…..). Orthodox families then often play “Eggs”. Two people, each holding an egg  try to crack each other’s egg by tapping the top of one egg onto the other and then flipping them over and cracking the bottom of the egg onto the other egg bottom). Whoever’s egg doesn’t crack is declared the winner and gets to take the loser’s egg. Its lots of fun and extremely competitive (the way we play anyway!).

The last two weekends were a beautiful celebration the Easter season, spent with some of my favorite people.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lilmurph says:

    I very much prefer the Lebanese extravaganza to the usual Easter duds. I’ll have to get your Auntie Diana to cater Easter for me next year…all of those little plate labels. I now use that trick prepping for all parties.

    1. Auntie will be thrilled to know that the paper slips live on!!

  2. Jen says:

    What about details on this jell-o salad? Was it lime or strawberry? Did it have little pieces of fruit in it? Was it a mold, or a bowl of jell-cubes? Was Bill Cosby at Easter brunch? This jell-o fiend wants to know.

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