Every holiday, whether fabricated or not (I’m looking at you, Valentine’s Day), is a good excuse to make sure your cherished ones know how important they are to you. Not that we need an excuse, but hey, if it includes an excuse to eat candy– which we do need an excuse for– then it’s just frosting on my cake. Which brings us to Easter, a day that meant a lot more to me as a child when I took pleasure in Easter egg hunts and wearing a new spring dress than it does as an adult when I don’t even get a day off from work for it.
If memory serves, since I’m not seeing that I wrote about it on the blog at all, I’ve hosted maybe two or three Easter brunches in years past. Family and some friends have convened over ham, brunch food and chocolate eggs because it somehow seems strange to ignore Easter. Which is exactly what I wad going to do this year. Our dishwasher (you know, the one that is only two years old from our kitchen remodel!?) is broken so I said, “No hosting since we can’t do dishes.” But then everyone kept asking, “Sooooo…. are you hosting Easter?” And I finally gave in with my husband’s permission. But, you all get paper plates and plastic utensils!
And since of course it’s me, we didn’t just end up with a small Easter gathering but a group of 10 to be hosted. That’s about the size of a Thanksgiving for us which I spend weeks thinking about. However, we decided to do this gathering with only about three days notice! Luckily, everyone volunteered to bring brunch dishes and I simply made a ham, a chicken in the slow cooker (thanks, Pinterest!) and baked some bread the day before. Easy peasy.
One Polish tradition that I have been forgetting to do for a while is breaking the “Christmas wafer” or in Polish, “oplatki,” before our meal. I distinctly remember doing this before dinner at my grandma’s house and at my great uncle’s home for Christmas and Easter each year. Everyone gets a small piece of the wafer and then goes around and breaks it with everyone else. Then we say a prayer and eat it. From Wikipedia:
Breaking off and exchanging part of opłatek with someone is symbol of forgiveness between two people and is meant to remind participants of the importance of Christmas, God, and family.
In our family we did it for the big holidays (Thanksgiving too? I can’t remember!) and it was a nice way to mingle with family. I haven’t done this in years and years and though this stuff is a big mouthful of cardboard (flour and water) it brought back memories of when I was little as soon as I tasted it on Sunday. I may have to hunt down more and keep this tradition.
Hosting a sit-down meal on the fly for 10 makes me think I’m going to have challenge myself to a bigger gathering for the next Thanksgiving! I’m glad we were able to have everyone join us and we had a beautiful meal with ones who I’m happy are part of our lives. I was also happy my sister and I were able to introduce everyone to a Polish tradition we value.
Do you have any holiday traditions that you celebrate on Easter or another holiday?