Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter traditions new and old

The Trouser started a new Easter tradition for our little family (him and me) on Friday.

On Friday morning, not long after we woke up, he announced that it was Easter, and thus time to exchange our Easter eggs.

I was bemused, but he was keen and so we both bounded out of bed to get our offerings from their respective hiding places, then jumped back into bed to swap them.

Having missed out on the Lindt bunny I'd hoped to present The Trouser with, I had purchased a large chocolate chick, made of fancy European chocolate and probably 20cm tall. He gave me an exquisite Swiss dark chocolate chick (obviously a subconscious theme going on here). He then proceeded to cut his chick in half with a spoon, and gobble up the chocolate!

It's quite different from the traditions of my childhood. A few days before Easter, we used to hard-boil loads and loads of eggs, then decorate them (writing on them with white or yellow crayons, then dyeing them by putting them in a mixture of vinegar and food colouring). This was a serious process, with much competition for different colours of the dye, and to produce the most unusual and beautiful eggs.

On Easter morning, we'd get up and hunt for the eggs, which the Easter bunny had hidden for us. (As the years passed, I realised that the bunny had a few favourite spots!) The hunt was (as always in my childhood home) fiercely competitive - who would find the most eggs?

Adding to the excitement, we also had to find an Easter basket each, which had some chocolate eggs and stuff, but also jellybeans (no idea why, they were just there).

Once I finally got up the courage to admit to my parents that I *knew* about the Easter bunny, I got to be the bunny. My brothers (who were afraid to admit their knowledge in case they lost out on the chocolate) had a hard time finding the eggs and baskets that year, LOL.

After finding the baskets and eggs, we'd have a family breakfast, often including the hard-boiled eggs (yuck). Then we'd go to church, and come home to a family lunch or dinner, usually complete with a cake in the shape of a lamb with white icing and coconut on it (lambs and springtime and all, even though it's autumn in NZ). And we'd have Gran's hot cross buns (without crosses), even though we'd eaten hundreds of them in the preceding weeks, since they were so delicious.

In my late teens and early 20s, I'd make my own Easter eggs for friends. You poke a small hole in the top of an egg, get rid of the egg into a container (quiches here you come!), then wash the egg out carefully with hot water and a bit of detergent. You then pour melted chocolate into the egg, adding nice things like chopped up nuts, marshmallows, and jubes (sometimes you make the hole a bit bigger so you can fit things in). The egg goes into the egg container and into the fridge so the chocolate sets. If you get very creative, you decorate the shell, then tie a bow on it, and you've made a bloody heavy, delicious, chocolate egg.

Anyway, Easter has been different since The Trouser and I have been together - we see it as a precious opportunity to spend quality time together, rather than a religious time. And given our preference for a laid-back lifestyle, we tend to be fairly low-key.

However, if/ when we have children, I figure I'll be all into the egg decoration and egg hunting. As long as you have someone who will eat hard-boiled eggs, you're ok. I'd probably make the hot cross buns too. I've missed them heaps since Gran died (I miss her more, of course - but Gran and her cooking were fairly inseparable!). I meant to make some this year, but my knitting and desire to be lazy won out.

It was a lovely weekend (sigh)... Can we have another soon please?


Blogger Violet said...

We never did Easter when we were growing up but it sounds like we missed something really fun. That's why I tend to go all sarcastic and talk about fertility symbols when the religious folk go on about how much fun they have at Easter.

7:27 pm  
Blogger Nyx said...

Your new tradition sounds wonderful and I love your way to make homemade chocolate eggs, way cool.

8:51 pm  

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