Monday, April 1, 2013

Our Easter Weekend

Sis's dyed eggs in her ivy nest among the crocuses.

Easter has come and gone, with lots of food, fun, eggs and bunnies, and not a little chaos.

Ma and Gong came on Saturday, bringing with them all manner of food.  My Easter offering of deviled eggs and pimiento cheese couldn't compare to mango sticky rice and various buns.

Our favorite part was coloring eggs, both by traditional dip-n-dye method and then using our new spin machines (rather like a salad spinner, but for eggs; I think you could use a salad spinner, if you had the right dyes.)  I had such a good time pushing the button to spin the egg.  And the eggs were beautiful!  Bud liked the spinner; Sis experimented with the dipped dyes, trying to get the riches color possible.  This year, we didn't bother with natural dyes; maybe again next year.

Lunch itself was rather a challenge and somewhat stressful.  I had hoped to make rolls snipped into bunny shapes for Sis, but something went wrong.  The dough came out of the bread machine with little specks--the paddle had dropped some of its coating.  And then fuzz from the towel I'd dried my hands on transferred to the dough and, well, it was a lost cause.  Then we made a mistake with the potatoes--Mama used the Celsius temperature instead of Fahrenheit and we never could get the potatoes right after that, too dried out but not totally cooked.  So we ran to the store and got macaroni and cheese in a box, green beans in a bag, and refrigerated pizza dough to finagle some rolls.  So lunch was late.  The ham--from Harrington's in Vermont--was very good and we liked the rolls and Sumi salad and macaroni and cheese.  Still, it was a stressful effort and not exactly what we had in mind.

That evening, after Ma and Gong had returned to the city, Sis and Bud played outside and even decided to make Easter nests.  But unlike last year, we have no grass growing and not much in the way of greenery to form the base of the nest.  So they cut some ivy off a nearby tree and used that.  We didn't want to pull up our crocuses or snowdrops, so they built the nest amidst them.  And placed one egg inside it for the Bunny to hide.   The rest of the eggs, along with some celery, were left on the porch with our empty baskets.

Sunday was much more relaxed . . . even though it started way too early.  The kids woke up excited around 3 a.m. and chatted with each other for hours.  At 6 a.m., we finally let them look for the eggs inside.  But first, Sis checked the letter she'd written to the Easter Bunny, asking for an autograph and/or a picture; she got both!  The Easter Bunny drew a picture of her tail--Sis called it an 8 x 10 butt glossy--and signed her name, complete with ears, decorated egg, and carrot!  Besides having a sense of humor, the Bunny was clever (or tricky) this year--she's definitely upped the difficulty level--hiding eggs up high and under things.  The kids had a challenge finding the candy- and coin-filled plastic eggs.

On the porch, having eaten the celery Sis left for her, the Bunny had filled our baskets with chocolate bunnies, books, puzzles, musical scores, tea, flowers, and pajamas.  Then Mama and I took a nap while they played and ate their treats.

At 8 a.m., we finally allowed them outside for the next egg hunt (waiting til then so we wouldn't wake up the neighbors).  Sis was way ahead of Bud in the egg-finding business; she gets that from me!  I am an excellent egg hunter.  So much so that my mom and Aunt Banana accuse me of cheating.  I didn't have to cheat, though; I had five years of experience and several inches on Aunt Banana--who needed to cheat?  Sis didn't have a size or experience advantage, but she is still just better.  And Bud was getting sad and frustrated.  So, halfway through, we talked to her quietly about her superior skills and generosity and sensitivity, not to make sure they got equal numbers of eggs but so that she knew she had the chance to help him have a better day.  And that egg totals didn't matter.  They found the last egg together, after circling the house three times (we knew we had given the Bunny 36 dyed eggs), which was hidden in the middle of the yard, just in the grass!  We almost stepped on it.  It was hilarious!

Then we had a great big breakfast of eggs, biscuits, bacon, sausage, and sausage gravy!   Mmmm.  The rest of the day was slow-paced,with naps, The Music Man, and more food.  Bedtime came very early--the kids were sound asleep before 8 p.m. and I was in bed by 8:30 p.m.!

Tangy Green Beans

4 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-16 oz. cans whole green beans, drained (or 16 oz. fresh)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon (or 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast)
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pepper

            Microwave bacon until brown, removed and crumble (or just boil in green beans!)  Combine other ingredients (add extra water if necessary); cook until thoroughly heated.
Gommie Hungry

Sausage Gravy
Cook sausage in skillet, removing sausage when cooked and reserving oil.  Brown flour (2-4 tablespoons) in grease; add grapeseed or vegetable oil if necessary.  Add milk (1 cup for each tablespoon of flour) and cook gently until thickened, without boiling.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over biscuits.

Mommy Hungry

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