Reminiscing about favorite Easter traditions
March 28, 2012 3:40PM
One of my best Easter memories also evokes strong and fond thoughts of my mother.
Each year mom would carefully assemble Easter baskets for my sister and me. Being young, I could always count on a couple of toys — maybe a set of jacks or a small stuffed animal and a bottle of bubbles for outside. For my older sister, there might be a pretty scarf or some new earrings.
While our baskets never overflowed with candy, there was one seasonal favorite nestled down in that nest of fake green grass — a chocolate covered fruit and nut Fanny May egg.
The memory makes me smile because sweet confections were more a favorite of my mom’s than either my sister or me. In fact, I recall being more interested in the jelly beans. My sister was never a chocolate lover so it was a struggle for mom to restrain herself from digging into those eggs.
Usually later on Easter night, she would finally break down and ask if we wanted a small slice as a bedtime treat. That was the proverbial toe in the door. Slowly over the next few days, those eggs would get smaller and smaller. We knew mom was sneaking our chocolate on the sly but that was OK; it was part of our Easter tradition.
Here are a few more.
Stan Marshal, Griffith: I grew up with five brothers. My dad worked in the mills and mom was a homemaker so, while we weren’t poor, there was never a lot left over at the end of the month.
Keeping six boys in shoes was expensive, but twice a year, like clockwork, mom would march us downtown for a new pair. In late August, it was new school shoes. At Easter, we got to pick out gym shoes — that’s what we called them in the ’50s — to take us into the summer.
That’s a strong memory of an Easter tradition in our family. We sure put a lot of miles on those spring shoes.
Mary Barsinski, Cedar Lake: The most memorable Easter tradition in my family was the making of the beet horseradish. Mom would grate those big ugly roots by hand, tears streaming down her face from the fumes — beets boiling on the stove. I can never remember going to church on Easter that my mom’s hands weren’t stained red from the beet juice. I don’t make it from scratch, but we always have red horseradish on our Easter table.
Kaylee Owens, Munster: One of my favorite memories is going to church with my grandma for the blessing of the Easter baskets. She’d get up early to fill the big wicker basket with homemade bread, pieces of her sausage and ham, colored eggs and her sweet coconut cake. Right before we’d leave home, she’d top it all off with the lamb butter and a bottle of the sweet red wine we’d all share on Sunday.
At church, I loved to take a peek at what everyone else brought as we gathered around the priest for his blessing. It’s a wonderful memory of my grandma — she died several years ago — and is a tradition I hope to continue with my own children one day.