random musings

April 3, 2012

Easter inspiration

Can you believe next week is Easter? Already?

When I was younger, Easter was all about making up baskets for nieces and nephews - maybe sneaking some treats in the process. My mom would blow up this inflatable pink plastic rabbit (I kid you not). It looked like this (ours had cute pink ears not those bat-like monstrosities, but you get the idea)

The plastic inflatable rabbit from my youth
with scary-er ears.

Nowadays, with my overarching goal of turning every.single.activity into a multitasking learning opportunity, I am trying to use the holiday of Easter to get in touch with my Italian heritage. Oh and there's that whole religious aspect too, right? My brother would say that the last sentence was a bit too cheeky for the occasion, but he doesn't read this blog. I'm comfortable with my own faith and your intellect to say that the message of renewal speaks to us in the best way for our unique lives and is ultimately a very personal and individual journey. And for me lately, a big part of that journey is food. 

In contrast to my immediate family's admittedly kitschy and consumeristic approach, my Auntie Edythe (one of those East-coast Italian types) attacked the holiday with the weight and responsibility that a major feast day demands. Her home was decorated for at least one month before the holiday. The weeks of Lent were filled with many many Church events and introspective study. And every year we would get a easter pie in the mail.

What Aunt Edythe's pies looked like.
My mom didn't like eating them ...
via google images
It usually fell to Dad and I to eat with gusto, as Mom is not a big fan of cheese. Or pies. This may be part of why she is < 100lbs... 

Living away from family for academics, I don't have the luxury of time or money to create a buffet table of goodies to devour. On Easter Sunday, T and I will go to church and join the community potluck, which is wonderful - just not very Italian. I'm bringing this:

To extend the celebration, I'm making a ricotta pie which we can eat for dinner over a few days. If I had unlimited time/energy,  I would attempt this recipe at theitaliandish, which uses ten (10!!) layers of buttery pastry dough. Maybe next year??


In an attempt to keep goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely), I will be making a different version, dubbed Nan's Ricotta Pie by npr  


And who knows? Maybe with that $5 budget T & I set each other, I can get him an inflatable plastic rabbit?

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