Remembering last year’s unique Easter “dinner.”
This year’s Easter celebration looked VERY different than the last several years’. This year, for a variety of reasons, I (Laura) took a leave of absence from the church choir, and so I was not at church yesterday from 7 a.m. to noon, involved in all the musical hoopla. Where I would normally go home and collapse, and sometime after 4 roust myself to get the ham out of the crockpot, and serve it with only a salad and pre-made bread for accompaniment, this year’s food looked completely different, and I LOVED it!
First off, our church has a tradition that may date all the way back to the first Swedes who established the church many decades ago–we ALWAYS have an all-church ham-and-eggs-and-pastries breakfast on Easter morning. People come and eat before or after attending the service, sit and visit for a while, and then go away. The men of our adult Sunday school class always cook and serve the meal. So that was a lovely time–sailing into the breakfast and actually having time to sit and eat and visit, instead of racing back to sing in the next service. We wandered down the hall at the right time for the service, which was wonderful. And then we went home and relaxed for a while.
At about 1 p.m., we loaded into our car and drove down to south Minneapolis, where our friend Nicole (who has posted here a few times, and sometimes shows up at our house bearing molé) goes to church. She goes to a Hispanic church, and they have a traditional Easter afternoon shindig to which we were invited this year.
We showed up just as their service was letting out, and the people were pouring downstairs into this fairly small basement fellowship hall (they meet in an OLD Lutheran church). We were ushered to seats of honor and handed plates full of food made by las hermanas (the sisters–in a Latino church, all the women are hermanas and the men are hermanos) in the kitchen.
My plate contained Spanish rice, a helping of spicy black beans, and chicken, cooked in a really savory sauce. My husband got a plate with the rice, some down-home refried beans, and a different flavor of chicken. One of our sons got a plate with spicy beef, and the other one got a plate with carnitas (slow-cooked smoked pork–my FAVORITE!) For a second helping, Kirk got a plate full of chicken in a REALLLLLLLY spicy red chile sauce. (One forkful left me gasping for air, and I’m not exactly a spice-wimp!) For dessert, there was a traditional Mexican birthday cake for one of the hermanas who did the cooking, whose birthday it was. Their cake is sweet and heavy, with a LOT of moisture, almost like they pour milk over it (I’ll do some research and see if I can come up with a recipe, because I thought it was very tasty!)
Throughout this meal, people kept coming up to meet us, and thanking us for joining them. It was simply LOVELY! We definitely plan to attend more of these wonderful feasts. (Thanks, Nicole!)