Easter certainly wasn’t ‘normal’ for anyone this year, but being forced to spend the holiday at home allowed us to have special time as a family and experience some age-old traditions in new ways.
I really enjoy cooking and baking, and haven’t done as much of either in the last few years as I used to. School, working and being a new mom really take a toll on the available time to meal-prep and cook! Although, with everyone self-isolating, we’re all cooking at home A LOT more, amiright???
For most of the last decade, Andrew and I have been traveling to Carmel, IN to spend the holiday weekend with his grandmother and aunt and uncle who live there. It’s been our tradition, and I would even bring grandma her own Easter basket so we’d all have one to dig into in the morning. Last year, we’d just returned from our babymoon to Sicily that weekend, so we weren’t able to make it to Indiana, and I’m sure I made some ham steaks and pineapple glop. I think we had a friend over, but otherwise it was a quiet day.
This year, I decided that even though the pandemic was keeping us home, it wasn’t going to keep us from having a special day. I cobbled together some items for our baskets–I’d been collecting gifts for Maelle’s early, but mine and Andrew’s were pretty anemic this year–and I pulled out all the stops for our breakfast and lunchtime meals.
I’d been wanting to make hot cross buns for years, and this year I finally did! To keep things simple in the morning I made them the night before, iced a few with crosses and covered the rest with icing and Easter-themed sprinkles. We came down to Easter goodies on the table and enjoyed breakfast together while watching our church’s service on my phone.
Once Maelle was down for her nap, I got to work on our lunch. It was the first time I made a full ham (I’ve always used ham steaks in the past) and even attempted this Pinterest-worthy Easter bread. While I used my bread maker to make the dough for the buns, I did this one the old-fashioned way and I was so happy with the results. The dough rose, the braid came together and the colored eggs and sprinkles made it look so festive! And it was so fun to have an excuse to dye some eggs–something I haven’t done in probably 20 years. I’m not sure what next Easter holds in terms of travel, but Easter bread is one tradition I’d like to have in our family–it was delicious! It’s a brioche-type dough and would be perfect for breakfast, too.
As for sides, Maelle LOVES asparagus, and I always make ‘pineapple glop’ when I serve ham. It’s hard to explain, so here’s the quick recipe:
- Mix the wet: 20 oz can pineapple, undrained; 2 eggs; 1/4 C water; 1 tsp vanilla
- Mix the dry: 1 C sugar; 4 tbsp flour
- Mix together; dot top with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately an hour
It’s super sweet and gooey and goes well with ham. Growing up, we always had it at Bamma’s Thanksgiving, because she always had a spiral-sliced ham as well as a turkey. I can still remember Top carving the turkey with his electric knife…
After we cleaned up from lunch, we all headed out on a walk. It was overcast but in the 60s, and one of the first days we could go without coats. Such a blessing.
We ended up on the Nye’s porch and Maelle loved the little chick that hops when you wind it!
After our quick socially-distant (or at least mostly–insert face-palm emoji when we got WAY too close to a neighbor and their totally adorable puppy) visit, Andrew whipped out his tripod and camera to take some photos in the backyard. We accidentally stood directly in front of the only thing blooming–forsythia–insert another face-palm emoji.
Happy Easter, friends!