Family connections

For both Paul and I our biological family is limited and far away. Odd since we both were close to large pods of cousins and aunts and uncles growing up. As age kicked in those familial connections seemed to break and were less important. One of the things we both believe is family isn’t always a blood connection but can be a connection that you have made. Perhaps that is the topic for another post.

In my family holiday celebrations were important. They were special and we went all out. Food was important. Tradition was important.

Yesterday was our Easter dinner and even though we had no biological family at the table we still did in a way.

The table was set with my mother’s china that I inherited. A china pattern that I hate but for some reason it was important to mom that I have it after she died and guilt made me keep it when we moved across the country. Of course I have found myself hating it less than I once did (I’ll never love it because one can’t love dishes than can only be hand washed). We used the silver that Paul’s mother got for her first marriage and Paul received after she died.

The family tradition extended to the food as well. Both my grandmothers cooked a ham for Easter. It was a central part of the family celebration. From time to time I might slip lamb onto the menu but more often than not I cook a ham as well. When a do cook ham it is always made with a rum and ginger glaze that I first read about in the 1991 Gourmet magazine Easter edition. That is more than 30 years! It was THAT good.

Another food related tradition that made its way onto the Easter table was egg bread (AKA challah). My mom LOVED egg bread. So much so that we’d buy two or three loaves and give her some to take home. I think that she preferred this basket over the basket of treats that the Easter bunny left for her.

Finally, and most important of all, mom’s marinated carrot salad. Easter Dinner wasn’t Easter Dinner without this salad. Every year mom would ask what she should bring and every year I’d ask her to make this salad. It isn’t the most healthy of salads (for example it calls for a cup of sugar in the dressing . . . I cut this back!) but like so many things that aren’t particularly good for you it is damn tasty.

It wasn’t just me who loved this salad. Mom used to bring it to potlucks and people still talk about it. I received a text from one of mom’s friends on Easter Sunday and she was making mom’s carrot salad for her dinner. It’s funny how a dish that is likely from the 1970s became such an important part of tradition.

So in a round about manner family joined us at our Easter table even though our close family lives 1000s of kms away.

I hope you had a brilliant Easter as well!