Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sneaks In

I have spent the entire six weeks of Lent reflecting and writing and otherwise observing in my own (twisted) way the passage of Lent.  I knew when Easter would come because I kept looking it up on my calendar to see when I could start writing fiction again. 

But, somehow, Easter still managed to sneak up on me and catch me unawares. Is that not the most appropriate and theologically profound thing that could happen???  No matter how prepared and "ready" I am for Easter, it still comes as a surprise, and brings me up short.  Oh, yeah!  


My Easter celebration is going to be a sort of unplanned and semi-spontaneous family affair.

On Friday evening Daughter Dear asked me if we were going to "do" anything for Easter.  Evidently Wonderful Boyfriend's family is doing a family thing and he has to work.  DD wondered if I was," like, cooking dinner or something."  (DD knows that typically I do not cook on Sundays.)   

I am always delighted when DD and WBF choose to grace us with their presence (they are usually way too busy to bother hanging out with her parental units). I said of course I would cook something.  I asked what they wanted. They want mac 'n' cheese.  That's all. I rarely make it because it's so high in fat and we all love it so, we gorge on it.

My Dear Husband gets irritated when I insist on making a huge meal for just the few of us.  He would be content with just meat and a starch. I usually eat only vegetables and the starch. For this meal, I should just make the starch and skip everything else, because our principal interest is in the starch dish. 

However, you see, I have a Southern Mother: that's kind of like a Jewish Mother or a Catholic Mother. [Come to think of it, my Southern Mother was also a Catholic so I got a double dose of guilt.] Anyway, in traditional Southern cooking there had to be two meats and three vegetables plus a starch, a couple of "sides" (such as tomatoes, slaw, or some other salad-like substance), plus assorted condiments (relish, chow-chow, pickles, crudites, chutney, etc.).  Desserts included both cake and at least one pie (more typically three or four different kinds of pies), plus some sort of "gooey" confection.  

On the one hand, it's no wonder we were fat and we all have high cholesterol.

On the other, I learned that cooks express love by feeding the people they love. I still do that. However, I do not want my loved ones to keel over with heart attacks at the  end of the meal. Therefore, instead of a whole ham, I bought a tiny (itsy bitsy and VERY EXPENSIVE) package of honey cured sliced ham.  With that we will have steamed green beans with slivered almonds, some leftover stir fried snow peas from tonight, sliced tomatoes, broccoli slaw, corn bread, and mac 'n' cheese. (My guess is most of us will eat mainly mac 'n' cheese. The rest of the stuff will become lunches and dinners for the week.)

Dessert will be mixed fruit and fat free frozen yogurt. (In the likely event we are too full for dessert, that will make good smoothies for breakfast next week.)

It's not my mother's over-the-top, 10,000 calorie holiday dinner.  But, it's my way of demonstrating my love for my family, both in preparing the meal with love and in trying to make it reasonably healthy.

May we all have a Blessed Easter, in whatever way we observe it!  

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