Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Holy Saturday’

I know I have been amusing my readers with tales of trauma and drama in Florida, however we did have some good times too!  Of course we NEVER got to the beach and we DIDN’t go in the pool because somehow the days were filled with pre-planned activities as well as the daily chores of running a big household.  Not sure if the highlight of my trip was the fact that I did 3 loads of laundry in a washer and dryer that was right in the house! Yes I know that sounds silly to all of you who own homes but in NYC, washers/dryers in apartments is not all that common so it’s down to the laundry room trying to figure out when all the cleaning ladies won’t be there taking up all the machines.  I’ve become a late night washer lol.

We made cookies; Finley mixed all the dry ingredients and she blended the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and she cooked the caramel.  Francesca broke up the pretzels and eventually it came together to make Caramel Pretzel Bars.  BUT…somehow I had the wrong temperature on in the oven so the crust burnt, Chiara didn’t have a candy thermometer so I don’t think I ever cooked the caramel long enough or hot enough because it was soupy.  Frankie didn’t break up the pretzel rods small enough and we were supposed to use small twists which are significantly thinner and would break into odd size pieces – instead we had thick sticks that lined up like Lincoln Logs on the crust.

Look Mommy, Gigi lets me sit near the open flame!

Look Mommy, Gigi lets me sit near the open flame!

I'm cooking the caramel

I’m cooking the caramel

And we had quiet time too…

Quiet time in the kitchen

Quiet time in the kitchen

I got stickers!

I got stickers!

And we went to a great Easter Egg Hunt and event at the Delray Beach Historical Society. It was a gorgeous day and the ladies had done a spectacular job creating and coordinating the events. There were T-shirts you could design, sticker puzzles, carrot baseball and carrot golf (don’t ask) the egg hunt and a big pinata for the kids to try to break open. A table was set with tiers of mouth-watering shortcake cookies and mini-cupcakes and they served Arnold Palmer‘s (iced tea and lemonade). Chiara told me to dress the girls in their elephant dresses;  She had bought them matching dresses in Thailand last year and they were the HIT of the event. I don’t think there was one person there who didn’t come up to me and remark about how cute the girls looked in their dresses and how adorable the dresses were and where did they come from.

Finley Ray (4 years old) knocked the pinata off the tree! She also got the most eggs in her age group but the prize only went to the girl who found the Golden Egg!  No matter, when we got home and emptied out the two bags of plastic eggs, each one contained candy! Wow just what we needed!

Batter up

Batter up

Francesca and the Hula Hoop

Francesca and the Hula Hoop

Whack that egg!

Whack that egg!

They do look adorable don’t they?

Read Full Post »

English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny.

English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The jury is still out on whether or not encouraging belief in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy is a good idea or a very bad idea.  Mmmm

Personally I think instilling fantasy into your chid’s head at an early age, only makes it easier for them later in life when after 20 years with the same person borders on extreme boredom.  Lucky for me, my parents allowed me to believe in everything for as long as I wanted to pretend I still did.  These early-in-life lesson are invaluable when it comes to faking an orgasm, don’t you agree?

I think my first reality was around the Easter bunny.  You know the concept  was just too far-fetched.  I mean, was this rabbit the size of an adult. How did he get from house to house?  He didn’t have a sleigh and he, heck we don’t even know if he was a he or a she and either way, there were no wings!  And why would a rabbit be delivering eggs?  Where did he get them?  I never saw any Easter chickens just Easter chicks.  Well besides all the hard to believe stuff, being Catholic, it was also not so easy to get into the frivolity aspect of Easter.  After all it followed 40 days of somber repentance, deprivation, fasting and lots and lots of church going.  And as if the 40 days of Lent weren’t serious enough, the last 3 were downright psychologically disturbing!

There was Holy Thursday and off we went to some service – Church in the middle of the week! And just when it was getting to be lighter later and all of us kids wanted to play hide and seek after supper.  That was only mildly unpleasant,…what followed was much worse.  Good Friday dawned and you knew this was not going to be a fun day at all. There was no loud laughing or running around and of course no meat at any meal.  Between 12 noon and 3pm, you could hear a pin drop, silence was encouraged.  I went to parochial school so I think we definitely had the day off.  If you hadn’t been to confession by Good Friday, you were surely going that day!  Since I had made my First Communion while in second grade, you can only imagine the terrors that dark little closet-like cubicle held for an 8 year old!  Then it was off to a very long, very somber service.  There were the Stations of the Cross and think about those horror scenes described in detail as heard by a young child!  My daughter doesn’t want Finley to watch Squarepants Sponge Bob or Kung Fu Pandas and my father took me to hear the Stations of the Cross and to witness this gigantic crucifix laying across the altar steps and people went up to kiss the feet or something! YIKES!

One more day before we finally get the candy!!!  Holy Saturday was another quiet day but at least I didn’t have to go to Church.  Instead we were allowed to play quietly on the front steps – I remember playing jacks with my two friends in the afternoon.  Things lightened up a bit by Saturday night;  Grandma and Grandpa arrived and lots of food preparation was underway for Sunday’s big dinner.  After a bath before bed, my clothes were laid out for big dress-up event of the spring – your Easter outfit.

Patent leather shoes, a new dress, a lightweight duster-like coat and of course a hat.  White straw with maybe a navy blue ribbon edging and flowers on top.  My dad always got my mom a corsage and I used to get a wristlet corsage of pink baby roses or pink carnations.  Dressed up and decked out, we went to High Mass and after (and only after) Mass, we went home for breakfast and our Easter baskets.  I have to say one of the most liberal moments in my upbringing was that I was allowed to eat as much candy and eggs in my basket as I wanted to.  Maybe my parents thought the sooner the basket is empty, the sooner the sugar high would subside.

By noon on Easter Sunday, all was right with the world again.  The extended family was in residence, the Easter dinner was delicious, and there was chocolate and  more chocolate and more chocolate.  

Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy hung around a lot longer.  Not surprising since there was so much more in it for me than a hollow chocolate bunny and some jelly beans!  I say let the stories live on;  I always pictured the Tooth Fairy to look a lot like Tinkerbell.  Santa Claus surely looked like the Coca Cola image of St. Nicholas as far as I was concerned.  

What’s the point in telling your kids the truth?  You will only then have to come across with the latest toy fad or suffer the stigma of being the only parent who was unwilling to go to Walmart at 3am to stand in line to get that………(you fill in the blank since it changes every year).

So here’s the question again, Is the Easter Bunny coming to your house?

Read Full Post »

Passover plate with symbolic foods: maror, egg...

Passover plate with symbolic foods: maror, egg, haroset, karpas, zro'ah, dish of salt water

I haven’t taken the time to calculate how often the Jewish holiday of Passover coincides with Easter, but of course it does happen now and again.  That makes this weekend VERY HOLY and VERY  SPECIAL!

It started on Thursday for the Christians with Holy or Maundy Thursday services.  I remember them well.  This was the terrible night in the Garden of Gethsemane when, while Jesus prayed, Judas dropped the dime on him or in his case, 30 pieces of silver.  Now the term 30 pieces of silver has come to denote ultimate betrayal.  Once the deed was done, and Judas was remorseful he hung himself which only would have compounded his sins in the eyes of the Church.  But then again, there was no Church at that time!.

Next came Good Friday which ironically is one of the most somber days of religious observation for the Christians and an evening of joyous celebratory feasting for the Jews.  Although also threaded with somewhat somber overtones as the story of the Jews plight from Egypt is read at the evening’s Seder, it is also a time for families to gather together to share in this traditional meal replete with special and significant dishes.  While Jewish families are feasting on brisket, gifelte fish and matzoh ball soup, Christians are fasting between meals and eating only seafood as is their tradition on Good Friday.  Why do they call it GOOD?  I haven’t done any research prior to writing this blog and I’m ashamed to admit that 6 years in St. John’s Parochial School didn’t leave me with the answer, but if you know it, please share with us all.  My only guess is that according to my Catholic beliefs, it is characterized as good because that’s the day Jesus saved us all by sacrificing himself for our original sins – well that’s the way the story goes anyway.  Also, the word good is derived from the word pious which means holy, so perhaps we should refer to it as Holy Friday.  We always went to a long and arduous service on Good Friday;  There was the Stations of the Cross,  a long sermon and most of all I remember that at one point, the priest would call out things we would implore God to grant or guide us by responding with “Lord, Pray for us” or “Lord Hear Our Prayer”. One of my favorite memories, as I like to tell my Jewish husband,  is kneeling in church and the priest intoning something about the Jews of the world and our collective response “Lord, Hear our prayer” .

Today is Holy Saturday and as a kid, I remember it as thank God, we don’t have to go to church today, we can eat what we want and tomorrow although a going-to-Mass day would still be a celebration.  My girlfriends were allowed to gather but it was supposed to be a day of quiet play and I remember so clearly, sitting on my front steps playing ball and jacks with my two best friends.

This year Saturday is also the second night of Passover and we are on our way to Brooklyn to join in a non-religious Seder meal at my sister-in-law’s.   They will read from a Haggadah, however it will be devoid of any reference to God.  Mmmm unusual…but befitting of their own atheistic beliefs.

Tomorrow is Easter, the hat is ready, the outfit sort of picked out.  Photos to follow.

A Zissen Pesach and Happy Easter to all.

Read Full Post »