Looking Back at Easter 2018: Baking and Celebration

I had every intention of posting Easter recipes BEFORE Easter weekend, but that didn’t pan out.  I was too caught up in chocolate making!  But I did bake quite a bit just before Easter.  The Polish traditional Easter showstopper is the Babka, which is a yeast-based cake usually baked in a Bundt or Kugelhopf pan and made with many eggs–like 8 to 10, lots of butter, and studded with candied orange peel and raisins.  A sugar glaze is drizzled or brushed over the cake.  I had  some fun kneading the dough (not).

Here were the results.

Using a similarly made sweet, enriched yeast dough, I made braided bread.  In this case, my kids did the braiding.

Aside from these treats, I made a cheesecake and various cookies, including  Early American Spiced Jumbals, which have now become part of my standard Easter baking list.  Also, I wanted to try out a suggestion in a comment to my gluten-free Spanish Marquesa Cakes post to bake a Galician almond cake–also gluten-free.  Here is the link to the recipe:  Spanish Almond Cake.  The cake was a hit at my parents’ house on Easter Sunday–thanks Janina!  It has hints of almond, and lemon and orange rind–very refreshing.  It’s traditionally a dessert for Passover.  This photo shows both the almond cake and Polish Babka.

Rewinding a bit–on Saturday, the kids had fun painting eggs at grandma and grandpa’s house.  The kids decided to get fancy with their crayon and dye technique.

There was someone watching through the glass door, looking for a peanut.

Here is a collection of our Polish Easter eggs–painted wooden eggs with intricate designs:

We kept a Polish tradition of going to church during the day on Holy Saturday to get our Easter baskets blessed.  In the basket are eggs, butter, salt, grated beets, bitter herbs (horseradish), and Polish sausage.  I’m sure I’m forgetting something we put in the basket!

Here is the church we went to, which is where we went for Christmas as well, and where I’ve been going for Easter since I was a little girl.  It’s the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA.  The original shrine is at Jasna Góra Monastery in Czestochowa, Poland.  It’s a beautiful place that holds so many great memories for me.

The interior of the upper church was full of Easter decorations.

In an adjacent building, there are conference rooms, a cafeteria, a shop, and in the corridor, there was this display showing a traditional table setting for breakfast with the foods from the Easter basket.

On Easter Sunday, we had our own traditional Polish Easter brunch–a lot more food than what is in the above display!!

My parents hosted an Easter egg hunt.  One of the eggs was hidden in a peculiar place.  It took a few outings before the kids found all the eggs.

Outside, Spring flowers were making a beautiful showing, especially the daffodils.

And some flowers were just beginning to appear, like this hyacinth.

Inside, my mom’s orchids were in full bloom.  This is one of the most beautiful orchids!

And my mom’s tulip graced the Easter table.  It was closed when it was placed on the table and then opened right up within an hour before our eyes.

Easter dinner included grilled lamb made using a recipe from an earlier post.

Happy Easter 2018!

 

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