I grew up spending Sundays at my great-grandparents farm surrounded by second and third cousins not knowing the difference between them and my more immediate first cousins. Sunny days spent climbing trees with the boys, picking wheat from he fields, and riding an occasional cow are memories that happily resurface every Easter when the entire collection of us gather again at my second-cousin’s home out in the middle of nowhere Ohio. Now, the faces of the children are a little different, their parents were my playmates. The faces of the adults have changed too. Some, with the relaxed smiles found happily by granparents. My playmates faces show their growing wisdom as parents and capable aunts and uncles. While this Easter was overcast, our day was spent roaming through the damp grass towards the pond, in search of brightly colored eggs, or to catch a squirmy dog. Oh yes, we also ate some delicious food.
This afternoon began with the sounds of children racing up and down the front walkway. Laughter followed by squeals. Repeat. Soon, the adults caught the infectious laughter and began to play. Oh and trees were climbed.
Soon, it was time to hunt for those brightly colored gems. The hiders had lots of opportunity for creativity. Can you spot them all?
For the last few years, hiding eggs always brings back the story of the 2-3 years when the youngest child at Easter was about 12. The adults insisted that we hunt eggs anyway. Remember your teenage years? I bet searching for eggs at your family Easter was one of your favorite things to do when you were 15!
Thankfully, there were very willing participants this year. In fact, they were fast! I could barely keep up with their swift legs and quick hands. Here’s a few favorite shots I caught.
The dogs also enjoyed hunting for eggs. Check out Sophia’s look-a-like!
These dogs don’t mess around.
Don’t worry, at our Easter, every basket gets a chocolate prize!
After lunch, new activities filled the space. Fish were caught and eaten (by dogs–I will save you the pictorial evidence).
But wait! I said, “after lunch”. What about the food? I know, it’s a food blog. I am getting back on topic. Here’s some evidence of my family’s culinary skills. Delicious, right?
I know it’s hard to tell, but the little boy has just shoved an entire cookie in his mouth. Click the picture to see!
So, what do you make for Easter dinner when you are on a crazy diet? Grilled vegetable salad with quinoa, of course! I cooked up 1c of quinoa according to the package directions. In the meantime, I grilled 1 eggplant and 1 zucchini (cut into small chunks and tossed with oil) until well browned. I also opened one large can of whole tomatoes and roasted them at 450 with 3 minced cloves of garlic and a generous drizzle of olive oil for about 45 minutes. When everything was done, I tossed them together with a healthy bunch of fresh basil sliced thinly, salt and pepper.
Refrigerate until cool and serve (or serve hot–it’s great either way!)
Add boiling water to 1c of sun-dried tomatoes (they can be packed in oil or simply dry. If in oil, drain, but save it.) until plump. Put the tomatoes in the blender with 1/2c toasted sliced almonds, a bunch of fresh herbs (I used basil), salt, pepper, and the reserved oil. I added a bit more olive oil and some of the soaking water. Blend until a thick paste develops. Save and lick the spoon!
Make a gluten-free pie crust, but leave out the agave. (or leave it in, if you want a sweeter crust). Press into a pie pan. Have The Philosopher break 4 eggs and have your mother prepare a bunch of asparagus into 1″ pieces while you work on the crust. Make sure The Philosopher removes all egg shells before continuing. Add 1c of unsweetened coconut milk to the eggs as well as a generous pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk together well and pour in the prepared crust. Arrange the asparagus and plop pesto throughout until you are satisfied with your pretty creation. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes until it isn’t wobbly in the middle. Serve hot or at room temperature. Tell your cousin it’s “Egg Pie” so it’s manly enough for him to try.
Sometimes things change drastically from year to year. The height of a child. The number of family members roaming the house. The person behind the camera. Sometimes things change slowly. The lines of our faces. The development of the combined wisdom. The trajectory of our lives.
There’s comfort in knowing that next year the calendar will call us all back again after life’s path has moved us forward, tugged us away, and changed in scenery.