Growing up Easter was a huge deal in our house. My mom would sew new dresses for my sisters and I and a new suit for my brother. Easter baskets were set out for the Easter Bunny. We would go to church and then to Glencairn Garden for pictures of the kids among the blooming azaleas. We would hunt eggs in the yard and be off to the grandparents.
Now, we are all grown with children and grandchildren. It’s off to Grandma’s house for dinner after church.
Going to church on Easter is a huge part of my southern heritage. It was the one day of the year everyone would show up whether they wanted to or not. You had to get there early or not have a place to park.
Food was also a huge part of Easter. There were chocolate bunnies, and those fruit and nut eggs, jelly beans, and hard boiled eggs we’d colored and decorated.
Spring in the south lasts about a minute. We go from 32 degrees to 80 in the course of a day or so in March and April. Our last freeze date is mid-April, so if Easter is late like this year, we have fresh strawberries coming in. Low Country tomatoes are getting ripe. If you are lucky, Easter Sunday won’t be too cold or too hot, but just a beautiful, low-humid day. Front porch weather.
This year is special. My son and his wife and their beautiful baby girl are coming. We’ll have three generations together for Sunday dinner. There will be blackberry-mustard glazed ham, sweet potatoes with bacon and onion, salads, veggies, macaroni and cheese, strawberry shortcake, and many other goodies. And biscuits. Can’t forget biscuits.
Since it’s Baby Girl’s first Easter, there will be sweet little favors made by my very creative daughter-in-law and a lot of photos. Maybe even an egg hunt.
I never thought about how special these times were, until I started writing about the South. I’m beginning to realize how special it was to grow up where people talk to total strangers and always say ‘hi’. If one thing comes out of writing this series, it’s my appreciation for where I grew up.
How about you? What traditions do you celebrate in Spring? What’s the one dish you have to have to celebrate at your house?