This past weekend we celebrated Easter and for us that means traditions and family. We hope all of you had a wonderful weekend no matter if you celebrated Easter, Passover, or the Easter Bunny!!
Easter has always been important to our family and has been filled with some of our favorite traditions. There is the morning egg hunt in our PJ’s (which was a lot more tame this year since the competitive spirit of racing for eggs filled with money was replaced with the excitement of Georgia’s new discoveries and eggs full of Trader Joe’s O’s). It wouldn’t be Easter without our traditional breakfast of egg cheese, kielbasa, hard-boiled eggs, Grandma’s Easter bread, and lamb shaped butter. The whole family getting dressed up to go to a crowded church service and then having a delicious ham dinner at 3 in the afternoon with our extended family and close friends is the blueprint for the rest of the day. Each year is a little different. Whether it’s a big egg hunt at our neighbors or a bon fire in our backyard we always try to be surrounded by the people we love the most.
Morning Egg Hunt.
Georgia at our neighbor's egg hunt! Each kid is allowed to get 10 eggs, so it's fair for everyone. Georgia was happy with just 4.
Found some eggs!
Rejoicing outside church with Uncle Tommy!! It's always fun to take photos outside in the natural light. Just be sure to get your subjects in the sunlight and not caught in the shadows of the branches.
Sometimes with all the running around during the holidays, it's hard to get a group shot. We try to get one after church before things get too busy and we forget.
This year we had Saturday Brunch with the Easter Bunny (and some of our close friends). Not sure if it will become an annual tradition, but it sure was fun!
We hope you cherish the traditions of your family. From the ones that have been around since you can remember to the ones you just started this year, sharing these moments with the people you love most are what makes them so meaningful.
We wanted to share the recipe for my Grandma’s Easter bread with you. Disclaimer: We are card and craft people. We only bake recreationally. Last week we mentioned not trying to be Martha Stewart. We have succeeded at that. We also don’t have the amazing food stylists, who we’ve been lucky enough to work with in the past. Long story short: We get flour everywhere when we bake and didn’t try to fake it for a perfect photo. We also don’t know why when everyone else writes a recipe they don’t tell you the measurements as you go and only list it at the top. Come on, do you really want us to have to refer back to the top of the page for every ingredient! So we will write it in both places for you! You are welcome!! Enjoy…
8 to 9 cups of flour (unsifted)
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 packets of yeast
½ cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 cups scolded milk (cooled to touch)
1 stick butter
1. Put 2 packets of yeast, ½ cup water, and 1 tsp sugar in a small bowl, mix, and let stand for 15 minutes. It will bubble and raise if yeast is good.
2. Melt 1 stick of butter.
3. Scold 2 cups of milk & let cool. Now for those of you who haven’t gone to culinary school and have no idea what this means (like us the first time we tried to make the bread on our own), basically this means put the milk on the stove on HIGH then stir occasionally until just before it boils. It kinda starts to steam and a thin film starts to form on the side of the pot. Once this happens take it off the stove and let it cool.
4. Combine 8 to 9 cups of unsifted flour, ¾ cup sugar, and 2 tsp salt in a big bowl.
5. Next (this is where we take advantage of modern kitchen technology and go off script for a second) in your kitchen aid mixer combine 4 eggs, the butter you melted in step #2 and the milk you scolded & cooled in step #3.
6. Now SLOWLY add the dry combination to the mixer. If you do this too fast, you will make a mess. Actually, even if you do this slow you’ll probably still make a mess. (or at least we did…it’s a skill we have)
7. Transfer the dough from the mixer bowl to a larger bowl that you can knead it in. There’s no fancy kitchen gadget to replace this step. Take your rings off, get in there and knead that dough. This is when you can add the raisins, if you like. We just keep adding until it looks right. We don’t think you can have too many raisins. (Just make sure they aren’t expired!)
8. Form the dough into one large ball, cover it with some towels, put it in a dry, warm place and let it rise. After some time, knead it again, cover it, and let it rise once more.
9. Finally divide the dough into 3 sections and form 3 round loaves. Cover them with a beaten egg. (Grandma used just the egg whites, but Aunt Maryann said to use the whole egg, so that’s what we do).
10. Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes. Then cover the top with brown paper, turn it up to 400 and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.