Today is Easter, a truly holy day for Christians. For others, it is a spring holiday. For everyone, it marks the beginning of spring, the rebirth of flowers, grass and the start of sunny days.
The little ones look for the Easter Bunny and the fancy baskets he will bring to them. They also enjoy the egg hunts and the candy. It is the time of families gathering together for food and fellowship and to enjoy being a family. It always seemed this should be the "New Year" because this is the time for the reawakening of the earth and of us humans, too. We scrub down our houses, change our wardrobes, plant our gardens and lay out our family plans for the remainder of the year. It is the time of happy expectations.
Of course, we don't know what is in our future. As the Scottish saying goes, "The plans of mice and men oft go awry" (not the Scottish spelling). We aren't promised tomorrow and we should always remember that. The truth of that has hit our family hard in the last two weeks. And we want to thank everyone who has helped us through these past several days. Knowing the prayers and thoughts of so many of you, as well as the food, flowers, cards and emails, have touched our hearts and given us the strength to keep going. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. We treasure the happy memories of all the good times and know that time will deaden some of the pain. We will always remember and be thankful for how you all helped us when we needed it so much. We are blessed to be living in a caring community.
Can you believe the crazy weather this past week? One minute, the sun is out and the next, the snow is coming down. The brave little daffodils in the yard have hung in there and are starting to bloom. The ones in town are having a little easier time of surviving than the ones here on this cold, windy hill. There would have been more here if the squirrels and skunks hadn't been feasting on the bulbs. Of course, they have to eat, too, so more will just be planted.
The grandkids, along with their friends, like the fancy Easter baskets they see in the stores. Kids today will never know the thrill of an old-fashioned Easter where the baskets weren't baskets but nests lined with the moss from the creek bank, moss that they have gathered. The adults colored the eggs and they appeared on Easter morning. Of course, kids today enjoy coloring and decorating the eggs themselves. Guess that comes with growing up like helping wrap the gifts Santa brings for the little brothers and sisters. It is a privilege and a joy to watch kids grow up, but they don't have to grow up so fast! One minute they are in a cradle and the next, they are graduating from high school! The eggs played with for days were the actual hard-boiled and colored eggs, not the plastic kind like are around today. Isn't it strange that we never got sick from playing with those eggs for days and then eating them? We always had Easter eggs in our school lunch box the entire week after Easter. We made certain that our "favorite" eggs got in our own lunch box, too, and not in our sibling's lunch box. War, if that happened.
Our valley is blessed to have a special event for Easter - the Easter parade. Kiki is doing a fantastic job of providing happy memories for the community. It takes much work by many people to put on something like this. The young ones riding in the floats and those watching on the sidewalks will never forget the magic of the Parkersburg Easter Parade. May it always continue.
As you sit down with your family for your Easter dinner, be sure to tell everyone at the table how much they mean to you. We get too busy sometimes to voice our love and appreciation for those closest to us. Never be too busy to play with your little ones or to go with them on a special outing. We aren't promised tomorrow - do it today.
Another truth we need to keep in our hearts always - no matter how bad the situation is or how it causes us to hurt, there is always something in it for which to be thankful. You all have proved it again to me these past several days. Have a joyful Easter, and God Bless you all.
Now that you have more hard-boiled eggs then you know how to use up, here are some of the ways I have done it over the years, besides adding them to our luncheon salad.
Place whole, peeled hard-boiled eggs in beet juice to cover - either plain or pickled beet juice. Leave them in the beet juice until they turn red. Remove from the juice and blot with paper towel so that the juice doesn't get into the inside of the eggs. Cut in half. You will have a red outside, then the white, then the yellow yolk. You can leave them like this or you can remove the yolk and make a deviled egg mixture that you put back into the white shell. A shake of paprika on either way you do the yolk adds a touch of color, too. Use fresh parsley sprigs, or endive, around the eggs. (I put these around a roast or ham for garnish.)
CREAMED EGGS ON TOAST
Coarsely chop hard-boiled eggs. Make a medium White Sauce and season to taste with coriander, salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped eggs. Serve over toasted bread or English muffin. Garnish with an orange slice and a sprig of parsley. Serve with a steaming hot cup of coffee for a Monday or Tuesday after Easter" breakfast.
WHITE SAUCE FOR CREAMED EGGS
Two tablespoons butter
One cup cold milk
Two tablespoons flour
One-half teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch coriander (optional)
Melt butter but do not let brown. Whisk in flour, then whisk in cold milk. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and then boil gently for about five minutes over direct heat or ten to fifteen minutes in a double boiler. Stir constantly if over direct heat to prevent scorching. Add seasonings to taste, then stir in eggs. This makes one-cup sauce - multiply to make the amount you need for the eggs you are using.
NORM'S DEVILED EGGS
Six hard-boiled eggs, peeled and split in half
One-fourth cup mayonnaise
One-and-one-half tablespoons grated onion
One teaspoon prepared mustard
One-fourth teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
A few shakes of coriander
Paprika and parsley for garnish
Carefully remove yolks from white shells and place in bowl. Mash yolks and continue mashing until smooth. Add onion, mustard, salt, pepper and coriander. Stir well. Fill egg shells with this mixture. If you want fancy looking eggs, put mixture into a decorating bag with a large star tube and pipe it into the shells. Sprinkle paprika on the eggs and add a small sprig of fresh parsley. If you aren't big onion eaters, reduce the amount of minced onion.
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