Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Family Easter Traditions

Easter is a time for reflecting and remembering the
greatest sacrifice of all!

As a small child I remember my father calling us all
(8 children + my mom) into our living room.
There he read to us from the Bible, the Easter Story,
followed by having us all kneel as he said a very long prayer
(or at least it seemed very long to us at the time).

My parents would spend long hours at church where they
practiced confession, fasting, holy communion and prayer.
Us little ones usually stayed at home with one or two of our older siblings
during those services.
Even though I don't recall too much about those times I had a strong sense
that Easter was a sobering time as Christ's crucifixion and resurrection were
observed with much humility and honour.

Special food was prepared for Easter Sunday and the "Easter Bunny"
came to fill up our winter hats and toques with chocolate and small gifts.

Over the years we have made new traditions and added some new
foods to the Easter table.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Easter Dinner is usually a roasted "Bone In" ham with buttery scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, mixed vegetables, homemade mustard, fresh baked bread, and lots of desserts!

Onion skin dyed eggs were and still are a family tradition.

My mother's table usually included a red kidney bean salad with sliced hard boiled eggs on top. It was always served in a green glass bowl.

My Mom would often serve her freshly made donuts (fetkucha) that were served with the season's fresh maple syrup. Always a wonderful treat. Another favourite was Mom's yeast coffee cakes, sprinkled with cinnamon and coarse sugar. Several of my siblings still make these each year.

The last few years I have adopted a Russian Mennonite tradition of baking Paska Easter Bread. It is so delicious and has a very good chance of remaining our wee family's tradition for years to come, especially when we've added a Swiss Mennonite twist by dunking this delicious bread into maple syrup.

Another little tradition I've adopted is making a Polish Butter Lamb. My Mom ordered these from our neighbour for each of our wedding tables - a bygone Amish Mennonite tradition.

My sister and brother-in-law have hosted the Leis Family Easter dinner on Good Friday for many years. A delicious Easter Ham, bbq'd farmer's sausage, scalloped potatoes, pineapple rings, sweet corn, and a broccoli casserole is always served. The "pot-luck" salads and desserts are amazing and delicious.

Angela's adorable stuffed egg bunnies!

Our immediate family dinner was on Easter Sunday
and we had the joy of having them here for the very first Easter since 
they have moved back to Ontario!!
Daffodils were picked,
"eegs" were hunted and gleefully found - even during the meal blessing!
So much fun ....

Till next time ........ eating lots of left-overs and feeling blessed!


  1. I enjoyed reading about your family's Easter traditions, Rosella. That is the way life goes, isn't it? Keeping some of the old traditions, but then adding or changing to make your own traditions as well. I especially loved that your parents communicated the seriousness of the celebration, while not leaving out the "fun" part. I think that it is important to realize what we're celebrating; then the joy is connected with meaning.

    Oh, your little daffodil-picker is darling!! I know you loved sharing the holiday with her and her parents! Speaking as another mother/grandmother whose family lived far away and is now nearby, I can imagine your joy of having your dear ones near!

  2. Daffodils? My daffodils have not bloomed nor are they close. Winter has returned and we are even expecting snow in the next couple of days...wah!

    Wait! Did you say maple syrup on Paska? Oh my heavens...that does sound good.

    It must have been wonderful to have the family for Easter...🌷

  3. I really enjoyed reading some of your family Easter history and the things you have added and enjoy. This year was very different for us and a lot of our favorites were laid aside but we still were blessed with the joy of the Resurrection and what it means to us. Next Easter it will be fun to add a little Easter Egg hunt for Addy. Hopefully thy will come to this side of the mountains. Growing up we had sour cream on our paska/kulich and of course the Seernaya Paska, too. I love Easter gatherings! Blessings.

  4. You know how to celebrate Easter! What delicious traditions---I love the butter lamb. And even more fun as your granddaughter gets bigger :)

  5. What great Easter traditions you have over there...old and new. The onion skin dyed eggs are lovely! I have never tried that. And I need to make a note somewhere about the sweet butter lamb for next year. Your Paska looks fabulous! How fun to have your granddaughter 'home' for Easter...and living nearby now.

  6. Oh, this was a fun read! Your Easter dinner sounds a lot like ours! Those dyed eggs are beautiful and the egg bunnies so cute! I enjoyed your family maple syrup this past week ... using it sparingly!


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