Easter Sunday when I was growing up was always a busy, busy, busy day. My Dad was a pastor, so not only did we have the usual round of Easter pictures, brunch at church, making sure Mom and I both had our matching pairs of white gloves, and praying that April showers would pass by this day, all the usual Sunday things had to happen, too. Dad polishing his sermon in the early morning hours, Mom making sure she had practiced the prelude, offertory and postlude (yes, she was our organist all the way through my growing up years), and my brother and I arguing...all the usual stuff!
But somehow, I remember having big Easter Sunday dinners after we got home from church. Once I was grown and married with my own children, I found myself wondering how Mom did it. I know she got a lot of help from Dad, and I'm sure my brother and I were drafted for table-setting duties, but how did she put Easter dinner on the table?
It's still a mystery.
I know we had ham for dinner most years, or maybe turkey, chicken, or a beef roast. Potatoes, of course. Bread, a green vegetable, pickles (sweet, dill, olives, sometimes pickled beets), and...wait for it...Asparagus Casserole!!!!
I haven't eaten this casserole in years. My dear husband (aka the asparagus hater) won't even let me talk about it.
I forgot to mention, it also had hard-boiled eggs in it, and those are on his list, too. Right up there with asparagus.
Since I haven't made it, and don't have the recipe, I have to guess what's in it. Now keep in mind, this list of ingredients has been plucked from my memory, and the recipe has to be at least sixty-five years old (I'm not that old - only the recipe)! I'm not even sure you can still buy some of these ingredients...
2 cans cut asparagus
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup toasted bread cubes (croutons)
1 can cream of asparagus soup
Mix everything together, reserving a few hard-boiled egg slices and croutons, and put in a casserole dish (use the teal colored pyrex - the round one with the clear lid). Decorate the top with the reserved egg slices and croutons.
Bake uncovered in a medium oven (about 350°) for an hour or so. It should fit in the oven on the rack next to the ham.
Sorry, no pictures. I'm not allowed to make it, remember? If you try it, let me know how it turns out!
But Easter is about so much more than food.
A year ago yesterday, we celebrated my mom's life at her funeral.
If you remember, losing her was a decade-long goodbye as Alzheimer's disease stole her from us a little bit at a time. And the funeral was a bittersweet end to that farewell.
But Easter, Resurrection Sunday, is a reminder for all of us that death is not the end. It's another beginning. It isn't a time to look back - it's a time to look forward into the misty reaches of eternity.
So while I remembered my mom this Easter, and the miracle Easter dinners she somehow fixed for us, I know she is singing the song of the ages in the presence of her Savior.