One of the joys of celebrating holidays is remembering our earliest impressions of these festive days. Growing up, the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter marked fasting and reflection. (For us kids fasting meant maybe we would give up candy.) And so Easter was truly a celebration. As a little girl, it was about dressing up in my new Easter ensemble, with my spring coat and gloves. Only at this time would my mother curl my long hair with rags, as her mother had done. My grandmother’s house would be redolent with the smell of food in or on the stove, cloves dressing the ham. The sauce for the ravioli. We would all troop to Mass where there were smells of a different kind, of Incense and lilies. The church would be full of light and flowers, a reminder that winter was over and spring was finally here
. Then we’d come home and eat a traditional Italian feast including Torta di Pasqua, a savory pie; roasted ham or lamb; and my grandmother’s homemade ravioli that I’d help her make the day before. Dessert was Torta di Riso, a sweet rice pie and, of course, Easter baskets with colored eggs and candy.
Those days of shiny Mary Janes or even the annual Easter parade we’d watch in Rittenhouse Square are long past but the memories of feeling loved, the anticipation of the special day ahead, the quiet contemplation of religious observance, the sense of belonging and order in family ritual, those stay with me and have enriched every Easter I’ve celebrated since. As part of Steve’s family, I happily celebrate both Passover and Easter and I relish this time of year, perhaps even more than Christmas and Hanukkah because the spring holidays are far less commercial and a beautiful respite from our chaotic day to day lives.
At Frog, we’ve always prided ourselves on not just catering meaningful holiday events but also giving our clients and readers ways to up the level of their celebrations at home. This year marks a decade since the release of At Home by Steve Poses, an incredible resource for you during Passover, Easter and all year round. See County Lines magazine’s excellent interview with Steve here.
Of course we have given you some ideas for new edible holiday traditions right here: Steve’s mushroom matzo pancakes are a favorite, as is our agnostic house-cured salmon that makes a wonderful first course for any meal and while our blueberry lemon streusel bars are not kosher for Passover, they will make a welcome dessert for Easter and any other spring gatherings you might have planned. What’s more, we’ve given you a roundup of local butcher shops, ideas for cooking with spring greens, a guide to planting your own herb garden and advice for choosing the perfect rose wine.
We’ve also shared some of the latest behind-the-scenes glimpses from our preparations for our biggest annual event, the upcoming Franklin Institute Awards Dinner and a news update about what’s coming soon to the science museum.
Here’s to a wonderful spring, no matter what and how you celebrate, and to making meaningful memories.