Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Traditional Family Easter (part 1 by Margaret Ullrich)

In 2007, the following story was published in 'A/cross sections : new Manitoba writing', which was edited by Katharine Bitney and Andris Taskans and published by the Manitoba Writers Guild.  The book is still in the library system, adult nonfiction section.  Check it out.  There are lots of stories and poems by Manitoba writers in it.

    I made a loaf of soda bread to serve with the corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.  I don’t know why I did it.  I’m Maltese.  My husband is German/Swedish.  Not a single Irish person among our ancestors.  Then, on March nineteenth, I made a lasagna and cream puffs for St. Joseph.  I’d be twenty pounds lighter if I just ignored holidays.

    Yeah, right, like that’ll ever happen.     

    I’m a sucker for holiday traditions.  And, just like Christmas, Lent and Easter are loaded with holiday traditions.  Lent is the time to really clean the house.  Ah, spring cleaning.  Scrub and wax the floors, wash the windows and launder the curtains.  Everything from cellar to attic is glowing.  After being sealed in tighter than a drum all winter who could argue with giving the house a good cleaning?

    Lent is also a time to cut back on the calories.  Let’s be honest.  Who doesn’t want to drop the pounds gained during December?  Between the fasting and the exercise we get from cleaning house, we’re almost able to fit into the clothes we wore before Christmas.  Alleluia!!  Religion can be good for the body as well as the soul.  

    And then there’s Easter, when Christians celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.  We attend church in new outfits.  Little boys in little suits and little girls in fluffy dresses and shiny white patent leather shoes make families look like Hallmark cards.  

    Easter has more customs than the Bunny has eggs.  A popular tradition is to gather together and share a feast.  Over the centuries women have made this a glorious occasion with beautifully decorated eggs, colorful coffee cakes and traditional breads.

    According to tradition, an angel appeared to Mary to tell her that Jesus would arise on Easter.  To show her joy, Mary baked bread to share with her friends.  And to make the loaf more special, she put an egg, a symbol of life, on the top.  Now, I have to admit I don’t know what I’d do if someone told me that a recently deceased relative was rising from the dead.  I guess baking bread is as good a thing to do as any.  The only problem is that over the past two millennia something got lost in translation as that bread recipe went from country to country.

    And that’s when Easter went to hell in a bread basket.

Please go to part 2

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I did laugh!

    Nice to have connected with a fellow Malteser :)


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