236.

When I was little, Easter was always on the Sunday right before Spring Break. On Good Friday, we would have a half day. My mom would pick me and my sister up from school. Still in our uniforms (pinstriped Spring skirts and polos for formal dress days), we’d pop by a bakery and pick up a box of still-warm hot cross buns. We’d go home, pour ourselves big cups of milky Earl Grey (with two sugar cubes please), and listen to my Mom read the Easter story. Our feet would swing off the barstools at the counter, and we’d dunk the sticky buns into our tea — edible reminders of our faith.

Saturday was egg dying day. Using those dinky wire dippers, we’d dunk our eggs into purple, pink, blue and green, and watch our white crayon designs reveal themselves. No matter how careful we were, our fingertips always ended up stained with every layer, and the house reeked of vinegar.

Sunday meant morning church services (and for quite some time, matching dresses for me and my sister), family brunch, and Easter egg hunts. I never really believed in the Easter Bunny (I mean, did anyone?), but I still loved the thrill of the Easter hunt. I thought I was a complete expert, and would quietly search all the hidden nooks and crannies for the biggest and best eggs while everyone else ran themselves ragged.

Now, Easter is different. My sister and I have scrapped Good Friday traditions for post-work happy hours. Even my little brothers are too old for egg hunts (although my Mom still puts Easter baskets together for us each year).

But each Easter Sunday, we all put on our springtime best and go to church. We listen, we remember, and we feel. After the service, we come home to cook, drink wine and eat. Sitting in the sunshine, we’re grateful for each other and everything this holiday reminds us of. 

This year’s menu:

Honeybaked ham, scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs, fava bean and pecorino salad, beets with goat cheese, grilled asparagus, and a lemony bundt cake to finish.

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