Thursday, April 3, 2008

Death by Easter Bunny

I haven't posted any recipes recently. That would be because I haven't made anything lately. Easter wiped me out.

When I was little, Easter was a big cooking holiday in my family. My mother and grandmother would make pierogi and yeast breads from scratch. The last time they did this, I was in high school. Grandma was the supervisor, Mom was the detail work, and I was the manual labor. We made all the food in my grandmother's kitchen instead of my mother's, even though Mom's kitchen was three times the size and right around the corner.

Once I went off to college, Mom was too busy and Grandma was too frail. We've spent the last 15 years patronizing either the Polish deli Mom found a couple of towns over or Both are good, but just not homemade. Most importantly, they weren't our recipes - the potato pierogi were okay, but the cheese pierogi were just never right.

I've been agitating for a return to the tradition pretty much ever since. Mom and I had plans to make everything last year, but I ended up in the hospital (viral pneumonia + 7 months pregnant = no fun at all) so no go. Finally, this year, we did it.

The pierogi got a little out of hand and we ended up with just over 15 dozen. But oh, are they good. I wound up making the yeast breads almost entirely myself (as Mom forgot to tell me ahead of time that she and Dad had dinner plans Saturday night). The cinnamon and poppy seeds rolls were both gooey and uncooked in the middle, but the Easter bunnies came out perfectly. And I didn't overknead as much as my mother always does. (Even she'll admit that she's a rampant overkneader.)

But the most important thing was, my grandmother approved of our end result.

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