Well, I haven’t been online since Wednesday (except for a brief check-in here and there and the occasional recipe double-check), but we managed it. Another full family holiday put together with just the four of us. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the importance of keeping up with traditions, I wouldn’t go through the trouble. We always have way too much food to eat it all. We cook so much, you’d think we’re still feeding the extended family, but it’s just the four of us. (And the two dogs, who wait impatiently for any scraps that might fall.)
Thursday was ham and potato salad night. Two potato salads, American (mayonnaise) and Italian (olive oil and vinegar). And a full ham. I know… why do four people need a full ham? Because I need the ham for the Pizza di Pasqua (Easter Pizza) and we like ham bone soup and ham and scalloped potatoes, so we might as well get the big one.
Friday was Good Friday. A day of fasting and abstinence, which means you can’t eat meat (abstaining) and you can’t eat between meals, nor can the sum total of your breakfast and lunch be bigger than your dinner (fasting). We ran so many errands getting ready for Saturday and Sunday that I never even ate more than one meal.
Saturday was the big push. I made the Pizza di Pasqua (my grandmother’s recipe—molto bene) and a Pane di Pasque (Easter Bread) and a cheesecake (my mother’s recipe—also delicious). We boiled three dozen eggs to color (a family tradition so we can play the egg game on Sunday), but sadly, that’s one tradition that never quite happened. The kids had tennis (and a social life) and honestly, I was tired. Besides, the Penguins second playoff game was on. (Maybe I should have colored the eggs…)
Sunday, after Mass, the feast day began. A quick snack, and then cook, cook, cook. I made sauce with spareribs and fresh herbs (the best way to make sauce). My husband made cannelloni filling with veal and spinach and a béchamel sauce while I made the homemade pasta. After I filled the cannelloni, I had a lot of dough left over, so I mixed up a ricotta filling and made a pan of manicotti. While I was rolling all the pasta, my husband made breaded steak. My kids were on hand all day as sous chefs. We couldn’t have gotten it done without them. We only missed one (well, two really) traditions. Coloring the eggs (which I can do without the mess) and the egg game, which we can play one day this week, even if the eggs aren’t colored. Do you play the egg game with your eggs? It’s a Scalzott famil
We only missed one (well, two really) traditions. Coloring the eggs (which I can do without the mess) and the egg game, which we can play one day this week, even if the eggs aren’t colored. Do you play the egg game with your eggs? It’s a Scalzott family tradition (my husband’s mother’s family). Two people face each other, each holding an unbroken egg and one challenges the other to see whose egg will crack when either the points or the round ends are tapped together. (A round end can tap a pointed end, or vice versa, if one end of the egg is already cracked.) The winner of the game is the person left with the unbroken end of an egg after all the colored eggs have been tapped on both ends (or in our case, the white eggs).
So that’s why I haven’t been online. I’ve been in the kitchen! It was hard work, but I got to spend time with my family. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. My only regret is that it was just the four of us and not our extended families. Maybe in the near future we’ll be able to go home for Easter and share these holiday traditions with our loved ones again.
I was too busy this week to even get on my computer. And the break I took from my WIP gave me a fresh perspective on it. Now that I’ve been away for awhile, I have some new ideas and a new outlook. If you find yourself stuck, or if your work is growing stagnant, try taking a break for a while. You might find that it gives you the creative spark you’d been missing.
I don’t know if you celebrated Easter yesterday or not, but I hope you had a wonderful day. Did you do anything special you’d like to share? Let’s talk about it.