Easters I have known…

Valchloesmall Hi, Anne here, at the beginning of Easter. I've always enjoyed Easter. Here it's a public holiday, a four day "weekend" when most shops and businesses close down and many people hit the road on Thursday afternoon and hope for a last burst of warm weather. It's traditionally a family time, and it usually starts with hot cross buns on Friday morning. Mostly I buy them from the supermarket and heat them up, but there's nothing better than hot, home- baked buns fresh from the oven, so here's a recipe for hot cross buns from the wonderful Delia Smith. 

Hotcrossbuns


Sunday's the next most important day and whether you go to church or have an Easter egg hunt for the kids (or both) many families get together on the Sunday for a big roast dinner. 

Ovensriver Often, during my childhood, Easter was a time for barbecues in the bush. Dad disdained special equipment for barbecues — a piece of tin and a box of matches was all we needed, apart from food.  We kids would be sent scouring the bush for wood and we'd build a rough semicircle with river stones and get a fire going while Mum and my godmother and various other Easter regular visitors would butter bread or slice tomatoes. Then we'd cook sausages and lamb chops, washed down with tea for the adults and cold water straight from the stream for us. All very simple, but a veritable feast to us kids — there's something about cooking and eating out of doors, isn't there? This is the river along which many of those barbecues were held — beautiful, isn't it? If you want to read a little more detail about those barbecues, go here.

Another Easter ritual in my family was the reading of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes,Countrybunny  by Dubose Heyward, illustrated by Marjorie Flack. I still have my copy. It's a lovely story with beautiful illustrations and I'm delighted to see it's still in print today.


I've also enjoyed Orthodox Easter celebrations, both overseas and in Australia. I remember long, chilly, midnight services, and then the moment when the candle-flame is passed from person to person and it's utterly beautiful in its simplicity. I love the cracking of the red eggs and all the delicious food that follows, though not the lamb's innards soup — it's an acquired taste, I'm told ;) 

I also adore eggs of all sorts, especially chocolate ones. When I was a kid we started the Sunday at crack of dawn with an Easter egg hunt, but we weren't supposed to eat them until after church. I can tell you, there was much furtive crackling of foil during Sunday school ;) 

Decoratedeggs Then there are the intricately decorated eggs. My schoolfriend Nadija, who's of Ukrainian background, used to make the most beautiful eggs, painstakingly waxed and dipped in dye and rewaxed and dipped. 

And look at these brilliant eggs, made by Danish egg carver, Franc Grom, 

Carvedegg who drills away the shell to make the most beautiful delicate designs. Read more about his creations here.


If Easter is wet, kids can get very bored, so here are a few craft activities that might help. Here's a site that gives some lovely, simple ideas for decorating eggs at home, including the use of natural dyes from your garden and kitchen. 

Pop-up cards are easier to make than you think. Here's a good tutorial. 

And here's a youtube demo of how to make an Easter chick pop-up card. A pattern for the card is here.

And try an Easter bunny pop-up card. This site has some amazing designs, so it's a great activity for all ages.

Danish papercrafter, Margit Ammentorp has some beautiful paper basket patterns that she very generously shares. Here are some simple print-off-and-cut-out ones for children.

Paperbaskets Try making Danish woven paper hearts. They're perfect for putting a few little eggs in. Looks complicated but isn't. Here are some more Danish heart designs from Margit Ammentorp. I made these from her printable designs. Click on the link for the pattern for the robins, the pandas or the poppies.


So, what will you be doing this Easter? And do you have any special memories of Easters from your childhood. Any special recipes or crafts? And if you don't celebrate Easter, what do you celebrate around this time of year?

35 thoughts on “Easters I have known…”

  1. The Easter bush barbeques sound wonderful, Anne! Thus are memories made. Plus, this is something you could use in a book. 🙂
    Someday I’d love to attend an Orthodox Easter midnight masss, preferably in Greece. The wonderful symbolism of lighting the candles because “He is risen!” is so incredibly powerful.
    Mary Jo, who still likes to dye Easter eggs 🙂

    Reply
  2. The Easter bush barbeques sound wonderful, Anne! Thus are memories made. Plus, this is something you could use in a book. 🙂
    Someday I’d love to attend an Orthodox Easter midnight masss, preferably in Greece. The wonderful symbolism of lighting the candles because “He is risen!” is so incredibly powerful.
    Mary Jo, who still likes to dye Easter eggs 🙂

    Reply
  3. The Easter bush barbeques sound wonderful, Anne! Thus are memories made. Plus, this is something you could use in a book. 🙂
    Someday I’d love to attend an Orthodox Easter midnight masss, preferably in Greece. The wonderful symbolism of lighting the candles because “He is risen!” is so incredibly powerful.
    Mary Jo, who still likes to dye Easter eggs 🙂

    Reply
  4. The Easter bush barbeques sound wonderful, Anne! Thus are memories made. Plus, this is something you could use in a book. 🙂
    Someday I’d love to attend an Orthodox Easter midnight masss, preferably in Greece. The wonderful symbolism of lighting the candles because “He is risen!” is so incredibly powerful.
    Mary Jo, who still likes to dye Easter eggs 🙂

    Reply
  5. The Easter bush barbeques sound wonderful, Anne! Thus are memories made. Plus, this is something you could use in a book. 🙂
    Someday I’d love to attend an Orthodox Easter midnight masss, preferably in Greece. The wonderful symbolism of lighting the candles because “He is risen!” is so incredibly powerful.
    Mary Jo, who still likes to dye Easter eggs 🙂

    Reply
  6. From Sherrie:
    I so enjoyed your memories of Easters past, Anne. The river with the trees on its banks is very peaceful.
    One Easter memory I will never forget. My brother and sister and I were quite young, and we’d spent the night sleeping on the floor of a house my mom’s boyfriend was preparing as a rental. It was in a different city, and we’d be returning home Easter day, after the final paint touch-ups.
    Easter morning we began eagerly looking for our Easter baskets in a house nearly empty of furniture. We searched in vain. Mom kept trying to get us to sit down at the kitchen table for breakfast. We were in tears because we thought the Easter bunny had been unable to find us in a different house and city.
    Mom tried to coax us again to sit down and have breakfast. She looked so distressed! Finally, we gave up and trudged tearfully to the table and pulled out our chairs. And there were our Easter baskets, on the chairs! Oh, how we laughed at how clever the Easter bunny had been! Our tears quickly dried, and that was one Easter we talked about for years to come!

    Reply
  7. From Sherrie:
    I so enjoyed your memories of Easters past, Anne. The river with the trees on its banks is very peaceful.
    One Easter memory I will never forget. My brother and sister and I were quite young, and we’d spent the night sleeping on the floor of a house my mom’s boyfriend was preparing as a rental. It was in a different city, and we’d be returning home Easter day, after the final paint touch-ups.
    Easter morning we began eagerly looking for our Easter baskets in a house nearly empty of furniture. We searched in vain. Mom kept trying to get us to sit down at the kitchen table for breakfast. We were in tears because we thought the Easter bunny had been unable to find us in a different house and city.
    Mom tried to coax us again to sit down and have breakfast. She looked so distressed! Finally, we gave up and trudged tearfully to the table and pulled out our chairs. And there were our Easter baskets, on the chairs! Oh, how we laughed at how clever the Easter bunny had been! Our tears quickly dried, and that was one Easter we talked about for years to come!

    Reply
  8. From Sherrie:
    I so enjoyed your memories of Easters past, Anne. The river with the trees on its banks is very peaceful.
    One Easter memory I will never forget. My brother and sister and I were quite young, and we’d spent the night sleeping on the floor of a house my mom’s boyfriend was preparing as a rental. It was in a different city, and we’d be returning home Easter day, after the final paint touch-ups.
    Easter morning we began eagerly looking for our Easter baskets in a house nearly empty of furniture. We searched in vain. Mom kept trying to get us to sit down at the kitchen table for breakfast. We were in tears because we thought the Easter bunny had been unable to find us in a different house and city.
    Mom tried to coax us again to sit down and have breakfast. She looked so distressed! Finally, we gave up and trudged tearfully to the table and pulled out our chairs. And there were our Easter baskets, on the chairs! Oh, how we laughed at how clever the Easter bunny had been! Our tears quickly dried, and that was one Easter we talked about for years to come!

    Reply
  9. From Sherrie:
    I so enjoyed your memories of Easters past, Anne. The river with the trees on its banks is very peaceful.
    One Easter memory I will never forget. My brother and sister and I were quite young, and we’d spent the night sleeping on the floor of a house my mom’s boyfriend was preparing as a rental. It was in a different city, and we’d be returning home Easter day, after the final paint touch-ups.
    Easter morning we began eagerly looking for our Easter baskets in a house nearly empty of furniture. We searched in vain. Mom kept trying to get us to sit down at the kitchen table for breakfast. We were in tears because we thought the Easter bunny had been unable to find us in a different house and city.
    Mom tried to coax us again to sit down and have breakfast. She looked so distressed! Finally, we gave up and trudged tearfully to the table and pulled out our chairs. And there were our Easter baskets, on the chairs! Oh, how we laughed at how clever the Easter bunny had been! Our tears quickly dried, and that was one Easter we talked about for years to come!

    Reply
  10. From Sherrie:
    I so enjoyed your memories of Easters past, Anne. The river with the trees on its banks is very peaceful.
    One Easter memory I will never forget. My brother and sister and I were quite young, and we’d spent the night sleeping on the floor of a house my mom’s boyfriend was preparing as a rental. It was in a different city, and we’d be returning home Easter day, after the final paint touch-ups.
    Easter morning we began eagerly looking for our Easter baskets in a house nearly empty of furniture. We searched in vain. Mom kept trying to get us to sit down at the kitchen table for breakfast. We were in tears because we thought the Easter bunny had been unable to find us in a different house and city.
    Mom tried to coax us again to sit down and have breakfast. She looked so distressed! Finally, we gave up and trudged tearfully to the table and pulled out our chairs. And there were our Easter baskets, on the chairs! Oh, how we laughed at how clever the Easter bunny had been! Our tears quickly dried, and that was one Easter we talked about for years to come!

    Reply
  11. I’ll be going by the cemetery to visit the graves and leave flowers for my parents and a rabbit for the kid Jimmy. After that I’ll have Easter dinner with my sister and law and her son, the only close family I have left. I would so much rather it was years ago and there were still little kids running around and Easter candy and all that.

    Reply
  12. I’ll be going by the cemetery to visit the graves and leave flowers for my parents and a rabbit for the kid Jimmy. After that I’ll have Easter dinner with my sister and law and her son, the only close family I have left. I would so much rather it was years ago and there were still little kids running around and Easter candy and all that.

    Reply
  13. I’ll be going by the cemetery to visit the graves and leave flowers for my parents and a rabbit for the kid Jimmy. After that I’ll have Easter dinner with my sister and law and her son, the only close family I have left. I would so much rather it was years ago and there were still little kids running around and Easter candy and all that.

    Reply
  14. I’ll be going by the cemetery to visit the graves and leave flowers for my parents and a rabbit for the kid Jimmy. After that I’ll have Easter dinner with my sister and law and her son, the only close family I have left. I would so much rather it was years ago and there were still little kids running around and Easter candy and all that.

    Reply
  15. I’ll be going by the cemetery to visit the graves and leave flowers for my parents and a rabbit for the kid Jimmy. After that I’ll have Easter dinner with my sister and law and her son, the only close family I have left. I would so much rather it was years ago and there were still little kids running around and Easter candy and all that.

    Reply
  16. Ooh, Anne, I had The Country Bunny when I was a kid. I loved that book. I have to go and find me a copy!
    I love the picture of your river – it reminds me of rivers of my childhood (now that sounds like the title of a book).
    Wishing you a lovely Easter full of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs!

    Reply
  17. Ooh, Anne, I had The Country Bunny when I was a kid. I loved that book. I have to go and find me a copy!
    I love the picture of your river – it reminds me of rivers of my childhood (now that sounds like the title of a book).
    Wishing you a lovely Easter full of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs!

    Reply
  18. Ooh, Anne, I had The Country Bunny when I was a kid. I loved that book. I have to go and find me a copy!
    I love the picture of your river – it reminds me of rivers of my childhood (now that sounds like the title of a book).
    Wishing you a lovely Easter full of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs!

    Reply
  19. Ooh, Anne, I had The Country Bunny when I was a kid. I loved that book. I have to go and find me a copy!
    I love the picture of your river – it reminds me of rivers of my childhood (now that sounds like the title of a book).
    Wishing you a lovely Easter full of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs!

    Reply
  20. Ooh, Anne, I had The Country Bunny when I was a kid. I loved that book. I have to go and find me a copy!
    I love the picture of your river – it reminds me of rivers of my childhood (now that sounds like the title of a book).
    Wishing you a lovely Easter full of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs!

    Reply
  21. Mary Jo, I can highly recommend an Easter service in a small village church in the mountains of Greece. Crispy cold night, a small simple whitewashed church, and the passing of the candlelight, small flames flickering against the endless black night. And then the walk back to the village in the dark, following a line of bobbing flames. Just beautiful.
    Sherrie, loved your story of the Easter baskets. Such a worry that the Easter Bunny might not keep track of your movements. 😉 I identify, having moved so often in my childhood. One of the best Easters I recall as a kid was when we had this egg hunt, and by that time my older brother and sisters had all gone to the city to study, so they all brought eggs home and hid them around the garden. We had a lovely plant that was espaliered across one wall of the house, and months later, when its leaves started to fall, I kept discovering Easter eggs hidden in it. I was 9, so I guess I ate them anyway 😉

    Reply
  22. Mary Jo, I can highly recommend an Easter service in a small village church in the mountains of Greece. Crispy cold night, a small simple whitewashed church, and the passing of the candlelight, small flames flickering against the endless black night. And then the walk back to the village in the dark, following a line of bobbing flames. Just beautiful.
    Sherrie, loved your story of the Easter baskets. Such a worry that the Easter Bunny might not keep track of your movements. 😉 I identify, having moved so often in my childhood. One of the best Easters I recall as a kid was when we had this egg hunt, and by that time my older brother and sisters had all gone to the city to study, so they all brought eggs home and hid them around the garden. We had a lovely plant that was espaliered across one wall of the house, and months later, when its leaves started to fall, I kept discovering Easter eggs hidden in it. I was 9, so I guess I ate them anyway 😉

    Reply
  23. Mary Jo, I can highly recommend an Easter service in a small village church in the mountains of Greece. Crispy cold night, a small simple whitewashed church, and the passing of the candlelight, small flames flickering against the endless black night. And then the walk back to the village in the dark, following a line of bobbing flames. Just beautiful.
    Sherrie, loved your story of the Easter baskets. Such a worry that the Easter Bunny might not keep track of your movements. 😉 I identify, having moved so often in my childhood. One of the best Easters I recall as a kid was when we had this egg hunt, and by that time my older brother and sisters had all gone to the city to study, so they all brought eggs home and hid them around the garden. We had a lovely plant that was espaliered across one wall of the house, and months later, when its leaves started to fall, I kept discovering Easter eggs hidden in it. I was 9, so I guess I ate them anyway 😉

    Reply
  24. Mary Jo, I can highly recommend an Easter service in a small village church in the mountains of Greece. Crispy cold night, a small simple whitewashed church, and the passing of the candlelight, small flames flickering against the endless black night. And then the walk back to the village in the dark, following a line of bobbing flames. Just beautiful.
    Sherrie, loved your story of the Easter baskets. Such a worry that the Easter Bunny might not keep track of your movements. 😉 I identify, having moved so often in my childhood. One of the best Easters I recall as a kid was when we had this egg hunt, and by that time my older brother and sisters had all gone to the city to study, so they all brought eggs home and hid them around the garden. We had a lovely plant that was espaliered across one wall of the house, and months later, when its leaves started to fall, I kept discovering Easter eggs hidden in it. I was 9, so I guess I ate them anyway 😉

    Reply
  25. Mary Jo, I can highly recommend an Easter service in a small village church in the mountains of Greece. Crispy cold night, a small simple whitewashed church, and the passing of the candlelight, small flames flickering against the endless black night. And then the walk back to the village in the dark, following a line of bobbing flames. Just beautiful.
    Sherrie, loved your story of the Easter baskets. Such a worry that the Easter Bunny might not keep track of your movements. 😉 I identify, having moved so often in my childhood. One of the best Easters I recall as a kid was when we had this egg hunt, and by that time my older brother and sisters had all gone to the city to study, so they all brought eggs home and hid them around the garden. We had a lovely plant that was espaliered across one wall of the house, and months later, when its leaves started to fall, I kept discovering Easter eggs hidden in it. I was 9, so I guess I ate them anyway 😉

    Reply
  26. Janice, I’ll be leaving flowers on my Dad’s grave, too. I always miss him at Easter — in fact the Easter barbecue story on my website was one I wrote shortly after his death. These family holidays can be so sad when you’ve lost family — and yes, a horde of little kids hunting for eggs would make all the difference. Or maybe a rabbit. I’ve always loved the look of those flop-eared ones. I think my dog might have something to say about that, however — probably something the rabbit wouldn’t like. Like, Yum!
    Happy Easter back at you, Michelle. Lovely that you had the Country Bunny book too. It’s a very sweet book and I’ve always loved the pictures.

    Reply
  27. Janice, I’ll be leaving flowers on my Dad’s grave, too. I always miss him at Easter — in fact the Easter barbecue story on my website was one I wrote shortly after his death. These family holidays can be so sad when you’ve lost family — and yes, a horde of little kids hunting for eggs would make all the difference. Or maybe a rabbit. I’ve always loved the look of those flop-eared ones. I think my dog might have something to say about that, however — probably something the rabbit wouldn’t like. Like, Yum!
    Happy Easter back at you, Michelle. Lovely that you had the Country Bunny book too. It’s a very sweet book and I’ve always loved the pictures.

    Reply
  28. Janice, I’ll be leaving flowers on my Dad’s grave, too. I always miss him at Easter — in fact the Easter barbecue story on my website was one I wrote shortly after his death. These family holidays can be so sad when you’ve lost family — and yes, a horde of little kids hunting for eggs would make all the difference. Or maybe a rabbit. I’ve always loved the look of those flop-eared ones. I think my dog might have something to say about that, however — probably something the rabbit wouldn’t like. Like, Yum!
    Happy Easter back at you, Michelle. Lovely that you had the Country Bunny book too. It’s a very sweet book and I’ve always loved the pictures.

    Reply
  29. Janice, I’ll be leaving flowers on my Dad’s grave, too. I always miss him at Easter — in fact the Easter barbecue story on my website was one I wrote shortly after his death. These family holidays can be so sad when you’ve lost family — and yes, a horde of little kids hunting for eggs would make all the difference. Or maybe a rabbit. I’ve always loved the look of those flop-eared ones. I think my dog might have something to say about that, however — probably something the rabbit wouldn’t like. Like, Yum!
    Happy Easter back at you, Michelle. Lovely that you had the Country Bunny book too. It’s a very sweet book and I’ve always loved the pictures.

    Reply
  30. Janice, I’ll be leaving flowers on my Dad’s grave, too. I always miss him at Easter — in fact the Easter barbecue story on my website was one I wrote shortly after his death. These family holidays can be so sad when you’ve lost family — and yes, a horde of little kids hunting for eggs would make all the difference. Or maybe a rabbit. I’ve always loved the look of those flop-eared ones. I think my dog might have something to say about that, however — probably something the rabbit wouldn’t like. Like, Yum!
    Happy Easter back at you, Michelle. Lovely that you had the Country Bunny book too. It’s a very sweet book and I’ve always loved the pictures.

    Reply
  31. Anne, that’s one thing I would love to do – celebrate Easter in Greece – & in a small village – the flame would look incredible. I’m getting sick of the yahoos who light firecrackers yearly at our church.

    Reply
  32. Anne, that’s one thing I would love to do – celebrate Easter in Greece – & in a small village – the flame would look incredible. I’m getting sick of the yahoos who light firecrackers yearly at our church.

    Reply
  33. Anne, that’s one thing I would love to do – celebrate Easter in Greece – & in a small village – the flame would look incredible. I’m getting sick of the yahoos who light firecrackers yearly at our church.

    Reply
  34. Anne, that’s one thing I would love to do – celebrate Easter in Greece – & in a small village – the flame would look incredible. I’m getting sick of the yahoos who light firecrackers yearly at our church.

    Reply
  35. Anne, that’s one thing I would love to do – celebrate Easter in Greece – & in a small village – the flame would look incredible. I’m getting sick of the yahoos who light firecrackers yearly at our church.

    Reply

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