In years past, sometimes Easter may come and go without much fanfare. A few eggs, family lunch and a few days off but then you move on and we are back to things as they were. This year I wanted to make sure that I could try to make Easter more meaningful through some simple things such as food or decorations. I purchased a chart from www.thesmallseed.com have a visual chart on the wall to go through some of the events of the Holy week.
I have also put together an Easter menu that features recipes and ingredients that are symbolic of this event and traditions. Whilst some of these are classics with a twist, I have selected some recipes that that whole family can participate in and help to make. My 16 year old has become quite the Challah baker over the last year so that is assigned to him with my daughter making the Easter Nest Cake which is a regular Nigella recipe that we use each year.
Here are some of the ingredients and there meaning :
Easter Food Symbols
Though it may not top chocolate eggs in popularity, lamb is the most traditional of Easter eats. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, its significance is based both in Christianity and Paganism, when Easter did not exist but a celebration of the spring equinox did. In Christian theology, lamb symbolizes Jesus' self sacrifice as the "Lamb of God." But the concept of a sacrificial lamb dates back to Pagan times when lamb symbolized spring, as that was when lambs were ready for slaughter.
These days it wouldn't be Easter without eggs. Whether they're plastic and hidden in a bush, foiled-covered and made of chocolate or cooked in a traditional style, eggs are the ultimate symbol of secular Easter (apart from that bunny with a basket). Eggs join lamb in being a symbol of spring and rebirth. But eggs also have a Christian connection. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, in early Christianity, eggs were one of the forbidden items to eat during Lent. So they were one of the first things consumed in celebration of the end of Lent. Eggs also symbolized the rebirth of mankind through Jesus' self-sacrifice.
This is not a traditional Easter bread but rather a Jewish Sabbath bread. It has become a favourite in our home for special Sunday meals. The braided challah , which is made with eggs, is the Jewish Sabbath‑and‑holiday bread. It is surrounded by folklore and tradition and loaded with symbolism. On festive occasions a blessing is said over two loaves, symbolizing the two portions of the manna that was distributed on Fridays to the children of Israel during their Exodus from Egypt. For Christians bread also is symbolic for sacrament symbolising the body of Christ.
Attached is our menu that you can change up and but here are the links to the recipes that we are using:
Our Meaningful Easter Menu
Miso-Sirarcha Devilled Eggs
Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with figs, herbs and pistachios
My son's favourite recipe : https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7199-my-favorite-challah
Easter Chocolate Nest Cake
Sources : https://www.delish.com/food/news/a38591/the-meanings-of-easter-foods/ and https://www.goodto.com/food/recipe-collections/easter-food-traditions-11-things-you-have-to-eat-at-easter-and-why-we-eat-them-46164