The early mornings were often a little frosty, but that couldn’t stop two excited children from rushing outside to follow the trail. We never questioned why it always started out near the back garden, then went through the gate, past the chook pen and up the hill through the bushes, then looped back again.
Over it went, near the tank stand, then around to the front yard, under the nasturtiums and then back around and into the back door. How come we never noticed that when we ran out the back door?
Seems we had one messy Easter Bunny, shredded paper everywhere and just a few chocolate freckles or mini eggs if we were realy lucky.. and one or two chocolate eggs were left.
Most times, we also got a fluffy little yellow chicken.
We loved the eggs that rattled and were never disappointed whether they contained a few small lollies or, on rare occasions, a tiny toy. Some years, we would get a sugar egg from our Aunt Mary. They were so pretty and fancy and always contained something, usually a few conversation lollies. Dad would eat the ‘egg’, after I ate all the decorations off first. I didn’t really like sugar eggs to eat. My brother loved chocolate eggs and I was always careful to keep count of mine, just in case.
A few days before Easter, we would wait patiently while Mum hard boiled some eggs, and while they were still warm, we would draw patterns on them with a wax candle.
Then Mum would dye them with food colourings,
especially cochineal. Once they dried, we would wipe off the wax and pretty patterns would appear. This is how we hoped they would look…
but more often, they looked more like these,
only with more colours…
The excitement of Easter continued as we would all go out to my grandmother’s for a big family gathering. Lunch was always roast chickens and roast vegetables, sometimes a lamb roast as well. I liked the smell of the garlic and rosemary on the lamb, but I’ve never been too fond of eating it. The centrepiece of the table was Tsourekia (Greek Easter bread), plaited with hard boiled red coloured eggs baked in. Dessert was often fruit pie and baked custard.
Image courtesy of Taste
Surprisingly, after the cleanup and perhaps a short rest for some of the adults, out would come baklava and koulourakia, fragrant preserved figs in their rich cinnamon and honey syrup and rich aromatic Greek coffee, in Nona’s special occasion tiny coffee cups.
It was only then that our Aunts and Uncles might produce some Easter eggs for us children, ‘if we’d been good’. They were very forgiving or we’d always been very good it seemed.
There was much laughter throughout the day and plenty of chatter.
Familes and Easter – they will always sit happily side by side in my memories.
(c)Crissouli Easter Saturday April 15, 2017
Unlabelled images courtesy of Pixabay.