By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Easter Sunday dawned auspiciously today: The sky was gray and overcast. As I was leaving for Church, rain began to puddle on the patio. Since I had scheduled the 9:30 a.m. Mass on Easter Sunday in memory of my parents, Catherine “Kitty” and Frank, I realized I neglected to negotiate with the meteorologist for sunshine. Yet halfway through Easter Mass, the sun shone, filtering through the Church’s stained glass windows. It was a glorious omen for Easter.
My cugina [cousin] Marianne [yes, we Italians like to continuously recycle family names, which is why three-fourths of Italian women have the same first names, as do the men], invited me over for an Easter breakfast with her family. Her father, my uncle and Godfather, is ninety-four years young, and, as our family patriarch, happily presided over my cousin’s light-as-air Belgian waffles [we Italians in the Heartland are multicultural in culinary spirit as well as ecumenical], crispy center-cut bacon, and her daughter’s delicious once-over-easy eggs. Her husband Steve poured us shots of Amaretto di Saranno, which I poured into my coffee, thereby punching up my cup of Joe.
I was touched by my cugina’s Easter Breakfast invitation because sitting down with family reminded me of Easter Sunday breakfasts after Mass with my family. When I was away at college, unable to get home for Easter, my mother made a point of sending me an Easter basket filled with malted milk balls, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, a large chocolate bunny, jelly beans and decorated eggs. This year, I too filled my daughter’s furry, musical, ear-flapping rabbit Easter basket with treats and mailed it to her. It is a worthy family tradition; it even received the Easter Bunny Seal of Approval.
My uncle’s family convened again late this afternoon for Easter dinner at his granddaughter Chrissy’s home. My cousin follows in the family tradition of fine cooks. She whipped up enough food to feed the Italian army: Baked ham, potatoes, corn, green beans, and her mother prepared Italian sausage in a tomato-onion sauce for sandwiches replete with crusty Italian bread. To top it off, dessert was limoncello cake and a chocolate-raspberry-chocolate chip cake confection. Naturally, we imbibed vino bianco and vino rosso. My contribution was an Italian Easter bread in the shape of a crucifix, and a bottle of hearty Chianti.
Tomorrow I am fasting. Alleluia!
Ciao for now.