Easter Morning


A beautiful day, and especially bright for those celebrating the Christian holy day of Easter. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to enjoy a Sunday morning walk along Lake Michigan on this warm spring day with me.

A perfect day for a walk on the beach.

The waves create these back pools. Some days there will be many, other days none at all. The sun warms quickly warms the water in the small pools, making it many degrees warmer than cold Lake Michigan.

Sun sparkling on the lake makes it look like diamonds. This photo is my favorite!

Time for the long walk back.

Happy day and Happy Easter everyone!

© Huffygirl 2012

Related links:

Time to get out your spring spheres!


Finally. It’s Easter, time to celebrate the Christian Holy Day of, oh wait, there’s someone at the door. Ewww. This could be a problem. It’s Politically Correct Guy, just stopping by to make sure I’m not including anything offensive to anyone in this post.

So PC guy, I was just about to write a post about Easter, the Christian Holy Day of… Oh, so you say I can’t write about Christian Holy Days because it might offend non-Christians? Well, I never thought about it quite like that, but I kind of see your point. Okay, so I’ll just talk about how we colored some Easter eggs and… Now what? Oh, you say I can no longer call them Easter eggs. Now we have to call them “spring spheres” to avoid offending folks who don’t celebrate Easter.  I guess no one is worried about offending the large group of folks who contend that eggs are ovoid and not spherical. Okay. Well, at least the colored er spheres  look great. What’s that? You say I really can’t use the term “colored” as many people, oddly enough those of color, find that term offensive?  All right them, I’ve got some bright spheres here, and I used dye… Oh, I see, the organic folks are offended by the use of dyes that might pollute the environment. Let me just set these aside then.

Okay then, moving on. I’ve got some East… well let’s just call it candy. Looks like the Eas.. well a large bunny dropped it off. Now what? What? Oh, so the PETA folks are enraged by the enslavement of innocent animals forced to perform unnatural tricks for humans, like delivering candy? Well, truth be told, I actually just bought this candy at the store. Is going to the store okay with you PC guy? Can you find anything offensive about that? Oh, you say that the American Diabetes Association frowns upon consumption of large amounts of candy, which contributes to rising rates of diabetes, and I should have at least walked to the store to avoid adding to my already offensively large carbon footprint.  And Michelle Obama wants me to know she is quite upset that I’m even thinking about eating something that contributes to the obesity epidemic, and will be particularly offended if I dare to give any of this obesity poison to my granddaughter.

I had no idea celebrating, well, you know what, could be so complicated. At least today maybe the kids can have fun having an eg… er spring sphere hunt out in the yard. What’s that? A sphere hunt promotes unfairness by presenting the opportunity of  potential bullying to the child who finds fewer spheres than the other children, which in turn sets them up for a lifetime of planning violent assaults on the internet? So you’re saying we should just give each child an equal number of spheres to avoid promoting feelings of inadequacy,  instead fostering nonoffensive mediocrity? Well, who could be offended by that? And the parents are objecting to the children being exposed to harmful pesticides that may have been applied to the grass anyway, so we might as well just hand the kids the spheres inside?

Okay PC guy, I’ve had enough Get out of here. I’m finding you offensive for trying so hard to prevent me from being offensive.

So, I’m cowering sitting in the closet house, with a large basket of Easter candy poisonous, obesity-causing, ovoid-shaped carbs, from which I will now save all mankind personkind by performing the ultimate sacrifice and eating them all myself. Darn it, happy Easter non-offensive, all-encompassing spring holiday everyone!

(“Spring sphere” images courtesy of Google)

© Huffygirl

An Easter tradition: Potica


One of my earliest childhood memories involving food was the potica (poppy-seed bread) that Grandma always mailed to us at Easter. This is a traditional bread for Slovenians and other Europeans. Every Easter, along with the other traditional foods of ham, polish sausage, potato salad and colorful hard-boiled eggs, my family always had this sweet delightful bread. Yes, I know this meal sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, but somehow we all escaped heart disease. 

Potica, aka poppy-seed* bread, is a light, slightly sweet bread that we always ate with the meal, but could also be served as a dessert. Grandma made this bread every year, along with a nut-filled variety that never really caught on with us. Each year right before Easter we’d anxiously await the big cardboard box in the mail, filled with potica and assorted Easter candy. Sometimes the box would arrive partly open or semi-crushed but everything inside would still be a delight.

Finally, when Grandma was gone, we learned to make potica ourselves. Maybe there was a written recipe at one time, but none of us ever saw it. It wouldn’t have done us any good anyway, as it surely would have been written in Slovenian. This recipe is one my sister found long ago in Good Housekeeping  magazine that we all agreed was as close to Grandma’s as we could ever get. I use Solo canned poppy-seed filling, but I’m sure Grandma made her own. Since this is a yeast bread, figure on staying nearby for three-four hours. Alternatively, one can make the dough one day, put it in the refrigerator to rise overnight, and finish it the next day. Or the best way? If you have a bread machine, use the dough cycle for the first part. It eliminates all the beating, stirring and kneading, and turns out just as good. If you don’t have a bread machine, you can probably pick one up at a local thrift store for under $20.

Potica (makes 2 loaves)

In a saucepan or microwave bowl, heat together

1 cup milk or soy milk

1/2 cup butter or margarine, until very warm, about 115 degrees Farenheit. (Butter does not need to completely melt.)

In a large bowl mix:

1/2 cup white sugar

1-2 teaspoons dried or fresh grated lemon peel (optional)

1 package dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour,  then add the milk mixture.

With mixer on low speed, beat liquid into dry ingredients, just until mixed. Increase speed to medium, beating in

1 egg

1 cup of flour or enough flour to make the dough thick. Beat 2 minutes more, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

With spoon, stir in enough additional flour, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups, to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured cloth and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a greased mixing bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour, or overnight in refrigerator.

(Alternatively, place all ingredients in a bread machine, wet ingredients first and yeast on top,  and run the dough cycle. This replaces the mixing, kneading and first rising and is a lot less work!)

After rising,  punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured cloth. Cut dough in half, cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, grease two cookie sheets or cover with parchment paper and make the poppy-seed filling:

In a medium bowl, beat 1 egg white (save the egg yolk for later) until soft peaks form. Add

1 12-ounce can of Solo Poppy Seed Filling

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

On a floured cloth with a rolling pin, roll out half of the dough into a rectangle, about 12 inches by 18 inches. Dough may be difficult to roll out – be patient. Spread half the filling onto the dough. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough jelly roll fashion, and place on a cookie sheet. Pinch the ends shut. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Beat 1 or 2 egg yolks and spread over the loaves with a pastry brush. Bake loaves 25-30 minutes, until browned and sound hollow when tapped in the middle. Cool on wire racks.

 

Related link: Nut-filled Potica recipe

*This bread should not be eaten by anyone who might be needing to take a drug test within a few days, as poppy seeds can cause false-positive results.

 © Huffygirl