Glorious sun and pansies

Life goal met — there are pansies on the property! Last year we waited too long and there were none to be had. My mother loved pansies too.

For Easter, we used to hide treasure-filled plastic eggs in the yard, pack baskets with glorious chocolates and jelly beans, and serve up a special dinner for extended family. One year I made a batch of chow-chow to dress the asparagus. Another year I made carrots out of marzipan for the top of the carrot cake.

This year, I am making a carrot cake. That’s it. No marzipan. No company.

The space created by a less-populated social calendar continues to feel more blessing than not. I like my friends, I like my relatives, and still this is true.

On a related note, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about K’s absence as he trudged back to the office and I’m still not sure, but this morning the quiet is glorious.

Have I really used the word glorious twice in one post? What besides chocolate and silence can be glorious?

Soft scarves, dry socks, insight, a welcome email, a piece of writing, a hot bath.

Also: Indictments. Perp walks. Lost law licenses. Exclusion from holding public office. Tarnished reputations. Huge fines. Ankle bracelets. Media bans and gag orders. Jail time.

Kushner is in the news again. If the beltway press wasn’t so hopelessly tied to GOP talking points, the Kushner news would be loud and pervasive. And of course, had a Democrat’s son-in-law done anything remotely this corrupt or dangerous to national security, the coverage on Fox would be nonstop with belligerent threats of hearings should leadership in the House change.

The building could have a 666 on it but I suppose that would be overkill.

So as not to end on such a vile note, the photo from Assisi (below) showcases an Easter bread, blessed by a priest two days earlier and served in an olive grove.

10 thoughts on “Glorious sun and pansies

  1. Marti

    Pansies here as well: Solid yellow, lavender and yellow, and large magenta pansies with yellow centers as well as johnny jump ups, . I especially love these tiny ever blooming plants.

    Your bread from Assisi looks like the bread I grew up eating for Easter. My parents had many dear Italian friends who would come and share Easter with us. We always had leg of lamb, the lamb raised by my Basque godfather and asparagus was the vegetable of choice. Our Italian friends would bring us a huge, high doomed bread called Pizza Rustica, a bread that was especially for Easter. The bread was filled with ricotta, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, salami, ham and prosciutto. Large wedges were always served with a glass of wine.

    We dyed eggs with beets, carrots, parsley stems onion sknts as well as Paas kits but it didn’t stop there. We also used construction paper and pipe cleaners to create elaborate butterfly eggs. My Dad delighted in hiding them all over the backyard and did the same for our girls. I have a wonderful photo of our girls, about 6 yrs old, standing in the grass in the backyard, baskets in hand, eating their eggs, my Mom holding a salt shaker and my Dad holding stuffed bunny toys as big as the girls.

    I always made a bunny cake, from a boxed mix. Two round layers, one for the body of the rabbit, the other cut out ovals that yielded a bow tie and ears. White frosting, coconut flakes, chocolate foiled wrapped oval eggs for eyes, and pastel confetti sprinkled on the bow tie. Some coconut was dyed pink for the inside of the bunny ears and thin black licorice for the rabbit whiskers…Years late I made this cake for my grand kids as well, sometimes changing the white frosting to chocolate.

    Don’t do any of that anymore but always try to have lamb and so it will be this year when R grills some luscious lamb chops. For out anniversary this year, our girls gave us a gift certificate to an organic farm here in New Mexico that raises lamb, buffalo, pork, beef, etc. We will probably have asparagus or broccoli with the lamb chops and I am trying a new side dish, New Mexican scalloped potatoes using red Chile powder. ( I marvel at the many meals I have made as a married woman, over 52 yrs worth ! but now and then, I still like to try new recipes. I think it keeps my brain active). No bunny cake but we will have yellow cake served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

    ***No words re the vile ones but the image before the Assisi Easter bread, says it all…

    1. deemallon Post author

      I adore your family recollections Marti and the generosity with which you share them. You know you have a memoir scattered across a half dozen blogs, don’t you?

      I adore lamb too. It was the meal my mother would make for my birthday when I could have anything. She would roast a leg with red wine and slivered carrots, onions, and green beans. Mashed potatoes. I am drooling to think of it.

      The price of lamb has gone from uncomfortable to downright shocking, so enjoy that gift certificate!

      I make delicious au gratin potatoes and they always feel special so maybe I’ll out them on the menu. The addition of a hot pepper intrigues me.

  2. Marti

    Thanks for your kind words Dee.

    Re lamb: well, I almost fainted when I saw the price of leg of lamb at this organic place. The rancher has a little store front where you can walk in and see all of his meats as well as local items, etc. Leg of lamb was over $25 per lb so we settled for the chops which were (gulp) $14.99 per lb but somehow knowing that we had a gift certificate, made it a bit more palatable…

    1. deemallon Post author

      I ended up buying two lamb shanks — a workhorse cut, but when braised over hours with red wine and onions and served over cheesy grits, really quite delicious! Happy Easter, Marti.

  3. Saskia van Herwaarden

    pansies are among my favourites too, and yet I haven’t bought any this year….I live in hope they will appear in the garden having self-seeded, which they sometimes manage to do; there are tiny wild ones in the grasses
    it is weird how covid-restrictions were a blessing in disguise for us, at the same time our boys did not enjoy it at all
    saying NO to invites is a tough one….
    I’m not going to comment on US politics because thankfully I don’t follow any of it

    that bread and ALL the talk of food in this post has made me hungry and I look forward to dinner prepared by my husband this evening: deer-stew (he shot the deer) I’ll be making the salad

    Easter is usually celebrated with a brunch here in The Netherlands and this year both boys plus maybe both girlfriends will join us; we won’t be hiding eggs and treats like we used to do in the garden, having them over is a treat for us

    lovely to read about your Easter traditions Dee and yours’ too Marti

  4. Liz A

    I’ve always loved pansies, but the deer would eat them back in Williamsburg and I doubt they’d do well in Texas … yours are perfect, raised up from the ground the better to see them

    your reminiscences recall my childhood when we made striped and plaid Easter eggs with Chick Chick dye (two packages for stronger colors), which were then left out overnight so the Easter bunny could hide them … and then put on display in a milk glass bowl during Easter dinner … only then refrigerated and later, eaten … if/when we got sick, it was blamed on eating too much chocolate

    these days, I make cinnamon rolls on Easter morning … the icing a little thicker than usual and piped into an “x” shape … hot cross buns

  5. Nancy

    As usual, your collage work is amazing and speaks loud and clear! I too love pansies, their little smiling faces 🙂 Also because they were one of my mama’s favorite flowers. we had them planted in the front yard often.
    Easter I did when I was a mom, married…egg hunt, baskets, visiting the Easter bunny when the kids were small & usually a meal at my best friend’s. Also this season, we would celebrate Passover with my family. The Seder service & meal, hiding the afikoman, wine!

    May all of everyone’s Spring Season and celebrations be wonderful!

    1. deemallon Post author

      Hope you had a nice Seder, Nancy! I bought more pansies yesterday and planted some of them, and now I read it’s supposed to go down to 33 tomorrow. Jumped the gun?

      For the first time since Covid, Passover guests’ cars lined the streets last night and the night before. My across-the-street neighbor in particular entertains a large extended family. It’s a nice sign of normalcy.


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