This year we celebrated Easter in the country with my husband’s sister, her husband, and their adorable son, who is three months younger than Little Guy. We were so happy to spend time with them and watch the cousins hang out. My nephew ran around after Bunky while Little Guy trailed behind giggling. Everything was fine, except for the Easter part.
Here’s the thing – I’m not good at Easter. I kind of suck at it, to be perfectly honest. I’m Jewish, it’s not my fault. I grew up eating matzoh for a week while my good friend and next-door neighbor (understandably) boasted about the giant bunny who delivered towering baskets of chocolate and candy. Eggs, bunnies, and chocolate. I’m still not sure how that has anything to do with religion, but this is not a blog about such things. It’s a blog about my family. And food.
So I gave Easter my best shot, despite my religious affiliation and inexperience. My husband helped out by getting an adorable gluten free chocolate bunny ahead of time, and I picked up some GF Jelly Bellies (which I’m eating now while Bunky is at school, SO WRONG!) and a package of pink Peeps. Done. We bought a sleeve of cheap pastel colored plastic eggs and a generic dye kit at the grocery store in the country. Double done. We’re good, right? Wrong.
What did I forget? It’s pretty obvious unless you’re a Jew like me. Picture this: Bunky walking around our freezing yard in the country collecting eggs… in a giant stainless steel bowl.
Yeah, I forgot the basket. Oops. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law had a Cars (the movie) themed blue one for my nephew. Luckily, Bunky didn’t seem to notice or care that she was holding a kitchen bowl. It held a lot of eggs. She also didn’t care that her candy treats were given to her in a pink gift bag that we dug out of the basement.
So why was I nearly crying into the lumpy – but ultimately delicious – King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake batter? Because I was HUNGRY people, hungry.
Rewind: Easter morning we realized we were out of milk even though we had just bought some the day before. That’s what happens when there are two babies in the house, I guess. My husband went out in search of an open store and returned nearly an hour later. That is life in the country. Big wide open spaces. Also, it was Easter and the closest grocery store was closed.
When I was finally ready to make the pancakes it was nearly 10 am. Everyone (but me) had eaten something already, and then there was Easter to negotiate (my sister in law was nice enough to wait on giving her son the huge basket of beautifully wrapped toys that would have had Bunky in tears since all she had was a stainless steel bowl with empty eggs). While my husband rushed outside to hide the plastic eggs, I stuffed both kids into winter coats and hats since it was freezing. As I waved them out the door my hands were shaking and I felt dizzy. I realized I was starving.
The two cups of coffee had long since turned to fumes inside my body. The gluten free pancake batter looked lumpy, which I blamed on myself for not fully melting the butter, and that’s when I started to feel a wave of heat rise from my empty stomach up to my twitchy face. Basically I was about to freak out. I burned my finger on the electric grill and then nearly burst into tears. Outside one window I watched my in-laws laugh and take photos of their baby toddling around and dropping eggs into his pretty blue basket and out the other window my daughter walked very seriously clutching her enormous silver bowl. My husband followed behind while holding a squirmy Little Guy.
Clearly, there is no documentation of this. But check this out:
I did what any person about to lose their mind would do. I cooked a batch of sloppily poured pancakes and wolfed down two. In moments I felt my senses return and could laugh instead of cry at my daughter’s “basket.” There are bigger horrors in the world, believe me I know, but on an empty stomach I seriously almost lost it at my Easter shortcomings.
This is where the GF thing can really screw a person up. Unlike my in-laws, who chomped on bagels they brought from home, I couldn’t just eat something on the fly. We were out of Udi’s by Sunday (having been in the country since Wednesday) and there was not even a banana to grab. There is only so much food prep a mama can do, and most of my efforts went toward making sure my kids had something to eat before sending them out into the cold to pick up a bunch of plastic eggs. My own needs, shockingly, went unattended.
Once I felt my brain go back to normal, I grabbed an extra big pancake and coated it with some delicious local maple butter (the best invention. ever.) and brought it outside to my starving and depressed looking husband. It was the least I could do.
Luckily my kid didn’t notice any Easter discrepancies, and Little Guy could care less about the whole thing. He was happy enough back inside opening up all the empty eggs inside his cousin’s basket.
All in all it was a success, though utterly exhausting. But aren’t all holidays? Here’s hoping your Easter, if you partake in the festival of eggs and chocolate, was more slick than mine. If not, there’s always next year. That’s what I’m telling myself, at any rate.