Gluten Free Easter, Country Style

Best dressed Peeps.

Best dressed Peeps.

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.

At least the egg coloring went well.

At least the egg coloring went well.

I kind of love this picture.

I kind of love this picture.

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.

Showing off some of her stash.

Showing off some of her stash.

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:

Um, really? He comes from two of the least sporty people ever.

Um, really? He comes from two of the least sporty people ever.

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.

Pancake breakfast, finally ready.

Pancake breakfast when it was finally ready.

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.

Easter fatigue setting in.

Easter fatigue setting in.

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.

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18 thoughts on “Gluten Free Easter, Country Style

  1. You celebrate pseudo holidays like I do – klutzy and somehow it all works out 😀 I am so glad my two youngest have no clue how inept I am…lol!
    Love the football photo, so cute!

  2. Yikes! But I understand–I wasn’t raised Jewish, but my husband doesn’t like to celebrate any holidays, so in the past we haven’t. And his family traditions are completely different from mine even though we were both brought up in Christian-based homes. There is still a lot of issues even when you grew up celebrating the same holidays.
    I can understand the emotions you were feeling when you were hungry though. It happens to me from time to time and I hadn’t really realized until I read this that the world seems so horrible when you’re starving! I mean I guess I did notice it once in a while–I see it with my little one all the time. I just haven’t been connecting the dots.
    I wouldn’t worry too much about the day, though. I mean, my mother didn’t bother with buying the plastic eggs–she threw the candy into sandwich baggies for me and I still had fun. It was fun to find the stuff for me. I am sure your children feel the same way.
    We didn’t do a hunt with our little guy this year. He probably would have enjoyed it, but I just didn’t think it was a big deal. Next year, we’ll have to be prepared!

    • Thanks for your kind words Amy. Hunger definitely makes us miserable! It seems obvious in retrospect, but in the moment the emotion is so extreme it feels more REAL than just a scarfing down a pancake or whatever. I feel like being GF with my daughter I have more of these moments than I used to because I can’t just grab junk when out and about. I have to think ahead, and that doesn’t always happen 🙂 I’m probably eating healthier though. Except for those Cocoa Pebbles…

  3. Ha! I was right there with you crying about my plastic wrap buns. I’ve always been one to sweat the small stuff (especially when hungry).

    I’m glad it all worked out in the end. I’m sure your daughter was happy with the extra-large metal bowl. I remember when my siblings and I were little, we pouted about having to trick-or-treat with our cute little plastic pumpkin containers while our friends got to go around with enormous pillowcases. Always remember bigger is better. 🙂

    • Oh Molly, I would have cried over those plastic wrapped buns, too! Sweating the small stuff is part of my inherent nature.

      It did all work out and my daughter was totally fine with her giant bowl (bigger is always better, ha!) and her stash of sugar.

      Funny about the pillow cases! The big kids always had those and I was jealous and a little in awe.

  4. Sounds like in the end it all worked out. We celebrated, but with Colorado weather, our bunny hides the egg inside (much easier!). The thrill is all in the hunt (for the gf chocolate and jelly beans) because we still have two bags of candy now sitting in the pantry untouched (and they are allowed to eat it and even bring a piece to school each day – but they forget! – I’m not sure they are my children :))

    j

  5. I too spent childhood Easters eating matzo and feeling like the only kid who wasn’t allowed chocolate until after Easter. As a consequence I didn’t even know there was an Easter Bunny. Being a slightly more laid-back Jew these days my kids get the whole shebang – baskets, egg hunts, the lot. Thankfully all prepared by my non-Jewish in-laws as I haven’t got a clue!!

  6. Hahaha! This made me laugh today. I know I’m a little late since Easter was a few weeks ago- but the story is still funny! We did okay this year- though I put a blanket ban on any and all Easter candy- there is too much that isn’t GF… that I just said to heck with it all. And guess what?? We totally survived! Granted it’s three weeks later and I am dying for a Peep… but my kids survived! Their baskets held books and games. I thought the Bunny was rather brilliant this year. Although… he did forget to hide the eggs outside… so we had to have an egg hunt after church… it gave the Bunny some time to get his act together and get things hid. 🙂 I fully believe that there is no such thing as a perfect holiday and sometimes- the more that goes wrong makes it that much more memorable! Happy (belated) Easter or Passover I guess.

    love jess

  7. Pingback: Birthday Party Countdown = Insanity | celiac kiddo

  8. Dana, I love this post! You write so honest and candid. I can definitely relate to days like this (umm, last thanksgiving at the soon to be inlaws–I was a fumbling mess with mashed cauliflower all over myself haha!) It can be so hard to constantly have to cook everything GF on the fly, especially when everyone else has the luxury of the grab-and-go. But you know what? I’d take lumpy gf king arthur pancakes (so yummmy!) over plain glutenous bagels anyday =)

    • Oh, thanks so much Bethany! You really said it perfectly, it IS hard being GF on the fly. But I agree, lumpy King Arthur pancakes (which turned out smooth as anything once cooked!) are waaaay better than gluteny bagels 🙂

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