Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter. I know nobody mentioned it so far today but I put it down to everyone being busy with actual Easter Sunday Activities.

We did the normal. Went to Church. Came home and prepared an Easter Meal. We couldn’t go out to Long Island to see the Family. We had done that last weekend for Palm Sunday and it took a lot out of us. The whole family got together and most of them are with their in-laws today. So we took a quiet Sunday at home.

I remember how it used to be. The whole family would gather at my Grandmother’s house on Henry Street. She would prepare a feast. Ravioli. Meatballs and sausage. Lamb and roast potatoes. All kinds of delicious pastries from the local bakeries. It was a feast.

Every year one of the local butchers ran a promotion. If you bought a certain amount you got a free chick. Yes that’s right a baby chicken. Some of them were dyed different colors like they came out of the Easter Egg that way. Now it was a sad situation for most of those poor birds. The kids played with them but were often rough and they didn’t last long. Mr. Joe next store would buy them off of some of the kids and put them in his back yard. You see he kept chickens and some of them would grow up for the pot. One year my cousin Anthony and I decided we were going to set them free. We had just seen the new Movie “Born Free” on TV so we became budding conservationists. So we opened the window on the Parlor floor front Bedroom and put them on the ledge so they could fly away and be free. It didn’t work out so well. For the birds and for us when our parents found out we had done.
All of that kind of stuff went by the wayside long ago.

I took a nostalgia tour yesterday. I went to a local coffee shop that my friends run. A huge new joint has opened across the street. It is full of hipsters as it roast its own coffee and is the latest thing. So it is going to drive my buddy out of business. Some of the local guys showed up to show the flag but all of the trendoids will be going to the new joint. I can't go there because I have to be loyal to my friends. So I got a couple of coffees and some gluten free scones and wished them the best. 

Then I went past about seven stores that were empty or had new business devoted to children or pets. The deli is a doggie day care. The dry goods variety store is a child care joint. The only place that was hopping was the vegetable were all the local hipsters were buying one potatoes and one carrot for their Easter feast. How anybody is going to stay in business is beyond me.

I went to Mastelone’s bakery later in the day to get a tea and buy a raffle ticket. Every year they raffle off a giant chocolate Easter Egg that weighs about thirty pounds. I busted their balls all year about the fact that I didn’t win. The father and mother. The daughter when I was buying cannolis. The son when we ran into him at Rite Aid the night before. I actually didn’t plan to buy a ticket. But every time I ran into the father he would ask me if I bought one. He has been out front a lot more recently. What really surprised me was how empty the bakeries were this past Palm Sunday. It used to be that the line would go out the door. But at 11am on Palm Sunday there were only three people ahead of me. All my age or older. No young people buying cakes or pies. This is the Holiday where he makes the most money along with Christmas. Easter is a money maker with the grain pies and pastries and lambs made out of marzipan cheese. Nobody has bought one as of noon today. They were lined up like broken down B-17’s in “The Best Years of Our Lives.” So since he was so morose and worried I bought a couple tickets.  A funny thing happened.

I won.

So now I have a thirty pound chocolate egg that we can’t eat. It is not gluten free so the wife can't have any and I shouldn’t eat it because of my heart. Luckily it is Easter break and the nieces and nephews are coming for a visit tomorrow so I will give it to them.

I just hope they don’t throw out the window.


ndspinelli said...

Nice post. We have had a series of house guests and I am peopled out!! Being an introvert, house guests, even if good ones, are a challenge. The last group was not so good. But now it's just me and the bride and we are going to be like Ralphie and the Taylor fam in A Christmas Story and eat Chinese for Easter. We were in Chicago years back on Easter. We were heading back to Wisconsin w/ the kids but needed to eat. We were driving through the Hasidic Jew neighborhood and found a Chinese restaurant open, so we went in to eat. It was run by Chinamen but it was Kosher Chinese. I said to the bride you KNOW those Chinamen cheated on the Kosher deal. The hot and sour soup was made w/ chicken, and not half bad.

Nobody gets into Easter more than Pollacks. They all give up booze for lent and get shitfaced right after sunrise service. The special Easter kielbasa was always something we Eyetalians loved.

Chip Ahoy said...

Kielbasa sounds good.

One time I bought three packages and braised the heck of them on low for hours. The casing became sticky and began to dissolve before adding cut potatoes and quartered cabbage and onion and continued braising until all that was done.

Right then two friends showed up unexpectedly.

We sat down in my new little apartment at my little dining room table and had a proper dinner. One of the friends goes, "These sausages are blowing my mind. I never knew sausages could be this good."

The casing had melted and the meat tenderized so extremely it became veritable pate texture.

And now I want to do that again.

ndspinelli said...

Sounds like a superb meal. Cabbage/sauerkraut, spuds and pork is always a winner w/ me. I slow cook country style ribs w/ kraut and spuds.

Trooper York said...

Thanks nick.

That does sound delicous Chip. I love sausage and potatoes. I just peeled and quartered them. Covered them in olive oil, lightly salted and added a lot of oregano. Then I quarter a dozen Italian sweet sausages and baked them for two hours. It was great.

With a salad and baked apples and yogurt as a desert.

I am going to try your recipe soon.

edutcher said...

Easter was never a big thing with us, but less so after the death of a favorite aunt a week or so before in 1960.

Likewise with The Blonde.

When I was a kid, there'd be the Easter basket and then church, but the idea that everybody closed down from noon to three on Good Friday (this was the 50s) to commemorate Christ's time on the cross seemed to impress me more.

Funny what stays with you.

Sixty Grit said...

City folk are peculiar.

Trooper York said...

Easter chocolate was always fun. We would get the little Cabury eggs and of course the chocolate crosses.

Easter is in the spring. The time of rebirth and renewal. It is a great holiday. Especially when you can stop with the stuff you gave up for Lent.

windbag said...

Happy Easter. If your basket was empty, this may explain it.

Lem said...

Happy Easter Trooper... and everybody.

ampersand said...

In Chicago they're celebrating Kweeaster, 29 shot but only 1 dead. father's day should be a real hoot this year.

Happy Easter.

Titus said...

Happy belated Easter! I went to my Italian friend's house which I have gone to for the past 20 years. They live in Everett, MA which used to be all Italian and now it has turned into the UN. They are one of the few Italian families left. Old time (kind of) Italian family. Sister lives on first floor, her 30 year old daughter lives in basement, father on the second floor and my friend and his homo lover on the top floor.

Stuffed peppers
Stuffed mushrooms
Pizza Gainer-is that how you spell it?
Stuffed artichokes

First Course:
Tortellini Soup
Eggplant Parm

BREAK-most people use the lou

Main Course:
Cheesy Potatoes
Mixed Vegetables

LOU Break

and then like 10 different desserts-I had strawberry pie.

Then they kick everyone out and go to bed.

Loved it!

Cheesy Pot

ndspinelli said...

Very nice comment, Titus. Everett was an Eyetalian enclave. Many who left the north end of Boston moved the short distance to Everett. I know I've told this previously, but for Thanksgiving, my family would have a turkey dinner @ noon and then when all the Americans were eating leftovers in the evening, we would have a lasagna dinner.

Sixty Grit said...

In England people use the loo.

Titus uses Lou because they both like it.

Trooper York said...

Sounds like a great Easter Dinner Titus.

I am glad you had fun on Easter.

Trooper York said...

And it was a nice gesture that you consumed Ham instead of hog on that Holy Day.


ricpic said...

To quote Titus: Happy belated Easter!

Trooper York said...

Thanks ric. I hope you had a good Passover.

Methadras said...

Hope all of you had a good easter.

Methadras said...

Frankly, I'd use easter to kill as many muslims as I could while screaming, "Jesus died for you motherfuckers. Let me help you return the favor!!!"