Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

We don't make a fuss over Easter the way my family did. When I was a little girl, I always got to pick out a new outfit, including a spring coat (remember those?) and a matching dress, purse, and shiny shoes. We put out Easter decorations, mostly my mother's hand-painted ceramics; we dyed eggs. On Easter morning, I'd get presents as if it were Christmas all over again, along with nearly a dozen candy-filled baskets from my mom, grandmother, and aunts. There'd be an extra-fancy ham dinner at my grandmother's house that evening. Easter was fun.

In recent years, my observance of the holiday has been reduced to buying a couple of bags of Dove chocolate eggs for half price on Easter Monday. Pathetic. Depressing. So we went to Wilson Farm today and got the tiniest, most adorable ham and some other fixings for a classic Easter dinner, à deux. I may never freeze again in a flimsy spring coat and ruffly ankle socks, or sit around my grandmother's table with a dozen loved ones (most of them arguing), but at least I can have ham and pineapple.

With its glorious array of fresh produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, Wilson Farm is always a happy place to shop, but it's most festive before any holiday. Just going there can put you in the spirit. I may even get it together to dye some eggs tomorrow.

On the way there, we stopped for doughnuts at Ohlin's Bakery in Belmont for fortification. This old-fashioned bakery in Cushing Square has it all, including dozens of colorful Easter egg cakes iced in pink, white, chocolate, or a sort of Windex blue, with frosting flowers not found in nature. I resisted these; I was there for doughnuts. (That was stupid, those cakes looked good; they're open until noon tomorrow.) Of the three doughnut flavors we tried, the glazed chocolate cake ones were outstanding. We'll be back.

There were masses of potted spring flowers at Wilson. I especially admired these Easter lilies — lovely to look at but so deadly to cats that they make me shudder even as I enjoy their trumpety, art nouveau elegance:

On the way home, we stopped at Play Time in Arlington. This 50-year-old store has an overwhelming inventory of art and craft materials, party supplies, ribbons, yarn, buttons, florist supplies, toys, model kits, books, and stationery. I hadn't been there in years. I can't wait to go back.

Sewing notions and ribbons to rival Windsor Button's. 
And everything else under the sun for the crafty person.

Wide-eyed and dazed by all the possibilities on the ground floor, we stumbled upon their basement. And there I found treasure: bags of Wendy's favorite pompoms:

She's been playing with a few of these for months, swatting them, carrying them around, and losing them all meticulously beneath the same piece of furniture. I eventually fish them out with a flashlight and a long wooden spoon under her supervision. She shows not a flicker of gratitude, just intense interest, and quickly gets busy losing them again. I'm considering giving her all 40 at once, just to see how she reacts. But I wonder if she'd get wigged out from the strain of having to stuff them all under the same bookcase. We'll see. It might be like watching an Easter egg hunt in reverse.

Happy Easter!


  1. Dear APB: I also remember the whole Easter extravaganza, including braciole, raviolis, ham, etc. that my grandmother spent days making. Since I am also doing Easter a deux, I have decided (with much trepidation and a fallback plan) to try Nana's ricotta-based (no potatoes) gnocchis. I always loved these; of course I do not have her recipe, and even though I did watch her a few times, I am not really hopeful of an edible result. I hope you went back and got one of those cakes! Happy Easter.

  2. Happy Easter to you all!

    Here we celebrate nightly tub bowling with a bell-in-the-ball and a Peter Max decorated ping pong ball.

    The other wee beastie prefers to bring all of his many iterations of mice onto the yoga mat where he poses in a sunbeam and meditates on felineness.

    Every day is an Easter egg hunt with me nosing into dim corners and under every conceivable nook and cranny hoping to find a missing favored crumpled aluminum bowling ball (perfect for sinking claws into and hurling).

  3. I volunteer to help you carry home loot from the next Play Time visit.

    I think 40 pom poms would be creating a 40 pm pm habit and Miss Wendy would demand 100 the next time. I'm pretty sure they are addictive.

  4. Play Time ROCKS!!!

  5. I have both a junk drawer and a pom pom drawer in my kitchen and the cats know which is which!


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