By Sherrie Norris
The calendar indicates that we are just about 10 days away from Easter — and I’m asking how did this happen so soon?
Just as fresh air, blue skies and blooming flowers are sure signs of Spring, so is the celebration of Easter.
Always falling on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25, Easter arrives on April 4 this year. I’m guessing more families than last year will plan on sharing a meal together.
We can’t throw caution to the wind, however, and hope that everyone continues to take precautions in an effort to slow the transmission of the corona virus. While many of us have completed our vaccine regime, or are in the midst of it, there are still those individuals who are vulnerable and deserve our respect.
For Christians the world over, Easter is the most glorious day of all as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And many of us see the timing of this celebration as no coincidence.
Consider the fact that around the date of its observance, so much of nature that has been dormant for a while, returns to life once again.
History tells us that Easter is the oldest of all Christian celebrations and that several dishes traditionally served at Easter have a deep-rooted heritage.
From lamb to hot cross buns and yes, even to the Easter egg, there exists some ancient significance to modern-day dining rituals.
Eggs have always symbolized new life; the exchanging of same supposedly began in ancient times when the Egyptians and Persians were thought to have given away eggs, the shells of which they had colored with natural dyes.
One legend tells us that the Easter Bunny “arrived on the scene” just as a woman and her children were gathering eggs from a hen’s nest in the barnyard. The children were convinced the eggs had been left behind by a little rabbit they saw hopping from around the side of the nest.
It is my hope that you will be able to savor the day — including special time with those you love and bountiful food on your table, all the while remembering what it’s all about.
To help you get started on your menu, we’ll share a few easy main dishes and sides this week and follow-up with some last-minute desserts and treats next week.
4 to 5 Tbs. sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 head lettuce, chopped or shredded
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced
2 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 to 6 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
Mix sugar and mayonnaise together, set aside.
Layer lettuce, celery, onion and peas.
Top with sugar/ mayonnaise mixture, cover with cheese and sprinkle on crumbled bacon. Let set in refrigerator for several hours before serving.
Baked Potato Casserole
5 large baking potatoes, cooked and diced
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. shredded cheddar cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 med. onion, chopped and sauteed in bacon grease
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake 30 minutes at 325.
Quick Corn Pudding
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 package corn muffin mix
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
8 oz. sour cream
Blend first seven ingredients, fold in sour cream and place in a greased casserole dish. Bake 350 for 45 min.
Easy Glazed Ham
1 (7-9 lbs.) spiral cut ham
4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, divided
¾ cup pineapple juice or orange juice, divided
½ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Combine 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard and ¼ cup pineapple juice. Brush over ham.
Place ham in a roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Roast 12-15 minutes per pound or according to package directions.
Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients for glaze and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Cool.
About 15 minutes before ham is done, remove from oven and brush with glaze, Return to oven, increase temperature to 400 and bake until glaze is caramelized, watching carefully so as not to burn.
Remove from oven and keep covered with foil until time to serve.
Easy 7-Up Biscuits
4 cups Bisquick
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 7-up
½ cup melted butter
Mix Bisquick, sour cream and 7-up. Melt butter in bottom of cookie sheet pan. Spoon or shape biscuits onto pan. Bake at 425 until golden, about 12-15 minutes, watching carefully not to burn.