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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: It’s Still Holy Week and Easter Is Still Easter

While most everything in our lives these days seems way off base, there is one thing, at least, that has not changed. Easter Sunday is just hours away — and if nothing else gives us hope, that should do it.

For many of us the whole world over, Easter symbolizes one of the most wondrous times of the year as the observance honors the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Is it easy for me, as a Christian, to relate its significance to the season in which it is always observed. Surely, it’s no coincidence that Easter comes around just as nature springs forth from its dormant state in the dark, damp ground and everything comes back to life once again.

While current conditions in our world might put tradition on the back burner — no church services or big gatherings for food and fun with family and friends — we can still observe this special occasion as a time of reflection and renewal.

It is my hope that, even amid the chaos and uncertainty, that each of you will be richly blessed during this holy season. Even if we can’t be in physical contact with all those we love, we can be assured that the one who gave His life for us still loves us and cares about our well-being.

I have chosen some simple recipes this week for Easter, hoping that those in your home will still be able to enjoy a special time together.

Green Pea Salad

1(10-oz.) pkg. frozen peas

½ cup cashews

½ cup chopped celery

2 Tbs. grated onion

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup sour cream

Thaw peas under hot running water, drain well. Combine with cashews, celery, onion and salt in bowl. Add sour cream, mixing gently. Chill for several hours. Spoon into lettuce cups if desired. Makes about 6 servings, but may be doubled.

Variations: Substitute peanuts, water chestnuts or small cubes of Cheddar cheese for cashews and/or ½ cup mayonnaise and 1 tsp. prepared mustard for sour cream.


Cheesy Oven Potatoes

1 pint sour cream

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

½ cup butter, melted

1 Tbsp. garlic salt

1 cup chopped onions

1 lg. bag frozen shredded or diced hash brown potatoes, partially thawed

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients until well blended.

Pour into ungreased 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Bake 45 minutes.

Variations: Ingredients may be prepared the night before, cover well and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator, uncover and let stand 30 minutes before baking.


Cream Of Coconut Cake

1 pkg. white cake mix

1 can or pkg. flaked coconut

1 can sweetened condensed milk

8 oz. whipped topping

Bake cake as directed. Poke holes in cake, pour milk over cake while still warm. Allow cooling time. Cover with whipped topping and coconut. Refrigerate until time to serve.


Easy Easter Pie

1 (6-oz.) pkg. instant (your choice) pudding mix

2¾ cups milk

1 (9-in.) graham cracker pie shell

1 (8-oz.) container whipped topping

½ cup finely chopped pecans

Combine dry pudding mix and milk in bowl; mix according to package directions. Pour into pie shell. Place plastic wrap over top of filling to seal and prevent rubbery top. Refrigerate until serving time; remove plastic wrap. Spread with whipped topping. Sprinkle with pecans. Serves 6-8.


Coconut: Use coconut pudding, mixed with ½ cup shredded coconut and garnish with ½ cup shredded coconut. Combine as directed above.

Banana: Use banana pudding, mixed with ½ cup chopped banana and garnish with banana slices just before serving. Combine as directed above.


Bird’s Nests

1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow cream

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

1 can (5 oz.) Chow Mein noodles

1 cup pastel M & M’s

Powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat marshmallow cream, peanut butter and butter until smooth. Fold in noodles and M & M’s. On waxed paper, form mixture (by 1/3 cupful) into 3-inch “nests.” Chill for 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Place several M & M’s in each nest. Makes about 9 servings.