Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter Memories

As this wonderful Easter Sunday approaches I can't help but recall ones from the past. My childhood Easter memories are very special to me. We had the same tradition year after year. Much like Christmas, preparations began way ahead of time. 

My mother would take me to a lovely little store that was in my town called Chamas to pick my Easter dress. This was always followed by a trip to Dub Cone Shoes for the right shoes to match the dress. For some reason I always wanted either yellow or purple dresses!

For the next couple of weeks my mother and Grandmother Jones, my paternal grandmother, would talk about what we would eat for lunch that special day. It was always a big event and made more so by the fact that all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins form Atlanta and other places would be here.

When Easter Sunday finally came I always woke up early, ran to see what was in my basket and try to eat as much of the candy as I could get away with before my mother would tell me to "stop or you will be sick!" I would get dressed in my new Easter outfit and then spend a horrible amount of time with my mother trying to curl my hair which never held more than 5 minutes. Then, Daddy would get the Polaroid camera out and have me pose in front of the Azaleas in the yard for an Easter picture. 

When we got toSunday School and Church it was always one of my favorite days. Seeing the cross draped in white linen and lilies and hearing the Hallelujah chorus performed by the choir, I felt joy and happiness in my heart that I still get every year.

After church we would head straight to Grandmother and Grandaddy Jones house to celebrate with the whole family. We had a meal that easily rivaled Thanksgiving in size, but with all of the spring bounty. Again, Daddy would make me pose with my cousins for pictures in front of my grandfathers azaleas. His azaleas were, in my opinion, the most lovely in town! Finally the egg hunts would start!

We hunted eggs over and over! My grandfather always hid a "golden egg" with money in it. We couldn't stop hunting until everyone had the chance to get the egg. If you found the egg a second time, you had to leave it and sometimes the older cousins would give clues to the younger ones to help them find it. Everyone left my grandparents house with a basket full of candy! For weeks my grandmother would stock up on jelly beans, peeps, chocolate eggs, and more.

Now I prepare to take my youngest son on his first Easter Egg Hunt at the church tomorrow. I cannot wait to see the joy in his eyes, the color in the azaleas, and the cross draped in white. He is Risen!

This warm and spicy glaze is a surprising spin on the traditional ham glaze.  You will find that you receive rave reviews.

Glazed Ham
1 12 pound cooked ham
1 ½ cups mayhaw jelly 
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
¾ tsp. ground ginger

Place ham on a baking rack and cover with foil.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  While ham cooks make the glaze by combining the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and heat over low heat until melted and mix well.  After the ham has cooked the first 30 minutes remove ham from the oven and baste with the glaze.  Cover the ham loosely and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.  Uncover ham and baste again.  Return ham to oven for another 30 minutes.  Allow ham to stand for 20 minutes before slicing.  If you cannot find mayhaw jelly you may substitute with grape, apple, or even peach.  The leftovers of this ham make great ham biscuits the next morning!

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