(click on the photos for slide show view, and description)

For the past several years, our family has celebrated Easter on Saturday instead of Sunday. We’re not particularly religious. When it occurred to us that Saturday might be a more convenient day to celebrate than Sunday, there were no objections. It even resolved scheduling conflicts for the Jews in our family who are married to Easter-observing gentiles.

Before dinner, which is more of a late-lunch, my aunt Gail makes Hot Cross Buns with the kids (see recipe below). The little ones adore rolling the dough and frosting the buns once they’re cooked. Then we have an egg hunt, this year there were 107 eggs to find!

Our tradition, for as long as I can remember, has been to have savory pies for Easter. Geraldine Ferraro’s Easter Pie, which is filled with ricotta cheese & Italian sausage, is a staple. My dad makes the pies with the help from my aunt Gail (or vice-versa). He says to use two pounds of sausage instead of one, it’s much better that way.

The Torta Verde was sorely missed this year. Instead, we had lamb pies which were reported to be underwhelming, but were very pretty, and disappeared anyhow.

To up the meat ante, there were Garlicky Pork Burgers with Red Wine, Prunes & Rosemary, from this recipe, but prepared as burgers instead of sausages, and made in the oven. Everyone raved about them, even the kids.

The Escarole & White Bean Salad with Fennel & Gruyere (see my post about it here), and Cilantro, Celery & Almond Salad, were both excellent. My parent’s neighbor Peggy, made her famous Eggplant dish, which I don’t have the recipe for. We also had roasted Cubanelle pepers.

Dessert was an assortment of candy and cookies, Strawberry  Shortcake, and my favorite, a Three-Tier Candied-Pecan Cake with Brown-Butter Pears, from Martha Stewart. (Note: it doesn’t come out looking like the photo in the recipe but is utterly delicious.)

Happy early Easter everyone!