Thursday, April 9, 2009
Best toasted with Lots of Butter
There's nothing like a long weekend, especially the Easter holidays to bring out the anxiety ridden, raging inner child in the best of us. It probably ranks tied with Thanksgiving and second to Christmas. The weeks and days leading up to this hopped up affair (pardon the pun) go something like this.... One week before: Head to Bloor West Village, the Easteriest neighbourhood in all of Toronto to get in the spirit of things and sort through the buckets of over-priced pussy-willow stems to find the "perfect" plushy buds. They must be fat, fluffy and the stems must be just long enough to create some drama in my outdoor urns. (time spent hunting: 6 stores X 10 minutes per shop = 1 hour.) Cost: $7.99 per bunch of 7 branches. Go back through the 6 stores, one more time to gather the remaining ingredients to fill urns, knowing that planting outdoors at this early stage in spring is pre-mature, but the desire for some spring colour and a bountiful Easter display at the front door outweighs any logic or advice from the Farmer's Almanac. Return to car to unload. Head back to Bloor Street to check which bakery has the best looking hot cross buns. It may be too early to purchase said buns, but maybe we'll just try some ahead of time. That way, if they aren't quite up to snuff (too little candied fruits or not enough glaze) we can shop elsewhere next weekend. Four days before: Go back to Bloor West to get 2 more pots of pansies (urns looked a bit skimpy) and another half dozen hot cross buns from another bakery to see if they are any better than last batch. Holy Thursday: (only meaningful if you are Catholic): Arrangements have been made for cleaning lady to arrive today instead of usual Friday so the house will be ready for the Easter Bunny. Cleaning lady calls to say she has a crisis she needs to tend to - I try to be understanding. I am not. She wants to come tomorrow instead. She is Catholic. Will this not be some sort of sin? Now desperate for her help, I say sure - whatever - I'll just see if I can make the whole family disappear for the day. Just get here!! Good Friday: Cover urns with large swaths of purple fabric in honour of Christ's death upon the cross......ha! had you going there for a minute didn't I? That was always kind of freaky to me as a child. All those statues of Mother Mary and Jesus in their purple ghost costumes throughout the church. Those Catholics and their creepy pagan rituals really knew how to convince a kid to believe. We'll just scare the shit out of the little brats, brainwash them so they'll forever keep filling the collection plate. How's it working for ya now Fathers? Those dwindling numbers making you rethink celibacy? Anyway - I digress. Holy Saturday: Best day of the weekend. Make no plans. Sleep in. Enjoy clean house. Think about colouring some eggs, but decide no, Emma too old for that now, she'll wander off after one egg and leave me behind to deal with messy dye and a basket full of hard-boiled eggs crying for some attention (daughter did not inherit mother's creative genes). I lose interest too. Take one last trip to Bloor West Village for six more Hot Cross Buns (these will be the best, I'm sure). As day progresses a slight feeling of anxiety and apprehension mounts in anticipation of next day. Easter Sunday: Everyone - ASCEND! The Easter Bunny came. Now that daughter is 14, this much anticipated event has become somewhat low key. Her taste in chocolate has escalated from Laura Secord to Godiva. Well, I tell her, "If you want Godiva, why not wait until Tuesday when it will all be half price?" She thinks this is a good idea (she has her father's practical nature when it comes to money), so now we shop at Godiva on December 26, February 15, Easter Tuesday and November 1. Works for me. Still Easter Sunday: Hit the showers, get dressed ( usually still too cold to wear new spring outfit), pile in car, drive to St. Catharines. Arrive at parents by noon (dinner served at 2:00). Breathe deeply Deb - only 3-4 hours to go. "Wow, Mom, everything looks great! Ham! Oh, perfect, No, don't worry about Emma (she's vegetarian), don't worry about me (I don't eat pork), we'll just enjoy all the veggies and side dishes and hot cross buns - really, relax - we're fine!" "Well we never know what you people from Toronto are eating, so we just made ham - we like to have a ham at Easter", says mom. Can now cut tension with a knife. "Let's have a drink." Good idea. Bring it on. No two visits are alike in my family. It all depends on given mood of father and direction of conversation. Subjects to avoid Sunday: Future of GM pensions, virtues of a vegetarian diet, cost of daughter's education (what's wrong with public school?) and anything to do with politics - provincial or federal. Hopeful this year we will emerge unscathed and still speaking. What's your family up to this weekend? Happy Easter.