Celebrating New Life – and New Recipes
Today is Easter, and I’ve been thinking about how Easter traditions don’t always make the most sense. Jimmy Kimmel highlighted this recently when he asked some kids questions about the Easter Bunny (go to the end of the monologue). As the kids’ answers highlight, it can all be a bit confusing.
After all, as I know first-hand, bunnies don’t lay eggs – even if newborn bunnies are as bald as an egg. (Luckily, their fur grows in soon.)
I never worried too much about these Easter oddities as a kid. I just enjoyed having our own real rabbits to play with, and I appreciated the chocolate bunnies in my Easter basket.
When I got a little older, especially once I learned the Easter Bunny wasn’t real, I did start to scratch my head about all this. As an adult, though, I recognize that Easter traditions do have one thing in common.
Celebrating new life.
This makes sense since spring is the time of sprouting and nest-building and hatching and babies of all kinds running around. Every day, when I go for a walk, it seems I spot some new flowers coming up, or more buds on the trees, and I hear more birdsong. It’s exciting and hopeful.
Easter foods and new recipes
This focus on new life even carries over to some Easter foods, such as eggs, though not all the traditional foods have as clear a meaning. Consider the fact that ham is a common Easter dish, though it has no particular significance. (For more on this, check out this funny short video from Bob Marley.)
And don’t get me wrong – traditional foods are good. But if Easter is about celebrating newness, why not also celebrate with new recipes?
I was thinking about this when trying to decide what to bring to my aunt’s house to contribute to dinner today. I’d committed to a vegetable side dish, and the only caveat was that I shouldn’t bring potatoes since my dad was bringing those.
In the past, I’ve brought a Greek salad or sometimes roasted asparagus, but I felt like a change this year. I also knew I wanted something fairly light that I could make beforehand.
I poked around on the internet for a while, and eventually, I stumbled across the winner – sauteed cabbage.
Now, when I think about cabbage, sometimes the first thing that comes to mind is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and how Charlie’s family was so poor they could usually only make cabbage soup. And certainly, cabbage is a pretty humble vegetable.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be tasty. I made a trial run of the cabbage dish a couple of weeks ago, and I was sold. Letting it cook down and get soft and caramelized brings out the natural sweetness of the cabbage, and the butter, olive oil, salt, and apple cider vinegar give some extra flavor.
Hopefully, my family likes it, too, but if not, then more leftovers for me!
Enjoy spring and its wonders
However you celebrate Easter today, or even if you don’t celebrate it, try to take a few minutes and see if you can spot signs of new life. Maybe it’s flowers, or vegetables, or young animals. (In a pinch, you can check out these adorable baby goats.)
And even after today, may you continue to enjoy all the newness and beauty of spring.