1940 TO 1955
EASTER was a big holiday at our house. School was closed for Good Friday. We dyed our eggs on Good Friday. It was such a big deal, as we each got 6 boiled eggs and sometimes Dad would get in on it. We always made sure two eggs had Mom or Dad written on it with crayon. We also wrote our name on one.
In our younger days we hid them in the house until one was not discovered until months later - phewwie - Mom never let us do that again...(it was down in the corner of the couch under the side of the cushion!)
On Friday night we got to sit around the kitchen table and eat the “cracked” Easter eggs with Dad, salt and pepper in hand, enjoying every bite. And we would eat the one with our name on it. The rest of the eggs that survivied all the handling, holding and hiding, Mom would make deviled egg for the Easter dinner. And she also made potato salad.
Mom always went to a bunch of work for Easter dinner with a big Easter ham, oyster stew, sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter and marshmallows (warshmeddows)
Mom baked creamed pies, coconut, banana, chocolate and lemon meringue...my favorite. Some years Mom would make her Lady Baltimore Cake straight out of the Boston School of Cooking cookbook. I have Moms now and treasure it. But Oh MY.. how cooking and preparing food has changed!
Grandma and Grandpa Cogswell came for dinner and Grandma brought her cherry and apple pie and her sugar cookies with pink frosting. Grandpa dressed up in his new bib overalls and white shirt, polished black shoes and Grandma looking so pretty in her new Easter dress and new black shoes.
We got new dresses at Easter, including Mom I looked forward to a trip to Fort Collins with Mom and Ginger, first we would shop at Monkey Wards (Montgomery Wards) and Penny’s but we always bought our dresses at State Dry Goods. In early years Mom made Ginger and my dresses. We also got new shoes and new socks! Those would last us every Sunday for Church until Christmas when we got another new pair of shoes and socks and a new Christmas dress.
Easter always was an exciting time for all of us - the beginning of spring. Trees budding out, lilac tree getting green, grass green and some of Moms flowers peeking out of the ground and a few blooming. Daffodils blooming sometimes and we waited for the tulips to peek through. It was a great surprise to see what color they were.
Dad had planted some crops, some had come up and he was plowing and planting others. It was he busy time of the year. He enjoyed going out to the field on his John Deere tractor and spend the day tending to his fields, coming in at noon, taking off his hat and telling us that “by golly, It’s hot out there!”
Of course Mom had to take out all her “good dishes” wash them all, get the linen table cloths and napkins out and it they were just a little bit wrinkled she would iron the wrinkles out - or when I got to be 9 or 10, I would get to do that. I felt that was so important! I still like to iron!!
On Sunday, the table set and with the big bouquet of flowers that Dad would get Mom, or Dad would tell Mom when she went grocery shopping “be sure and buy yourself some ‘purrty’ flowers for the table.” Mom would pick out a big bouquet of tulips, daffodils, and various other spring pastel flowers to be on the Easter Sunday table in the dinning room. To me that was the finishing touch to getting the table set.
We would arrive home after going to Easter Sunday Church with the smell of the ham cooking in the oven, all the vegtables ready, in the oven or on top of the stove. I would get to make a big green salad, with all kinds of vegetables in it. I took lots of time doing that, making radish roses, green onion fans, and carrot curls and making the cucumbers look like fancy wheels. The salad dressing was homemade also. I only remember the French dressing that Mom made, she made hers extra sweet. She used Salad Dressing instead of Mayonnaise that is so popular now. She did not like mayonnaise!
Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle Les and Uncle Marvin would arrive. The excitement of getting the food on the table, Dad or Mom carving the ham and arranging it on a pretty platter, with pineapple rings and maraschino cherry. Everyone was seated at the table, right where Mom wanted everyone. Then Grandpa or Dad would say the blessing. I always peeked with one eye open to see if my brothers had their heads bowed and eyes closed. Usually they did! Jim caught me once looking at him-that was almost a giggle moment!
Ham was passed around first then all the other goodie dishes and last by not at all least, was Mom’s Clover Leaf dinner rolls that she had taken so much time to make and bake the day before. Butter plates were set at different place on the table so you could just reach and get your own butter. I still remember how quiet the dinner table was and the clink and clank of silverware. I also remember all the smiles on the faces of the ones I loved so much.
Please say a prayer for all the plentiful bounty at your Easter table and pray to those who are not as fortunate. And always remember the ones on your prayer list that are in struggles that we cannot imagine ourselves.
We are so fortunate!
Thank you God!