A Memory of Easter Dinners, circa 1950s
Most families have holiday traditions. For mine, Easter dinner was always the same. But, over the years, our tradition has slipped away, replaced by catch-as-catch-can. But to this day, my memories of Easter dinners of the 1950s are clear.
At Easter, mom sat a beautiful table with good china, a white tablecloth and spring flowers. We kids (my brother, sister and cousin) sat at a card table that was also beautifully decorated. I remember one year I put antique model cars circling our small vase of flowers. (I loved building models).
I know lots of people say that their favorite holiday meal is Thanksgiving, but for me it was always Easter – for everything but the ham! (I’ve never been much of a meat eater).
A week or so before Easter, mom hard-boiled eggs, peeled them and put them to soak in a big container of pickled beet juice. By Easter they were perfectly purple and perfectly vinegar-y. They’re still my favorite part of Easter dinner. Being raised in the Midwest, green beans were a staple along with mom’s absolutely wonderful potato salad. Unfortunately she never used a recipe and I’ve never been able to replicate the taste.
Did you know that the date of Easter is determined by the following: It’s the first Sunday following the first full moon following (or on the day of) the Spring Equinox.
My sister, Vicki, said she can get pretty close, but neither of us have mom’s magic at making potato salad. I know mom boiled the potatoes the night before and I know that among the ingredients were a bit of mayo, mustard and onions. I’m pretty sure paprika was in there somewhere too.
The other thing I remember is the banana-lemon-peanut salad. I was told that this dish was always featured at family reunions way back before I was born. For the first time, I’m sharing Great-Aunt Dolly’s recipe for the famous Faulkenberry-Hendrickson Banana Salad. (By the way, it’s reported that every member of the family added their own twist to this recipe).
Great Aunt Dolly’s Banana Salad
The easy part – slice 8 bananas (or however many you want to use) lengthwise.
Mix 2T lemon juice (the real thing), 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 C flour and 1 cup water.
Cook over a low heat until it begins to thicken. Pour 4 beaten egg yolks into the
mixture and continue cooking until thick and creamy. Refrigerate.
Once mixture is cool, layer bananas, dressing and 2 cups of salted peanuts into a bowl until
all ingredients are used. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
(My memory of this is making my mouth water!)
What’s Your Favorite Easter Memory?
Leave a comment – would love to know your favorite Easter memory, whether it’s food, a family gathering, or a great family story!If you don’t celebrate Easter, what did your family do over this weekend?