Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Glories

This morning, my email brought me the most dramatic picture ever of a sunrise--all reds and golds and purples, taken from the sender's porch. Surely an Easter sunrise picture. That was followed by a link to a video of Carrie Underwood's rendition of "How Great Thou Art," my favorite hymn of all time. What a way to start Holy Saturday. Jacob asked if I knew "the Easter song" and I sang the first lines of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluia." Turns out he had in mind the song about hopping down the bunny trail! The birds outside my kitchen window have been singing their little heads off all day, as though they too know Easter is tomorrow. On a more practical note, I wonder if they knew a storm was brewing. Scooby definitely knew and is hiding in his bed, as thunder begins to roll in.
When I was young I sang in the youth church choir--no comments needed from those who know I can't carry a tune. We sang an anthem that began, "One early Easter morning/I wakened with the birds/And all around lay silence/Too deep for earthly words." I can hear the melody in my head, though I can't sing it for anyone--and won't try. I emailed a lifetime friend from those days, and she too remembers those lines--but that's all. My friend Betty, a church organist for forty-plus years, has never heard of it. If anyone can give me more information about this piece of music I'd be grateful. (My singing is so bad that when I called my oldest son the other day on his birthday and offered to sing, "Happy Birthday," he declined--and Jacob has been known to put his hands over his ears if I sing.)
My Easter table is set, with my mom's Suzie Cooper china that she adored. I mostly only use it at Easter, because the colors are so right for spring. Over the years I have given lots of big dinners, often for about twenty. So I don't know why dinner for eight boggled my mind all week (we added a ninth person yesterday and I decided to squeeze four people on one side rather than unset the whole table to add another leaf). I worried and planned and other things went on hold "until I get past Easter." It's honestly an easy, cook-ahead meal (Christian's parents are bringing the meat), so there's no reason for me to be so uptight. I'll fix two appetizers (crudities with a dip and fromage fort--which is really fort or strong), potato salad, fruit salad, rolls, and the ice cream pie is in the freezer. My neighbor is bringing a bunny cake.
It's supposed to rain and storm tomorrow--shades of Easters in my Chicago childhood. I had planned to have a mid-afternoon happy hour on the porch but now am uncertain. Hope Jacob and his friend Eva don't have to hunt indoors. Good Friday should be dark and stormy, and Easter should be full of sunlight. But, hey, I'm not in charge of that. All I have to do now is go clean some radishes and make cucumber sticks.
Want to make fromage fort? This "strong cheese" is a recipe from Jacques Pepin, who said his father would use up odd bits of cheese this way. Take those leftover cheeses in your fridge--about a pound--and add three or four garlic cloves, a heaping tsp. coarse black pepper, and a half cup dry white wine. Whir it all in the blender until it's a spread. Serve with crackers. I had quite a bit of romano this time, some cheddar, and something unidentified (maybe manchego). It's really pungent but so good. If you use blue cheese, it's good but changes the character of the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

I also sang this in Junior Choir in E. Orange NJ...I remember all the words if you want them! Email me at Patty

Patty said...

I remember all the words to "One Early Easter Morning." Please email me at if you like... Patty