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Easter with a touch of childhood memories.

When I was little Easter was a fun time. I remember following the Easter bunny’s paw prints around the house to find the place where he (you can’t call him it) had hidden my basket. The basket would always have a big chocolate egg. And by that I mean one of those:

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Just a few examples of Easter eggs.

You can find them everywhere in Brazil (yes, I grew up there) and you find them hanging from the ceiling (or a support over your head) in grocery stores. All you have to do is pick the one (or ones) you want and grab them as if you were getting fruit from a tree.

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Easter eggs are expensive, but walking into a supermarket and see all the eggs hanging above your head is priceless.

And if you have never seen the inside of one, they look kind of like this:

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This is a homemade one. Yes, you can get homemade ones and they are simply delicious!

Of course the contents of the eggs differ from one egg to the next, but they are all hollow with candies (and sometimes also toys) inside. The chocolate on the outside of the egg also changes, matching the candy they are based on (some have peanuts mixed with the chocolate, some are white chocolate, etc.).

But they were not the only thing in my basket. There were also smaller eggs and a chocolate bunny. I always got a chocolate bunny. Maybe because when I was little someone stole my bunny, a chocolate one, so my mom decided to give me one every year to compensate. Who knows, the point is, it was magical.

But one thing was even more magical. The decorated egg shells. My mom would start collecting eggshells weeks (maybe months) before Easter  It was a tough job to get them ready. She’d break just a little piece at the bottom of the eggshell, just enough to get the egg out. Then she’d wash the eggshells, let them dry, and store them in an egg carton. Later she’d make sugar peanuts (or Easter peanuts, as we’d call them) and put them inside the eggshells. She’d use a tiny cupcake liner to cover the whole and keep the peanuts inside. Then she’d decorate the shells using watercolors and a paintbrush.

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My mom’s ones had cupcake liners under them instead of egg holders, but they looked just like these ones.

Can we just take a moment to admire the artwork on those? I have to say I admire my mom’s dedication in using a tiny paintbrush to make the tiny details on the eggs. Nowadays with sharpies it would be a much easier job. Yay for that, right?

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Here you can see the peanuts inside and the cupcake liners.

And now I’m a bit nostalgic. Gee, I wonder why, right?

How was Easter for you growing up? What things are part of your fondest memories?

Oh, yeah, and HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE! Hope the Easter bunny leaves you a bunch of good moments to turn into sweet memories one day.

 

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I have a feeling this will only make sense in my head.

That moment when you forget you had something in the oven so you rush to rescue whatever is left of it, but then you get there and the cheese is overflowing and the chicken is all “Rawwr,” and you’re like “Get over it, chicken. You’re just a chicken,” and you realize how much you miss your mom.

Does this make sense?

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This is the look I was going for, I guess. The actual end result was… well… a bit scarier.

 

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Reading, cooking and playing pranks, that’s what vacations are all about.

Right now I’m enjoying some vacation time, and that means visiting my home country, my family, my friends, and my cats. My days are filled with reading some new stories and re-reading old ones, cooking with mom a few of my favorite dishes, and obeying my cats wishes of when and for how long to pet them.

But that’s another story. Let’s go back to cooking. The other day we were able to verify my grandma’s been senile for a very long time. We were using a handwritten recipe book my grandma wrote for me a few years ago. It’s full of dead people’s recipes. Well, my grandma wouldn’t say it like that, but let’s face it, most of our ancestors are no longer breathing.

Anyway, although I love my grandma’s effort in putting all the recipes together for me, I do have to question her at times. I think she forgets I’m not really that used to being in the kitchen and am not sure how to caramelize a pan with no ingredients listed or steps to follow (I do know now and I have to say it’s easier than it sounds).

But some of her recipes are also missing a few basic steps, probably because they were too obvious for her. She doesn’t tell you to bake things, for instance. How long and at what temperature to bake something? Oh, please, of course she doesn’t tell you that! How dare you ask!

Now, the best part was to throw away a whole batch of cream because it was not thickening, just to realize soon afterwards that we were supposed to add the egg yolks before, not after cooking the cream as specified in my grandma’s recipe.

Another important lesson I learned that day: do not try to be funny when your mother asks you if you know how to do something. She starts getting upset, you can’t stop laughing, then you try to make another joke and end up laughing and crying uncontrollably in front of the freezer.

Good times. Good times indeed.

Do you think that’s why she decided to wake me up from a nap using a spray bottle? Nah, of course not. She wouldn’t be seeking revenge, right? Right?

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