Just in case you’re wondering: If you wait until Easter Day to check the supermarket for chocolate bunnies in a moment of caving (because, after all, there will be Easter baskets at Daddy’s this year, and you were FULLY PLANNING to skip the whole deal, but then a certain child with big hopeful eyes and a quivering lower lip informed you that SANTA comes to both houses, so SURELY the Easter Bunny will do the same!), you will find row upon row of empty shelves where the bunnies used to be.
Also, if you were wondering: The only Easter candy left which is orthodontia-approved is then a 5-pound sack of assorted chocolate temptations (peanut butter eggs, KitKats, malted milk eggs). But! It’s on sale! So it’s okay! But you will load up those baskets and still have way, way too much candy left over and calling to you later.
Sorry… what were we talking about? I was busy rolling around on my bed in all these empty candy wrappers.
This week I decided that my foray into pizza crust was so successful, I should really just go ahead and make some bread. In fact, when I received an invitation for Easter dinner, and asked what I should bring, before my friend could answer I blurted out, “Hey! I know! I’ll bake some bread!”
I’ve always been a passable cook, but baking is not my thing. I think it all goes back to the time I made a pie crust that would’ve been suitable for shipping fragile items. Pie crust gets angry when you over-handle it, see. And for years I had ignorantly assumed that ALL dough items were similar. When I made the pizza crust last week, though, I discovered that bread LIKES to be handled. We had pizza crust… we had breadsticks… I even made cinnamon rolls from that dough. You really can’t destroy it by overworking it, the way you can pie crust or a weak man.
So my confidence in my baking ability has been somewhat restored. But just in case, I figured I should pick a recipe and try it out prior to Easter. That just seemed like good planning.
On Friday I selected my recipe, neglecting to read down to the bottom of the instructions to discover that said recipe makes enough dough for SIX loaves of bread. I figured it out when my mixer started to sound like an airplane running out of gas, though. From that point on I abandoned the mixer and made the dough by hand.
(Don’t my arms look awesome? It turns out that kneading dough is really good for your triceps.)
I got the dough made, risen, punched down, risen again, and shaped half a dozen rolls and baked them as my test run. They were PERFECT. I was incredibly impressed with myself. I then looked at the remaining mountain of dough and made a few mental calculations. No problem. I shaped a couple dozen rolls for Easter dinner and put them into a gallon zipper bag and into the fridge. Perfect! All I’d have to do on Sunday would be to take out the bag, put the rolls onto pans, and bake. The remainder of the dough was shaped and put into bags and tossed in the freezer.
Well here’s the thing. Did you know that yeast is a persistent little bugger? I was sure that yeast needed a certain amount of warmth to do its thing, but I guess it only needs to be warm to get started.
So that bag of shaped rolls I put into the fridge? I went into the fridge on Saturday and the bag was swelled up with one gigantic clump of dough about to explode. When I took the bag out, the zipper popped open and the bag HISSED at me.
[Fortunately—despite my lack of a basic grasp of the working of yeast—I was still able to make the rolls today without a problem. And they were, again, very yummy.]
And today was finally Easter. I went to church this morning IN THE SNOW (actual snow falling from the sky on my drive there, because I currently live in Hell) to discover that our new choir robes had arrived. We used to have these delightful robes purchased in 1950 or so, made of grey polyester so heavy that little old ladies in the choir regularly keeled over from heat exhaustion. We finally ditched them a while back and have been robeless for quite a while. When we ordered the new ones, everyone had to get measured, which cracked me up because I already knew I was moving away. I kept asking if this meant that after my move they had to find not only another alto, but an alto exactly the same size as me.
Anyway. I was assigned a number that corresponded with a hanger, and gleefully scooped up my new robe. (It’s much easier to dress for church when you wear a robe, and I am nothing if not lazy.)
Now, I didn’t KNOW that we would have robes today, and it’s Easter, after all, so I was dressed up. Including shoes with a pretty tall heel. And my new robe? The one I was measured for? Came almost to the FLOOR.
God wants me to wear my sluttiest shoes to church, apparently.
I rushed home after church to bake my rolls, then went over to my friends’ house for Easter dinner. Where I was very helpful with the dinner preparation, parking myself at the kitchen counter so as to help “test” items as they came off the stove or out of the oven. I was particularly vigilant about “helping” with the ham.
[Otto: Why do we eat ham on Easter if Jesus was Jewish?]
Then after we sat down, I ate my weight in ham and all the fixings and vowed to skip dessert, right up until I saw the cherry pie. And the ice cream.
Later I picked up the kids and came back home and we all put away laundry (this whole “keeping the house spotless” thing is getting really annoying) and read together and the kids went to bed and then the remaining 4.8 pounds of Easter candy began calling for me with its sweet siren song.
And you would think that I was too full of ham and pie to sit here mindlessly eating chocolate eggs, but it’s hungry work, pairing socks.
I’m thinking of making another sign for my mudroom, to put under the sign about taking off your shoes. This one will say “Free lifetime supply of peanut butter eggs with every house purchase!” I don’t know if that will speed the sale of the house, but it’s my only hope for still fitting into my wedding dress.