As you age you forget the simple joys of Easter: the Easter bunny, baskets of goodies, egg hunts, and frilly dresses. That last one I really miss, as a young lad I had many crinoline and taffeta Easter get-ups. No, not really. This year Child Harbat was old enough to really grasp the idea of a rabbit hopping through our house and into her room to deliver goodies and when she woke up on Sunday morning and found a filled Easter basket beside her bed she ran at full speed into our room to wake me up and show me. It was 6:15 am. There was no way I could ask her to go back to bed, or to withhold eating her chocolate bunny, so we got up, ate candy, then tried to supplement her early morning sugar with some oatmeal. I also baked up some Portuguese Easter bread the night before. Actually it was sweet bread from the Azores that I decorated with a cross and called Easter bread, but hey, traditions have to start sometime. Here are two little loaves ready for baking.
They were enriched with eggs, milk, and butter, and I added some orange peel and lemon juice for a little citrus note. I glazed them with an egg wash for a deep brown glossy crust and other than the big split from oven spring they turned out just how I wanted. Next year I’ll get the yeast more active and warm and try to give them enough time on the second proof so they don’t split. The crumb was just as I hoped, light and spongy with delicate sweetness. Once I have a recipe and process down that works I’ll pass it on to you, my intrepid readers!
Easter day was a day of play for Child Harbat. Fueled by a steady stream of candy, small gifts, and Skype sessions with family, she found the Easter eggs in record time, helped by her friend who came over to assist in egg location and share candy.
The two girls played games and ran around the park while we enjoyed a picnic lunch and I watched a curious pit bull barking at the fence of a house that abutted the park. Dog owners: if you live next to a park with a playground that gets daily visitors, please don’t leave your dog outside all day to bark. Especially if that dog has been bred to rip other living creatures into bloody viscera and your fence is perilously low. Despite Cujo’s ominous presence we had a great day and CH managed to get to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour considering that she had a 50/50 mix of plasma and glucose running through her veins. Happy Easter!