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Celebrating a traditional Polish Easter was the highlight of  Spring for me as a child.  Perhaps a new Easter dress, a white straw purse with a yellow daisy and patent leather shoes…

polish Easter basket

CELEBRATING A TRADITIONAL POLISH EASTER

Remembering my family celebrating a traditional Polish Easter bring happy memories, but also the reminder of those no longer celebrating with us.

I grew up in a little town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where we Polish-Catholic families outnumbered pretty much everyone else.  That’s not saying much, because “everyone else” mainly consisted of Irish and Italian Catholics, with an occasional Greek Orthodox thrown into the mix.

 

polish poppyseed roll

My childhood was rich in exposure to my Polish heritage, as we lived next door to my paternal grandparents and great-grandmother, BABCIA, in Polish.

I also had numerous Great-Aunts and Uncles living in town.  It made for lively family meals and lots of games of Pinocle.  (card game)  My family were card sharks, for sure!  All of the children learned to play at an early age too!

Of course, these are all memories as recalled through the eyes of a child.  And that child moved from the area at 14 years of age.  So you’ll need to take them with a grain of salt!  But that’s exactly how I remember my birthplace.

Before I share all my delicious holiday recipes with you, let’s talk a little about holiday planning. The Lifestyle Diva Shoppe at Etsy is here to give you a holiday hostess hand!  

 

FABULOUS EASTER CELEBRATIONS ARE PLANNED!

With the Easter holiday fast approaching, wouldn’t it be amazing to have an Easter Planner that will keep you organized and make sure all the little items are taken care of? 

Easter and egg hunt planers

EASTER HOLIDAY PLANNER

That’s exactly how your Easter planning will go after downloading The Lifestyle Diva Shoppe’s 22- page EASTER HOLIDAY PLANNER!

It’s a comprehensive planning tool that will help you keep all the details in one place so nothing will be forgotten.  And maybe you’ll find you have enough time to host your own Easter Egg Hunt.  How fabulous! 

The Easter Holiday Planner contains checklists and worksheets for all your Easter holiday meals, gatherings, easter egg decorating, Easter baskets and much more.

Creating your menus for the entire weekend will be a snap with the Breakfast and Dinner Menu Planners, Grocery List and Prep Schedule sheets.  What a help they’ll be!

To make your Easter Celebration tablescape a bit more festive, your planner also contains PRINTABLE COORDINATING NAPKIN RINGS, GUEST PLACE CARDS AND BUFFET MENU TENT CARDS.  How amazing will your table look this year?

 

easter holiday planners

EASTER EGG HUNT PLANNER & SIGNS

Why not plan an outdoor Easter Egg Hunt for your friends and family this Easter?  The weather should be lovely since the holiday falls in mid-April this year. What a fabulous idea!

Now that you’ve decided to host your own Easter Egg Hunt, you’ll need some tips on how to get the hunt planned, but then what?  That’s exactly where the rest of the Easter Egg Hunt Planning pages come into play!

Print out as many Easter Egg Hunt Invitations as you need, “fill-in-the-blanks”, and send them out!  Use the Guest List Checklist to keep track of your responses and how many “egg hunters” you’ll need to prepare for.

And then use the Easter Egg Decorating Planner to help organize decorating all the eggs you’ll need for your Easter Egg Hunt. 

Whew, now everything is planned and ready to enjoy!  You can grab your copies of the Easter Holiday Planner and Easter Egg Hunt Planner & Signs  at The Lifestyle Diva Shoppe at Etsy.

 

STOP! MAKE SURE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR IFAFL SUBSCRIBER FREEBIE PAGES TO TEST DRIVE OUR EASTER PLANNERS!  (just fill out the form at the bottom of this post to get yours today!)

Easter planner sample page graphic

Now back to Celebrating A Traditional Polish Easter with more holiday traditions and recipes!

 

TRADITIONAL POLISH EASTERS INCLUDE BLESSING YOUR EASTER FOOD BASKET

After the strict fasting of Lent, celebrating a traditional Polish Easter means readying for the annual feast.

In Poland, Good Friday evening is for coloring and decorating hard-cooked eggs with traditional Polish designs.

On Easter Saturday, święconka baskets are filled with salt, hard-cooked eggs, butter, sausage, ham, bread, babka, and other foods to be eaten on Easter

celebrating a traditional Polish Easter

BUT, IN MY LITTLE TOWN …

On Holy Thursday, I eagerly awaited the arrival of my many first cousins to help celebrate the holiday. 

We were quite the gaggle of kids, all looking forward to plenty of playing, eating and enjoying our Easter basket booty.

Our family usually colored our eggs on Good Friday morning, so we would be ready for the Stations of the Cross at our parish in the afternoon.  The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man.

It was a very solemn Easter activity, especially for me, as I attended Catholic School and was taught by nuns.  They instilled a deep reverence for religion in me that has lasted a lifetime.  

 

CELEBRATING A TRADITIONAL POLISH EASTER

Bright and early on Easter Saturday, my siblings, cousins and I would walk the three blocks to our Polish-Catholic Church.  celebrating a traditional Polish EasterThere would always be 2-3 święconka baskets to take to be blessed in the basement where I attended CCD classes on Sunday mornings.

Long tables would be set up to place our baskets in anticipation of our priest, dressed in his purple Easter vestments, entering the room.

He would slowly walk past the tables, dipping his aspergil (sprinkler) into a silver bucket of holy water and dousing our baskets as he recited prayers.

My grandmother was particularly concerned with her salt shaker getting “hit” with the holy water, so we would position the baskets accordingly. You didn’t want to mess with her!

On Easter morning, the feasting begins with a breakfast taste of everything in the basket.  And that was just fine with me!

 

THE “NO-NAME” EASTER GAME MY FAMILY PLAYED

Our family played a game with our colored eggs before we started eating our Easter morning repast.  It didn’t even have a name, so I’m not going to try to give it one.  

The object of the game was to be the only person at the table with an egg that had at least “one un-cracked end”.

celebrating a traditional Polish EasterThe only rule was that it had to be decided who would actually “hit” the other person’s egg.  You couldn’t both smash your eggs into each other.  I guess we were being “civilized” about it!

Once every person had a “crack” at each other’s eggs, you would start the second round with the eggs that still were in the running.  The game seldom went longer than 2 rounds, with some eggs dropping out to be eaten before a winner was actually declared.

That was the only other “rule” to this game, you had to eat your “contestant” after the game was done!

 

MAKOWIEC – POLISH POPPYSEED ROLL, a holiday staple

polish holiday poppyseed roll

Makowiec (pronounced: Mak-ov-yetz) is a strudel-like, yeast poppy seed cake that’s one of Poland’s most popular desserts.

It’s main attraction is the filling rolled between light layers of yeasty sweet dough.  Inside, it’s stuffed with finely-ground poppy seeds, honey, butter, raisins and walnuts.

When made right, the cake is absolutely delicious. It’s safe to say that many a poppy-seed cake lover would agree that the more the filling, the better. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE:  Polish Poppyseed Roll

 

OVERNIGHT WHIPPED CREAM FRUIT SALAD

overnight whipped cream fruit salad“24 HOUR” FRUIT SALAD RECIPE (that’s what our family calls it!)

Fruit salads are a holiday staple for Poles.  Whether it has a creamy dressing or not, you’re likely to see some version of it on most Polish family holiday tables.

As with many Polish holiday traditions, most families have their own recipe for fruit salad that is on their annual menus.

I have no idea of the origins of this recipe, but my older sister doesn’t think it’s Christmas without it!

I’ve renamed the recipe for publication, as I felt our family’s moniker might be a little intimidating for the gals on Pinterest!

However, you do need to make this recipe a full day before serving it, because, well I actually have no idea.

Is all I know is that it turns out perfect after 24 hours refrigeration.

But I think that’s a good enough reason, don’t you?

 

THE SECRET IS “COOKING” THE DRESSING!

The dressing of our family recipe uses a whipped cream base that’s actually started by “cooking” it.  You begin by combining sugar, lemon juice and an egg yolk in a small saucepan and cooking it until it thickens.  

That’s the “secret ingredient” to this recipe!  It sounds like it gets too involved, but this step takes only 5Overnight Whipped Cream Fruit Salad minutes, BUT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Now you do, of course, still have to whip the heavy cream in a chilled bowl, with chilled beaters, but so what!  That only takes about 5 minutes too.

So, now you’ve invested a WHOLE 10 MINUTES!  See, it’s really a breeze to pull together in a half-hour’s time, and that includes draining the canned fruits.

I hope you’ll give one of my favorite family recipes a try this Easter.  Here’s a little gift from my family’s recipe box!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE FOR:  OVERNIGHT WHIPPED CREAM FRUIT SALAD

 

IT ISN’T EASTER WITHOUT PICKLED EGGS AND BEETS!

Celebrating a traditional Polish Easter without Pickled Eggs and Beets would be sacrilege!

celebrating a traditional Polish EasterThis is another traditional Polish holiday food with a simple straight-forward recipe.

But, you’ll always find a few subtle variations from family to family.  For instance, our family recipe contains whole cloves and peppercorns.

You never know what Babcia would decide to do to distinguish her Pickled Eggs and Beets from her BFF’s recipe.

The competition must have been fierce, but probably unspoken!

My Mom and I are a big fan of having Pickled Eggs and Beets for breakfast, every day after Easter.

With just the right combination of egg, beets and onions cut up on a plate, then drizzled with some of the pickling juice, it makes for a lovely post-holiday morning repast. 

Once you’ve hard-cooked and peeled the number of eggs you want to pickle, this recipe comes together in a matter of minutes.

 

polish pickled eggs and beets

PICK OUT A LOVELY CROCK OR PICKLING JAR TOO!

What’s really neat is that as you take eggs out of the container, you can add some new eggs to be pickled.  Just make sure you let them pickle for at least 48 hours before eating them.

If you’ve never actually made Pickled Eggs and Beets, maybe this year is the time to celebrate Easter with a little “Polish” attitude! Why not make it one of your Easter entertaining ideas for your family celebration? 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POST:  POLISH PICKLED EGGS AND BEETS WITH ONIONS

 

EASY HOMEMADE MOLDED SWEET BUTTER LAMBS  

Celebrating a traditional Polish Easter wouldn’t be the same without a Sweet Butter Molded Lamb on the Easter dinner table.

HOW TO MAKE SWEET CREAM BUTTER – It’s a whole new taste experience!

START WITH 2 CUPS HEAVY CREAM – not ultra-pasturized please!  (If you want salted butter, add it in stage 1)

  • Place cream into the bowl of a food processor/KitchenAid/high-powered blender fitted with the steel blade. Whip the cream until the pure butterfat separates from the milky whey, 4 to 7 minutes.  (this will take longer if not using a food processor).
  • You’ll know it’s finished when the mixture sounds slushy as the liquid splashes against the sides of the bowl. When you stop the machine, the butter will be a separate mass surrounded by a shallow pool of milky liquid.
  • Pour this mixture into a fine-mesh colander and shake until most of the liquid has drained out.
  • Fold a clean, cotton or linen kitchen towel in half and dump the butter onto the center. Gather the ends of the towel and firmly squeeze to remove any excess buttermilk.  (make sure all the liquid has been removed from butter)

 

HOW TO STORE YOUR FRESH SWEET BUTTER – Celebrating a Traditional Polish Easter

Transfer butter to an attractive 1-cup crock or ramekin.  You’ll probably need to pat off any remaining beads of liquid. Brush the top with a decorative comb or the tines of a fork and, if desired, sprinkle the top lightly with Kosher or sea salt. Either use the butter how to make an Easter butter lambimmediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 

Or, you can make a butter log:

  • Use a piece of parchment paper, wax paper will work in a pinch.
  • Place the compound butter on the parchment paper.
  • Fold over the parchment and slide your hand to spread the butter out. It naturally forms a tube. 
  • Pop it into the refrigerator, allow it to chill completely and slice.
  • Add chopped herbs if desired!

 

Or, you can make a molded Easter Lamb:

  • Using a plastic or metal butter mold, fill each half with softened butter by pushing the butter into the mold with a rubber spatula.  Push butter into the small areas and finish by using a spoon to push any air pockets out of the mold.
  • Lightly “drop” the mold on the kitchen counter a few times to help it settle.  If it appears that the mold is no longer completely full, add additional butter.
  • Refrigerate mold until butter has completely hardened.  Remove halves from mold and fit together.  Pull the flat edge of a butter knife over the seams to clean them up.
  • Then, using a clean finger, use the warmth of your finger to “seal” the seams of the two halves.  You’ll be amazed at how well this works!  Alternatively, warm the butter knife under hot water and it works too! 

 

AND IF YOU WANT TO GO “FREESTYLE”, CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO!

AND THAT’S CELEBRATING A TRADITIONAL POLISH EASTER – MY WAY!

I hope you’ll try some Polish recipes for your Easter holiday celebration this year.  Any one of them would make a fine addition to your holiday menus!

 

WANT MORE EASTER ENTERTAINING IDEAS AND RECIPES?

Here’s some of the incredible Easter entertaining ideas you’ll find here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life!

Easter brunch buffet

Easter Holiday Planners + Fab Spring Entertaining Essentials

Roasted Strawberry Banana Buttermilk Sherbet

“Pretty in Pink” Raspberry Petit Fours

Apricot-Pomegranate Baked Ham with Pearl Onion Confit

Yukon Gold-Leek-Fennel Gratin

Spring Vegetable Platter with Ham Butter

Overnight Whipped Cream Fruit Salad

Polish Holiday Poppyseed Roll

Individual Spring Vegetable Lasagnas

Easter Brunch Buffet

 

EASTER HOLIDAY PLANNER and EASTER HUNT PLANNER & SIGNS – Subscriber Freebie Pages

Easter planner sample page graphicWant your own set of EASTER PLANNER SAMPLE PAGES, but you’re not on our list yet?

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