Greek Easter Memories

The Mon River by Christina

The Mon River, Photo by Christina

Tomorrow, for Easter Sunday I will be going to my Aunt KC and Uncle Steve’s house in the big city of Stockdale, PA. Actually, Stockdale is not a big city 🙂 but it is big in my heart.

My Uncle Steve is my mother’s only brother. He and his wife, my Aunt KC have been married close to fifty years. Every Easter, they host our family gathering, complete with grilled lamb chops, spanakopita, easter bread, pastichio (greek lasagna) and many other delicious foods and desserts.

Uncle Steve and Aunt KC live on the homestead. That is, they are exactly where my mom and her brother grew up their entire life before my mom married my dad and left Stockdale. My aunt and uncle have updated the house over the years but parts of my grandmother’s remain much the same. Even original pieces of her now antique furniture are still there.

What is it like to go to Stockdale every year? Well it’s like a homecoming. When I pull up to the curb of my grandmother’s (yiayia’s) old house, I am filled with memories. I see the Monongahela river and remember the times my uncle took me water skiing as a teenager. Walking into the old kitchen, I am back in time, remembering the summer months I watched yiayia cook- avgolemeno soup especially- and how I used her handheld rotary mixer to beat yellow egg yolks into frothy gold.

When I was growing up, the whole family would go to midnight church services on Easter eve. Arriving home at 2 or 3 am, my grandmother would put out a full spread on her dining room table. Roast lamb, potatoes, green beans, bread, salad and desserts like baklava of course. She’d use her best lace tablecloth and fancy dinnerware. It would be 4 am sometimes before we’d all crawl into bed. Then we’d be up again, late morning to start the eating all over again.

And the red eggs. We’d always have red hard boiled eggs on the Easter breakfast table. These were to play a game that all the cousins got involved in. We’d each select one egg. Then we’d take turns tapping our egg against each other’s, one at a time. The goal was to have a hard shell, hard enough for your egg not to crack. The last person left with an uncracked shell was the winner. As you can imagine, this became quite competitive!

When dinner time finally came on Easter day, a prayer would be said for all the blessings bestowed. We’d eat our fill of the delicious food and play, play, play until it was time to go. Now my Aunt KC has a wonderful egg hunt for the kids, the more grown up ones hiding the plastic goodie filled eggs for the smaller ones.

I look forward to seeing my cousins I don’t get to normally see all year. Celebrating spring and re-birth, everything that God has given us, gratitude for what we have, that is what it is all about. Have a happy Easter! Kali Anastasi!

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Greek Easter Memories

  1. P.E.A.C.E.

    How wonderful! Thank you for sharing this post about your delightful, ongoing family gathering.. building memories for everyone involved. I can definitely imagine how coming back would feel like a homecoming, every year! I love it! Happy Easter Joanne. May all the brightest blessings be yours. xo Gina

    Reply
  2. Marylin Warner

    There are so many rich, loving memories in this post, Joanne. The foods, the family gathering, the midnight church…and the gentle tapping of the red eggs is a beautiful story of finely tuned details.
    Easter blessings for you, your family, and this wonderful homestead that still welcomes your all!

    Reply
  3. Julie (aka Cookie)

    YAY–I can finally “like” your posts again– for a while there I couldn’t “like” or comment–I think it was during your “conversion” of sorts HA 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your memories of family and the ties of your Greek heritage—
    A blessed Easter to you and your entire family Joanne–
    hugs—Julie

    Reply
  4. Marianne

    Your memories, Joanne, reminded me of my grandmother’s house, which I miss to this day, and all of us gathering there for Easter, and other glorious holidays. Thank you for sharing your fond memories with us. It’s always a joy to hear them.

    Many blessings for a delightfully joyous Easter, and the remembrance of resurrected Life.

    Marianne xo

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      Hello Marianne!
      I am glad if my post reminded you of your grandmother’s house and your gatherings for Easter!
      I hope you had a wonderful Easter day!
      xo Joanne

      Reply
  5. Gallivanta

    I am thinking of you at your family gathering, enjoying a blessed Easter. How lovely that you still have a family place in which to congregate and celebrate.

    Reply
    1. Joanne Cain Post author

      You are so sweet. “Hi There” has been there for a little while and I’m glad you like it. I have changed that little paragraph many times and it finally feels right.
      xo Joanne

      Reply

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