Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Bread and Tears

Every Easter, two breads are traditions in our house. One is a cheese braid with a luscious lemony cheese filling and the other is Polish "babka," a sweet yeast bread filled with golden colored currants and topped with slivers of almonds.

The babka is shown above. Here's what the cheese braid looks like:

As sure as children dye eggs at Easter and churches fill with people to celebrate Christ's resurrection, these two breads will be on our table.

The babka comes with a whole host of memories. Closing my eyes, I can see my maternal grandmother in her bright, second floor kitchen. White curtains, with beautifully crocheted red and white edging, her own handiwork, frame the windows.

My grandmother, a well proportioned stocky woman, of strong Polish heritage, would be up to her elbows in flour, kneading the babka dough.  It never ceased to amaze me how she could endlessly keep turning, pushing, and pounding that dough.

Her hard work always resulted in high, luscious loaves of bread. Thick pieces spread with butter tasted indescribably delicious.

Fast forward several decades and we come to yesterday. In my own kitchen, the kneading of the babka took place. Tender thoughts of my grandmother and my mother came to mind. They are both gone from this earth now.

As I kneaded the currants into the warm, soft dough, tears filled my eyes and trickled down my cheeks. It was impossible to wipe them away since my hands were filled with flour and dough.

So many Easter memories came flooding into my mind; so much sadness over loss filled my heart, mixed with the happiness of thinking about Easter Sunday.

Even though our loved ones are no longer here, with us, on earth, they live in our hearts, minds, and memories, as well as in, well, babka!

Come Sunday, guests will have the opportunity to eat the delicious babka with Easter dinner.

Some traditions are just too good to give up.



Susan said...

That bread looks delicious! The memories you shared are just precious!

KarenHarveyCox said...

What a beautiful post, and what beautiful bread. Just has your Grandmother kneaded the dough, she kneaded beautiful memories into your heart and soul. I often have the same kind of memories as I prepare my Grandmother's meals that I remember as a child and all the years growing up. You are blessed to have such beautiful memories. Someday when we all meet again, I'll bring my Grandmother's pot roast and you can bring the bread and our tears will have been turned into blessings.


Diane said...

I had tears reading your post. I'm with Karen and I'll being my Mema with her lime jello salad. We are blessed that our loved ones that have passed left us with so many beautiful memoeies. The bread looks heavenly. Have a wonderful Easter.


Bookie said...

Yum on both....the cheese and lemon is a different combination! Nice you have such rich memories.

sarah said...

what a great memory and the bread looks so yummy. Also love that rabbit in front of your place. Happy Easter.

mo said...

No wonder we are kindred spirits is the "babka" bread strong maternal Polish connection.

How fantastic is that?

What is Easter without babka?



Carolyn said...

Hi Susan,
The breads look delicious and it is good to have happy memories of loved ones.

Happy Easter,

Anonymous said...

Mmm, sounds delicious. I'm happy that you have such loving memories. I'm sad for you, too, because you miss them. Mmm, I can just smell that bread baking. I hope you have a wonderful Easter!!

Chatty Crone said...

You see Susan - she is here - just not in the same way - her gift to you to remember her was the bread. How lucky you are to have it. (HUGS).

diane stetson said...

I know all your guests will really enjoy the babka and cheese breads you made Susan. I remember eating babka at Easter at Gram's too. I make many of her soups still and all love them. We will all be reunited someday..that's the joy of celebrating EASTER!

Diann said...

Oh yum! these look amazing!

Life as we know it said...

Looks so delicious!

Happy Easter!

tiffany @ tea with tiffany said...

Looks yummy. Our tradition lately is to go and watch a live dramatic presentation of The Thorn. He is risen indeed.. :)

Susan said...

Welcome to Rosy, this blog's 216th Follower. So happy you could join us, Rosy! Come often.

Hello to everyone! Hope your day is going well. Hugs to all. Susan

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

We always have lamb and ham. We also celebrate Easter as one big family. My brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews. Your breads look delicious. I bet your house smelled amazing.

Karen Lange said...

Susan, These breads look delightful! Somehow I am hungry now...:)
Have a wonderful weekend,

The Painted Garden said...

Hi Susan,

What a lovely and heart warming post. Thank you for sharing your loving memories. Both breads look yummy and it would be hard to choose a favorite.
Easter Blesings,

Susan said...

Yeahhhhhhhh, Erin, from The Painted Garden, has signed on as a Follower, this blog's 217th! Thanks, Erin, and welcome! Hope you stop by frequently.

Wishing all of you, Followers and visitors, a peaceful night. Hugs. Susan

BECKY said...

My mother always made a layer cake with white frosting, green tinted coconut, jelly beans and peeps. I've continued that tradition for years!

Mariette said...

Dearest Susan,

Was way behind with blogging due to being on the road... But this is a special post! You are blessed for having this up during Holy Week. It is so special to feel strongly connected with our loved ones that are in heaven.

Lots of love,


LDH said...

A special tradition and the bread looks so perfectly delicious!

Precious memories of your grandmother and mother making this family bread and held close to your heart. Thank you for sharing this sweet post!

Happy Easter wished, dear Susan!
Love, L

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

Susan, what a beautiful, love-filled post in remembrance of your dear relatives! I would be in tears too! Thank you for stopping by with your kind and supportive comments on my blog! I wish you a most blessed, Holy Easter weekend! Buona Pasqua! Roz

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