21 March 2015

Making the master list

Sometimes, it works out perfectly to look at the calendar in the morning and realize that it's a particular feast day, and decide on the spot to do something to celebrate. But not very often, at least for me.

Usually, looking at the calendar while I plan out the week's menu on Saturday or Sunday gives me plenty of notice to make sure any holy days or feasts that are important to our family get covered. I'm still only cooking for three, and so far we haven't really extended our liturgical year celebrations beyond our immediate family, so there's not a whole lot of extra planning most weeks.

Not these next two weeks, though. It's time to sit down and make this year's edition of The List.

Last year, Matt and I talked through Holy Week and Easter and agreed on what we wanted to start doing to build traditions for our family for this liturgical season. We looked back at last year's list at the beginning of Lent this year, discussed what worked, what didn't, what we might want to change... and then I lost the notebook where I'd written it all down. Literally lost it; I left it in my cart at the grocery store the following week. I'm fairly confident that I remember what's different this year, though, so this morning I sat down with last year's list, my liturgical year cookbooks, and last year's blog posts from the time right around Holy Week and came up with the leading-up-to-Easter plan for 2015.

Day before Passion Sunday (today): track down purple fabric; order anything still needed for Easter baskets; Easter haircuts for Matt and Little Bear

Passion Sunday (March 22): veiling all of the crucifixes and statues of saints around the house (ideally with purple fabric)

Solemnity of the Annunciation (March 25): lemon-blueberry sweet rolls; Annunciation icon as the centerpiece

Palm Sunday (March 29): Greek baked fish (psari plaki, p.186 in A Continual Feast) for supper; ice cream sundaes to celebrate Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem; incorporate green/greenery/palms into centerpiece

Spy Wednesday (April 1): bake Jidáše (Judas buns); make Pascha (Easter cheese, p.205 in ACF)

Holy Thursday (April 2): all flat surfaces cleared of clutter; bake hot cross buns; a nicer meal observing the Last Supper (small roast, baked sweet potatoes p.203 ACF, spinach salad, applesauce); Way of the Cross icon on burlap centerpiece

Good Friday (April 3): hot cross buns for breakfast; potato or lentil soup with bread for supper; hard-boil eggs; stations of the cross; begin the Divine Mercy novena

Holy Saturday (April 4): dye hardboiled eggs (plus 3 raw); bake Italian Easter Bread; make whatever I'm bringing for dinner the next day; after Little Bear goes to bed unveil statues, replace purple/brown with white/gold, Resurrection icon out, Easter picture books out, fill baskets, replace black beans in sacrifice jar with jelly beans

Easter Sunday (April 5): Italian Easter Bread and hardboiled eggs for breakfast; convince Little Bear to wear bow tie; dinner and little kids' egg hunt at my family's house

How are you preparing for Holy Week and Easter with your family? I'd love to hear about your family's traditions. This is such a liturgically-rich season; there are so many possibilities!


  1. Ah, I need to get started. I already have Annunciation planned: chicken and waffles and angel food cake with a blueberry topping. Palm Sunday is Andrew's birthday.

    We were talking last night about Easter mass plans. We have a big brunch Easter Sunday with lemon bread, eggs, lamb meatballs, ham, asparagus, fruit. I have to figure out when i'm making things and when we are eating.

    Saturday we always go to the Easter basket blessing with most of the food for our brunch. (I'm Polish.)

    I need to get busy. ..

    1. Oh, I miss the blessing of Easter baskets! I first learned about it in college from the Byzantine Rite Catholics, and we had Polish priests at our parish for several years who encouraged people to stop by the church to have their Easter food blessed on Holy Saturday, but as far as I know it's been years now since there have been any priests in town doing so.