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  • Kara Kimbrough

Kara's Sights & Bites: It's OK to have fun with the Easter meal

By Kara Kimbrough


Kara's Sights & Bites: It's OK to have fun with the Easter meal
What's more fun on the Easter table than a bunny bread bowl filled with tangy Tzatziki Dip or other favorite dip? I can't think of anything!

Christians celebrate Easter for one reason: to commemorate the resurrection of Christ three days following his death. As long as we remember this important fact and celebrate its true meaning, there's nothing wrong with enjoying a festive Easter brunch, lunch or dinner filled with favorite dishes. Likewise, I don't see a problem with adding a fun touch to the day by making a festive rabbit cake or other traditional treat.


    After all, holidays are important for another reason; creating lifelong memories. Special holiday meals, especially Easter lunch on this holiest of days, are times that we never get back. Adding to my own special holiday memories are stories from readers who share their favorite holiday traditions. 


    One reader recalled waking up on Eastern morning to the aroma of her mother’s ham baking in the oven before church. Decades later, another longs for a slice of her grandmother’s lemon meringue pie served on fine chine and eaten with silver forks. Her “treasures,” were only brought out for special meals. And a friend has been making "bunny cake" with his daughter ever since she was a baby. This year's creation will be Bunny Cake #33.    


   However, Easter food choices go back centuries further than our own family tables. The practice of eating lamb on Easter has its roots in early Passover observances before the birth of Christ. Baked ham became an Easter staple for economic reasons. In the olden days, ham was one of the first fresh meats available after a long winter. I'm not sure why cheesecake was added to many Easter menus; I'm just glad it did.  


   Websites and magazines right now are full of cute and crafty Easter dinner ideas. I succumbed to the temptation to make a bunny bread bowl as the centerpiece for a dip and vegetable tray. It comes together in minutes; unlike the upright bunny cake I made years ago that slowly got fatter as its heavy head sunk into the lower layers. I will only say it was made with good intentions, the small children seemed to enjoy it and the photos are still funny to this day. 


  Beyond Christ's resurrection, isn't that what Easter celebrations are all about? Spending time with family and friends and making memories that'll last a lifetime. Happy Easter!


Bunny Bread Bowl and Dip


1 round sourdough bread or King's Hawaiian round read (I used King's Hawaiian bread since my supermarket didn't have sourdough)

1 long French baguette (or trim down regular French bread loaves to resemble ears) 

Matchstick carrots for bunny's mouth and whiskers (can also use fresh asparagus spears for whiskers)

Sliced vegetables for bunny's features and for dipping (olives, pickles, etc.)


Easy Tzatziki Dip


(You can substitute another favorite dip, but this one is light and springlike)

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 cup peeled, shredded or diced cucumber

2 tablespoons lemon juice (more to taste) 

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste


     Strain yogurt to remove excess moisture. Peel and sliced cucumber. In a food processor or blender, pulse together yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more of any seasoning you desire. 


To assemble bunny:

     Hollow out bread, leaving sturdy border; reserve leftover bread pieces. Slice ends of narrow baguette and place on top for "ears." using rounded ends for tops. (Hollow out ears and fill with dip, if desired). Form bunny's eyes, nose, whiskers and mouth with vegetables like olives, pickles carrots, etc.


   Fill bowl with dip and serve with torn bread pieces, chopped vegetables and crackers.


Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer and travel agent from Mississippi. Email her at kkrpco@yahoo.com.



 






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