Since we just had Easter dinner at our house I thought I would try to remember what Easter was like as a child. Easter baskets, of course, filled with jelly beans and a big hollow chocolate bunny. We dyed eggs but mom wouldn’t hide them. They just sat in their cardboard container for me to take to school every day.

But Easter dinner, as long as my grandmother was alive, that was a big deal. Everyone would come to our house (I lived with my grandmother) for a giant feast. The meat was always a canned ham with a brown sugar glaze. Always. Scalloped potatoes. Peas and corn. Those flakey dinner rolls, heat and serve. And pie of some kind, whatever fruit was in season at the time. Those were the absolutes. As the relatives came there would be additions to the table. Some kind of jello salad. Maybe another dessert. More veggies. I can’t remember if candied yams were served here but I think so. Black olives in a little bowl that I would sneak from in advance of dinner.

When everyone was still alive and still speaking to one another, it was a great crowd of aunts and uncles and great aunts and great uncles and cousins. We kids had to sit at the card table in the living room because there wasn’t enough room for us at the big table (and because we might break something.)

What I remember most of all is the joy I felt at being surrounded by family. My family. My home. It always seemed a little too quiet after everyone left.

What do you remember about Easter as a child?