Schatzi: This year, we’re only having one Easter. My father was raised Eastern Orthodox, and though he has been lapsed for many, many years, he does insist on celebrating both Easter and Christmas with Eastern Orthodox pomp. This usually means we have two Easters, one with the Western world, and one with the Eastern, but this year, we’re only having the latter due to work schedules. It’s actually a great thing, because we can take advantage of all the post-holiday sales to fill baskets and pick up food and decor, and it means we don’t have the stress of two major food holidays in two weeks.
Usually, everyone picks one or two items to bring so that we have a wide selection of mains and sides–or meats and vegetables. Everyone also insists that I make at least one dessert, and we all beg for favorites. For example, I always beg Malia to make the lamb meatballs in pomegranate sauce, and I really wish she would take the hint. And Heather can always be relied upon to make Grandma Ohar’s most excellent holubtsi. But we aren’t completely hidebound; the holiday is also a great time to experiment with new recipes from all over the Russias. This year, it seems like I will be doing a lot of experimentation, as my little notebook, filled with recipes I’ve been collecting since high school, has gone missing. If you see a slim blue book with sunflowers on the cover and food-stained pages, let me know. I’ve a hankering for Grandma Ohar’s Cumin Carrots.