Published 5:00 am Friday, March 23, 2018
Search on for Easter dresses and Eggs
Spring, I sure hope you show up for Easter next weekend. I want a new flowery Easter dress. I haven’t purchased one in a while, so I thought this year would be a good time to add a new Sunday dress to my little wardrobe. And we’ll be at home in Tennessee this year, having Easter dinner at dear Laura’s house with our family and hers. I’ve been assigned side dishes and the napkins, you know how I love pretty paper napkins and traditions. Sweet little Emree will look so very cute in her pretty little Easter frock and Mack will look so much like his daddy in his dapper seer sucker suit, but Sunday clothes off when it comes time to hunt for eggs. They do take egg hunting rather seriously and have already been practicing on finding and filling their baskets with the hidden treasures.
Hunting for Easter dresses is not as fun as it once was. Surfing and clicking just are not the same as a day of shopping as I remember. Every spring, my mother, grandmother, sister and I would take the bus to Memphis in search of Easter dresses. The Greyhound took us from the Holly Springs square to the Union Avenue Bus Station. Just a few blocks to walk and we’d be on Main Street with all those glorious old department stores. There we would spend the day going from Goldsmiths to Levy’s to Gerber’s.
We’d have lunch at Brittling’s Cafeteria. I enjoyed picking out my food as well as I did any new dress. The chandelier glistened above the Jell-O salads and strawberry shortcakes lined up on glass shelves in pretty parfait dishes. I was always impressed.
At Kress’s dime store we bought warm cashews to munch on. All that shopping made us hungry and so did the aroma of the nuts when we passed by the store. To end our day, we’d stop by the Peabody soda fountain for a bubbly coca cola before getting back to the bus station. What a day we would have.
One particular year, we came home with more than new dresses and white shoes. Goldsmith’s had baby Easter chicks, so cute and fuzzy. My mother yielded to our pleas. Patti and I picked out our chickens and they packed them in what looked like fried rice carryout boxes with peep holes. Momma was concerned about getting them home. Animals were not allowed on the bus. But, being the honest person that she is, she explained to the bus driver as were about to board that we had two baby chickens. She used her fingers to show him how small they were. “About like this,” she showed him. He kindly said go ahead get on; just don’t say anything about them.
After we found our seats the bus headed down Lamar Avenue which turned into MS Highway 78. We crossed the state line into Mississippi, so far, so good. Maybe the smooth ride put them to sleep. We were almost home when the chicks woke up. Peep, peep, and then peep…peep. It sounded like they were talking to each other from inside their boxes.
The four of us sat motionless, we wouldn’t even let our eyes wander over to the big shopping bag that held our day’s purchases, including the ones that were peeping. Momma held the Goldsmith’s bag that cost us a quarter on her lap. The bus kept on going and the chickens kept on peeping. Somewhere from the back of the bus, we heard another passenger quietly say, “Somebody’s got chickens on this bus.” But, saved by the bell! “Next stop Holly Springs!” We had made it safely home with our chicks, Easter dresses, and a few uneaten cashews.
The chicks turned out to be roosters we named Peek and Peck. They grew and pecked around our back door for a while until daddy took them out to the family farm, where they lived happily ever after.
Happy Easter Everybody, may your day be full of delicious food and sweet memory making fun.
Recipe of the Week
Will deliciously compliment beef, pork, or turkey on your Easter table.
6 cups thinly sliced potatoes
½ garlic clove
Unsalted butter for pan
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 ½ cups grated Swiss or Gruyère cheese
1 cup low fat milk
Place sliced potatoes in bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes. Rub a baking dish (10-inch round and 2-inches deep) with cut side of garlic clove. Generously grease with extra butte. Drain and dry potatoes. Make 3 layers of potatoes, butter, salt and cheese in prepared baking dish, saving enough cheese for final layer on top. Heat milk to just before boiling and pour over layers in pan. Finish with layer of cheese on top. Bake in 425-degree oven for 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender and cheese is slightly browned. Serve 8.
Menu suggestion: roast pork, broccoli salad, crowder peas and scalloped potatoes.