Saturday, March 22, 2008

Put something where you can see it; where your eye can remind your heart!

I love to decorate. I always have - ever since I was a child. I think it is my love of color, or design or perhaps the family feel of a specially created space. I don't have much time or money to really decorate the way I'd like to, or used to, but I can do mini projects that continue to create special family memories and reinforce the spiritual principles that I care about.

A few years ago, I discovered the book, Celebrating the Christian Year, by Marsha Zimmerman. She has written an excellent handbook for every Christian Holiday and how to celebrate it with recipes, traditions and Bible passages. The most memorable thing in the book is the importance of allowing your eye to see something that reminds your heart of a spiritual principle. Combine that with my love of decorating and you get one happy Momma. I get to visually reinforce spiritual principles through my love of decorating! How cool is that?

We have meaningfully celebrated St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, St Lucia' Day, St Nicholas Day, to name a few and all the traditional holidays as well, Christmas, Easter, and Mother's and Father's Day with extra special meaning.

For Easter, I don't generally use bunnies but I have a small collection of lambs, some made from china, and some soft and cuddly. I have collected over the years additional significant items such as old rusty railroad ties, a unique bent metal crown of thorns/candle holder and some special egg holders. I picked up some sparkly and some flat purple fabric and use the table as a display and conversation piece.

Some of the significant symbols of Easter.
Gold and Purple- royalty
white- purity of Christ
Yellow- sunrise on Ressurection Day
Lamb- the lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world!
Nails- our sins that are nailed to the cross
Eggs- comes from pagan mythology- but I choose to redeem the image of the egg into a symbol of the tomb out of which Christ appeared, the newness of life and that the was raised from the dead- It helps us anticiate the completion of our slavation in Chrsit's ressurection!

Yesterday, (a few days early) we celebrated our Easter dinner with family and I served roast lamb, whipped turnip , beets, and stir fried asparagus and lime pie for dessert. (There is no significance in the lime pie but I thought I'd try it.) Usually we quote some memory verses or read the account of the death and Resurrection of Jesus after dinner. AND do we have an Easter egg hunt. Eggs have absolutely nothing to do with the Death and Ressurection of our Lord but they are a symbol of the newness of life, or rebirth and so we have kept eggs in our Easter traditions.

Now it's your turn. Share with us what meaningful celebrations you have shared with your family and what significant items you use to decorate or serve. I'd love to hear how Easter is special in your home.

Happy Ressurection Day Muffins!

Traditions are so important in families. They tie memories together and create regularly and a sense of predictability. As any family our family traditions have developed over the years. On Easter we always have a breakfast of eggs and homemade, fresh out the the oven oatmeal muffins. But, these muffins have a slight twist. The eggs and the muffins are in one tidy package, baked together at the same time making a memorable portable breakfast to take out on a morning sunrise service or just enjoyed at home. Every year we color raw eggs and pop those in the muffins or mark some Easter message on the tops of the whole white eggs once they come out of the oven. Either way they make a pretty picture and we plan on taking them to church with us tomorrow for some friends. Enjoy!

Nestled Egg Muffins

2 1/2 cups whole wheat (or other) flour
2 c flaked oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use honey)
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs (to go in the batter)
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup oil coconut is best- but olive works well. (Other oils should never be heated)
1 cup raisins
18 small whole white eggs. I have used large eggs but if you can find medium or small eggs they work best depending on the size of your muffins tins.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

In a mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs well and blend in milk, oil, and raisins. Add to dry ingredients, stirring till just moistened.

Spoon into 18 greased muffin tins equally-(they should not be very full) Press 1 egg, colored or not, but still raw into each cup and let sit about half or 2/3 deep into the dough.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min or till done.

The eggs will probably be cooked to perfection, maybe better than you have ever done them on the stove top - not grey lined which seems to be the risk on the stove. Serve with butter and jam for the muffin and salt for the egg.

Happy Easter!