memories of sweet Italian Easter bread and new outfits

Today I woke up with the distinct memory of Mom’s Italian Easter bread that she baked every year. The aroma of that break baking was irresistible. I could smell it this morning as I woke up from that dream of Mom baking Italian Easter bread that we took to church for the blessing of food. When I looked up the recipes for this, I was happy to see it was just like I remember: beautiful shiny loaves of twisted egg bread with colored eggs. We would put it in a food basket and take it to church. I always went with Mom.

Easter outfits were a requirement. Whether I got my sister’s hand-me-downs or Mom made something for us, I loved having my new outfit. Easter bonnet to patent leather shoes, we were ready for church and for a trip to take pictures  either downtown or at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park. Then, it was back home to Mom’s home-cooked meal, which I recall was often city chicken, a meal that I actually liked after I grew up and matured around age eight. By the time our baby sister arrived, seven years my junior, our dynamics had changed and we were going on long drives to the country and eating dinner at a restaurant.

Memories really do last a lifetime.

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© 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

6 responses to “memories of sweet Italian Easter bread and new outfits

  1. Bless you Donna. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I am glad you have memories to keep you warm!

  2. Thanks for including the photo. You both are so precious, and it speaks volumes about the era I remember so fondly. Shopping for Easter outfit for church was always something to look forward to.


  3. Oh the pleasures of the Easter outfit and time spent with sisters. Thank you for sharing your memories. It brings back my memories.

    Be well.

  4. This is so beautiful and brings back memories for me as well. We would have new outfits too and definitely a hat or mantilla. The patent leather shoes and bobbie socks were standard as well. Absolutely beautiful photo of you and your mother. Sweet memories…Thank you so much for sharing this.

  5. Like you Donna, I not only looked forward to wearing a new Easter outfit each year & shiny patent leather shoes, but I also loved the aroma of my mother’s fresh-baked Italian Easter bread. My mother made ‘Ciamballone’ which was indigenous ot our Italian neighborhood. It was a round loaf with a shiny crust and had the wonderful aroma of anise seed. She usually made a dozen or so. We enjoyed eating leftover baked ham with buttered slabs of her bread for the entirety of Holy Week & beyond….no one had ‘cholesterol guilt’ in those days. I have the recipe that was handed down thorugh generations, but don’t dare make it due to the complexity of raising & punching down the dough. We had a coal-burning stove in our kitchen in those days & the warmth was critical to the action of the yeast & raising of the dough from what I can recall. We were warned not to slam any doors or allow any cold drafts from outside into the kitchen until the dough raised (overnite). You could lose an entire batch if you weren’t careful, along with a lot of pride in your baking skills!
    Thanks for bringing back this great memory.

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