Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Break

Hope everyone had a very Happy Easter! I'm taking a break from blogging this week, but I'll be back next Monday. I'm enjoying the flowers and warmer weather of spring and hope you are too!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Easter Symbols and Traditions

Easter is this coming Sunday, March 27. Just the other day I found an Easter egg dye kit stuffed in the back of my pantry. It's several years old because my kids have outgrown that tradition. They enjoyed dying the eggs way back when, but never ate them. 

In addition to outgrowing the fun of dying Easter eggs, they've outgrown the myth of  the Easter Bunny. However, one thing remains the same: they still enjoy eating Easter candy!

Ever wonder how these traditions came about? Here are some fascinating facts from

The Easter Bunny
The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Easter Eggs
Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Easter Candy
Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean’s origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight). According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide. For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born (founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1923) began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies.

For more great facts regarding the signs and symbols of Easter, click here.

Happy Easter in advance! Is any of this information new to you?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, March 14, 2016

State of The Union

Election season is upon us and news of the candidates, political debates, and primary elections across the nation are all over the news.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of politics, but I do enjoy political movies! Here's one I just learned about and plan to see soon, Frank Capra's State of the Union. I'm a movie buff, but this one seems to have eluded me. 

Here's the synopsis from Wikipedia:
Republican newspaper magnate Kay Thorndyke (Angela Lansbury) intends to make her lover, aircraft tycoon Grant Matthews (Spencer Tracy), President of the United States with her as the power behind the throne. Thorndyke plans to use her newspaper chain's influence to deadlock the 1948 Republican National Convention, so it will choose Matthews as a compromise dark horse candidate instead of Dewey, Taft, or another.
Matthews is skeptical of the idea of running for president, but Thorndyke, Republican strategist Jim Conover (Adolphe Menjou), and campaign manager Spike McManus (Van Johnson) persuade him to run. Matthews reunites with estranged wife Mary (Katharine Hepburn) for the campaign. Despite knowing about Thorndyke and her husband's affair, Mary agrees to support him in public because of his idealism and honesty, and because she is unaware of Thorndyke's role in the campaign.

The politically naive Matthews makes a controversial speech in Wichita denouncing big labor. Before he makes another controversial speech in Detroit denouncing big business, Thorndyke secretly persuades him to moderate his tone to help his chances for the nomination. With her and Conover's help, Matthews makes deals with various special interests for their support.
Before a nationwide fireside chat from the Matthews' home, Mary learns of Thorndyke's continuing relationship with her husband and sees the deals that he has made.  Matthews realizes that he has betrayed his and Mary's ideals. On live radio, he denounces both his backers and himself as frauds, withdraws as a candidate while promising to seek bipartisan reform, and asks for his wife's forgiveness. When his backers attempt to turn off the speech, he angrily calls out, "Don't cut me off, I paid for this broadcast!" 

Is this a movie you're familiar with? If so, any thoughts you'd like to share?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, March 7, 2016

California Tamale Pie

I love delicious food that's easy to prepare. That's why I love my crock pot so much! This dish is a winner in my family, so I hope you'll like it too.

This recipe is from Mabel Hoffman's Crockery Cookery. If there are four or more in your home, I strongly recommend doubling the recipe.  The first time I made it, I sampled some before dinner, but ended up eating nearly half--it's that good! Enjoy!

California Tamale Pie

3/4 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup milk
1 egg slightly beaten
1 lb lean ground beef
1 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1 t seasoned salt
1 (14 oz.) can chunky salsa
1 (16 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, milk and egg.  Stir in meat, chili powder, cumin, salt, salsa, corn and olives.  Pour mixture into slow cooker.  Cover and cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours.  Sprinkle cheese over top; cover and cook another 5 minutes.  Makes 6-8 servings.

I'd never heard of tamale pie until I found this recipe.  Have you ever had it?  Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Originally posted 8/20/12