Springtime blooms bring an emergence of new life and color around us as we approach a most important Christian holiday, Easter, which represents the celebration of death and rebirth.
Today the enjoyment revolves around the multi-colored Easter eggs and bunnies—symbolism that may not be the first thoughts that come to mind.
The egg, in many cultures has symbolized “new life” or the “beginning.” The painted eggs represent springtime’s warmth and sunlight. The Easter Bunny or Easter Hare symbolizes the first full moon after the spring equinox which determines when Easter falls every year. "Eostre," a beautiful pagan goddess of the spring was honoured during the spring equinox and it is believed that from her name is how the name for the holiday came to be.
In Christian tradition, Easter is the culmination of these events: s – the partying prior to the forty days of abstinence being Lent, which is in preparation for the annual commemoration, during Holy Week, of Jesus’ death on Good Friday and resurrection.
Whether you celebrate Easter for religious reasons or not, it is a great opportunity for family, friends, and community to get together to enjoy the bright, colorful, warm, and festive springtime occasion.
Foods traditionally found at the Easter table may include lamb, baked ham, roast chicken, Easter eggs being the centerpiece, hot cross buns and candy. Families set aside time before Easter Sunday to cook eggs and decorate them. Grocery stores will, no doubt, have all the ingredients and supplies for Easter cooking and baking.
A recipe to try and enjoy: Braided Easter Egg Bread (see photo) recipe that looks festive and delicious at the same time. It will take about 3 hours and 25 minutes total from preparation (45 minutes) to baking time (55 minutes). The eggs will bake at same time the bread does.
Braided Easter Egg Bread
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs
- 5 whole eggs, dyed if desired
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
- Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
- Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden.
Yields a one-pound loaf.
This Weekend's Events:
- Annual Spring Family Parade on Saturday, from 12 to 3 p.m. City of Mountain View's Recreation Division presents this year’s 33rd annual Spring Family Parade: Mountain View in Bloom. Meet at Castro Street at Villa Street at noon. Post-parade activities at Pioneer Park include: delicious food, free arts and crafts and games, family entertainment and so much more! Call for more information at 650-903-6331.
Where to find the Easter Egg Hunts:
- on Saturday at 11 a.m. What's more fun than watching a bunch of kids in search of colorful eggs? Participating yourself! Join us for an Easter egg hunt at St. Timothy's. We will meet in the courtyard. The hunt will start promptly at 11:00 a.m., so please arrive a few minutes early. Bring your own basket to collect eggs. We are even expecting a visit from the Easter Bunny himself! If it rains, the hunt will be held indoors.
We will divide into groups based on age and make sure the hunt suits the ability of each child. We'll start hiding the eggs Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.—come early if you want to help! After all the eggs have been found, we'll enjoy some treats and each others' company. There will also be time for that cute photo with the Easter Bunny. Location: 2094 Grant Rd. Telephone: 650-967-4724.
- Serra Park Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday in Sunnyvale. Beautiful Day - Hunt 2011. Sites open at 1 p.m. Egg hunt starts exactly at 1:30p, April 23 rd at 1pm at park or school . Each hunt site is run by different groups of people, therefore you will find something different at each site. All hunts start at 1 p.m. at all locations. Be sure to bring a basket or a bag to collect eggs! Location: 730 The Dalles Ave, Sunnyvale.
- Sunnyvale–New Hope Kids Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m. Games and prizes for kids ages 3-12 years old, “find the gold and silver eggs.” More than 6,000 eggs. Put on by New Hope International Church. Free. Location: Columbia Park, 739 Morse Ave, Sunnyvale.
- Santa Clara–Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-hunt activities start at 9 a.m. Egg hunts for ages 2 and under, 3 to 4, 5 to 6, 7 to 8, and special needs. Call for more information at: 408-615-3140 (Parks & Recreation Department). Free. Location: Central Park (softball field), 909 Kiely Blvd, Santa Clara.
- Campbell–Eggstravaganza Egg & Candy Hunt on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. Bunnies & Bonnets Parade 12 noon in Downtown Campbell. Egg hunt (plastic colored eggs) and candy hunt for children ages 2 to12, put on by Campbell Kiwanis Club. Egg and candy hunt, face painting, prizes, music, dancing, jump houses, DJ, hugs and photo opportunity with stationary & roving Easter Bunny, coffee, doughnuts and more. Free. Location: Campbell Community Center (athletic fields), 1 West Campbell Ave, Campbell.
- -Easter Celebration 2011 - on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 12 noon and 4:30 p.m. A dramatic musical portrayal of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Heart-warming drama, cast of over 150, beautiful music, lavish sets, authentic costuming. Complimentary tickets beginning Mar 20th.
Due to the length of the performances and to be courteous to others in attendance, children under 5 are not permitted. Childcare is available for ages 3-months through five years for the following services. And only to those holding reservations – reserve with tickets. Location: 2440 Leghorn St. Telephone: 650-625-1500. For tickets, click here.
Where to find the Easter Sunday Brunches & Special Dining:
- will have Easter Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Serving up a Mediterranean style buffet and bottomless mimosas. Prices range from $9 to $16. Located at 186 Castro St. Telephone 650-864-9940.
- will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 3 to 9 p.m. for dinner and will have a special menu. Location: 235 Castro St. Telephone 650-961-9749.
- Saint Michael's Alley in Palo Alto will serve Easter Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For $30 per person they will be offering beverages such as, mimosa, juice, coffee, tea; pastry or fresh fruit or soup cup and entrees of waffle, pancakes, crab omelet, steak and egg scramble, smoked salmon benedict, pasta with shrimp, salad nicoise, turkey club sandwich, and more. No reservations accepted. Located at 806 Emerson St, Palo Alto. Telephone 650-326-2530. $30 per person plus tax and gratuity. $14 per child under 12 years and will have a special menu.
- Macarthur Park in Palo Alto will serve Easter Brunch with a complimentary mimosa from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. Location: 27 University Ave, Palo Alto. Telephone: 650-321-9990.
- Quattro at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto will be open for Easter Brunch from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. serving a 4-course prix fixe meal. $69 per person and $25 for child under 12 years. Call for reservations, now accepting from 1:30 p.m. Location: 2050 University Ave, East Palo Alto. Telephone: 650-470-2889.
Happy Easter Egg Hunting!