Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Italian Easter

Last Spring, my mom hosted an Umbrian Cooking Party with Anne Robichaud. Anne is originally from Wisconsin and moved to Italy in her adult years. After teaching in Rome for 2 years, Anne and her husband moved to Assisi and have lived there ever since. Anne comes to the US for lectures/cooking tours in the touring off-season and Mom was blessed to have Anne's tour stop here on the Chattahoochee River. I really wanted to experience an authentic Italian Easter and was thrilled when Anne hosted Mary Hester and me for the weekend!

Spring has sprung in Assisi!

"Pax et bonum" is the traditional Franciscan welcome and goodbye. Francis liked to use this term, and often began and ended his sermons and letters with the words. Translated from the Latin, it reads "peace and all good (be with you)."

Easter wreath on a house in town

The Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is a baroque church that has the classical facade of the Temple of Minerva that dates back to the time of Christ.

The beautiful Basilica di San Francesco - this is my favorite church in all of Italy

This is the wine shop owner who wanted to take a picture with us. He said he sells "the best wine in Assisi" and that Rick Steves said so. He showed us in the book. And maybe he had a little too much of the vino himself - he was crazy (as you can see)!

Sunset over Assisi on Good Friday
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Crosses leaning on the side of the Duomo di San Rufino before the Good Friday Procession

The Good Friday Procession

The Madonna

Anne & Pino's Restored Farmhouse on Easter Saturday

An Easter flier on somebody's door in town

It was a delight to be the neighborhood butchers!

Yay for Colomba cake - special Easter dessert!

Cooking Saturday Lunch

Go Arkansas Razorbacks? Uhh...no. War Eagle - I need to send Anne an Auburn apron! And...umm...I'd rather be 40 than pregnant...hahaha.

Saturday afternoon we went to the local church and saw a very special Easter blessing. The Blessing of the Bread happens the Saturday before Easter. The townswomen come and bring their bread, eggs, wine, and anything else they want blessed by the priest. Read Anne's post on the special tradition.

Peppa is a dear friend of Anne and we were happy to meet her at the Bread Blessing. She is so sweet!

Me and MH with the beautiful baskets

MH, Anne, and me

The Easter lilies is meaningful to Christians celebrating the Passion. Lilies are often called the "White-Robed Apostles of Hope." Lilies were discovered in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ died on the cross. Today, they signify the resurrection of Jesus and the Hope of eternal life.

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." -Jesus, Sermon on the Mount

The Priest blessing the baskets

On Peppa's steps with her dog, Ringo

I love Peppa!

This is the outdoor oven that Peppa bakes her bread in and cooked our Easter lamb for Sunday Lunch.

MH and I dyed Easter Eggs for Anne's neighbor kids.

Easter Sunday we came downstairs to find our Easter baskets!

We ate the traditional Umbrian Easter Sunday breakfast - salami, cheese bread, and red wine. The red wine would be in the 2 liter Coke bottle. The local farmers make their own wine and bottle it up in Coke bottles. Gotta love that!

After breakfast, we went to Peppa's and picked up the cataloni she made for our lunch and the lamb she seasoned and cooked in the outdoor oven.

Pino cutting the lamb

Peppa adding the final seasoning to the lamb

MH and I got to set the table for Easter lunch

Our Italian family - Mary Hester, Julia, Keegan, me, Anne & Pino

"Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life." -S.D. Gordon

Please visit Anne's website by clicking here!

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