Finding Festival Foods

Damp Pear and cashew cakeThe commercialisation of Christmas and Easter have led to a mass indoctrination of our kids. They think that all these festivals mean is eating, usually commercially packaged foods that are stuffed full of chemicals, additives and if the food is natural, full of dairy and other forbidden stuff. The garden of Eden had only one forbidden fruit, in the chemical world we live in, to protect our  kids we have to forbid almost everything unless we cook it ourselves using the failsafe or other rules. So, what’s Christmas or Easter without all the festive foods – well lots actually, but that’s a discussion for another day. To avoid any prating pretentiousness, my solution is to eat more not less. Sounds impossible? Well if you have so many festivals that you imbue with different deliciousness the frantic feeding at Christmas and Easter will diminish and you can take those festivals back to what their real meaning is, and the second part is to reduce to minimalism. Okay, now you start to think that I’ve been drinking some of the vanilla vodka..but what if you only ate the special foods on one day?

So we eat hot cross buns, my version of failsafe, dairyfree and glutenfree, only on Good Friday at about 5 pm, after we have returned from Mass, and fasted and abstained all day, those hot cross buns taste fantastic, and we don’t miss the sweet rich fruit laden giant monstrosities that the shops display!

On Easter morning, we have south indian style breakfast with idli and vadas ( rice dumplings and lentil patties) that I think suit the Easter egg theme. The idlis are white and oval like eggs, and the vadas are crisp and oval, like bacon. So we replaced the sausages, eggs and bacon breakfast with a normal breakfast that just happens to be failsafe and gluten free!

For snacks on Easter, I make the cashew and carob biscuits that replace the chocolate overload, and I make rice bubble and white chocolate Easter eggs so that the kids do have the fun of an ‘Easter Egg’. For smaller kids, I’ve seen other mothers have egg hunts with little plastic eggs that can be filled with little toys or chicks! What a great idea. And for Easter lunch we had a failsafe version of chicken biriyani, home made raita and chickpea bhajis, followed by meringue nests with ‘lemon curd’, all round and yellow and white!


To return to the theme, of more eating and more festivals, I’ve taken to honouring Passover during Easter week. I took Nigella Lawson’s recipes and tweaked them to suite. So Damp Almond and Apple cake became Damp Pear and Cashew cake, and the Passover Lamb roast became Lamb Shanks with shallots and garlic.

So,with all that stuff to eat, no one missed the chocolate and sweet overload. And on Easter Monday we were happy to go back to chicken soup and rice!

Happy Easter, and on to the next festival!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Liz Donnellan says:

    What a fantastic blog! Thank you for your inspiration!

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