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Easter Feasts, Friends, Family

It’s in the middle of the evening of Easter Sunday as I write this. Holy Week, with all the various services is finally over. Today was a great Easter day. First off during our Easter morning Eucharist, we had four people baptized into the family of God. Three of the candidates were from the Furaha family who joined us last year. They are refugees from the Congo via Mozambique, and St. Philip’s has become their home here in Canada.

Central African chicken recipe for Easter
Most of the chicken was served in a sauce that consisted of: Tomatoes, Onions, and Jalapenos. I didn’t get what other spices were added to the mix.

This led to an interesting church service. Emmanuel, the father of the family, did one of the readings in French, the family sang a song of celebration in Swahili, and in what would probably seem a comical moment for any Portuguese speaker, I performed the baptismal formulation in Portuguese. These were the two phrases:

Stefan, eu te batizo em nome do Pai, e do Filho e do Espírito Santo.

Eu te assino com a cruz, e marcá-lo como o próprio de Cristo para sempre

Fortunately, as far as I know, there are no recorded copies of my efforts.

In past years we’ve once or twice had dinners that were prepared by members of our parish who are from Pakistan. This year we ended up doing a lunch that was in part Central African inspired, after the service. The menu consisted of chicken legs, which we offered up in different sauces. We also had Fufu, Rice(both plain and a rice and beans style dish), along with roasted carrots and some peas.

Fufu in the bag
A bag of Fufu ready to be prepared.

Such a lunch requires a bit of advance preparation, so a few of us gathered on Saturday, to make sure that the chicken got cooked and properly cooled and refrigerated. I didn’t do an awful lot to help, but I did chop a few carrots, and was charged with making sure the chicken ended up in the fridge(it did). Francine, one of the Furaha daughters, took charge of the chicken making and oversaw the various sauces that were added.

The carrots I chopped for Easter lunch
The carrots I helped chopped.

Sunday morning arrived and I was already at church early, so I helped get the lunch prep going by making sure the ovens were turned on, and the chicken brought down from the upstairs fridge to the downstairs kitchen oven(The downstairs fridge is used by the daycare and so we had to take all our chicken upstairs to refrigerate.

Of course, being the priest, I don’t have all the time I’d like to take pictures of everything connected to the lunch. Also, I was towards the end of the line, and so there was only the chicken pictured above for me to try when I got to the serving table. That was OK, because the chicken was really good, the meat was tender and the sauce has a nice little bite to it.

Showing my plate from the first of the Easter Feasts.
I loaded up on fantastic food as I enjoyed the first of my two Easter feasts.

I also tried a little bit of the Fufu. One of the interesting things about Fufu is that it can be made from a variety of flours, and the one we had bought was one they weren’t particularly familiar with. However they cooked it up and it turned out just fine.

Another thing I didn’t get a picture of was the slab cake that was served in honour of the other young child baptized this morning. Thanks to her mom Laura for adding to the celebratory nature of the event by providing dessert. There was also ice cream to go along with the cake so the whole Easter feast was quite celebratory.

Easter Feasts – Round Two

We have a second service at St. Philip’s. It goes by the name of Root and Branch and meets every Sunday at 4 pm. This is group is quite different from the 11 am. It’s a lot younger in general, and less traditionally Anglican. Being quite a bit younger there is a much greater tendency for members to be visiting parents, etc., during such times as Christmas and Easter.

to demonstrate the size of the ham served at the second of the Easter feasts.
This one of the two hams served as part of the second of the Easter Feasts.


platter of ham, only a part of the whole ham.
This is a full platter from the ham above. That’s only about half the meat.

As it turned out while many people were away, one family wanted to gather together. They made the meal that we generally share after the 4 pm service into a full-blown Easter Feast. There are two main organizers of the 4 pm service and one of them, Aaron, is also my theological student as he works his way through the ordination process. It was sisters and their spouses who took the lead for this dinner, although other members of his family pitched in and helped to create a wonderful meal.

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There were a couple of trays of fresh veggies and a salad.

There were a couple of trays of fresh veggies such as the one above. I did not eat any of these veggies. That’s not to say I didn’t have any vegetables, but I settled for the cooked ones. My plate, which will show up below, contained cooked Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, and a Sweet Potato and other roast vegetable combo. There was so much food that I wasn’t even able to get to the fresh vegetables.

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This is my plate from the second of the Easter Feasts. Note there are vegetables on the plate.

Now, in case you think I’m using the cooked vegetables and a full plate as my excuse for not eating any of the raw vegetables, please look at the picture below. That is a blueberry pie. Blueberry pie is my all time favourite pie, and I did not have so much as one bite. When I am so full that I am not eating Blueberry pie, you know that I am full.

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This a delicious looking but untried blueberry pie.

You might notice that I haven’t mentioned any family dinner among my Easter feasts. Don’t worry, they haven’t disowned me. Given the complications of schedules, we ended up having our Easter dinner on Good Friday. As usual I was at my brother’s place for the meal. My sister-in-law Irma, who does most of the cooking did a fantastic job on a roast beef dinner, complete with Yorkshire Pudding.

Explaining the Roast Beef in the earliest of my Easter Feasts
I know some will disagree, but there is little better than a rare done beef roast.


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I like roast potatoes, but I like roast onions even more.


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Nothing like a good brown gravy to top a roast beef dinner.

The Yorkshire pudding was the last thing to arrive at the table, so I wasn’t able to get a photo of the whole basketful. However, you can see it on my plate, along with one very large roast onion.

Easter Dinner Plate
The onion is larger than either of the potatoes or the Yorkshire pudding. The Yorkie is top right.

I’m fortunate to have such talented family members around me, both my biological family members and the members of my church family. Needless to say I’m am completely sated after three such dinners in such a short period of time. One thing about all this food. Along with the work of Holy Week I should have no trouble sleeping next week. and possibly for several weeks after. Just call me Rev. Van Winkle.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.