When is Easter this year? It’s a question we often hear asked. Easter Sunday is celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring—or after March 21st, so it can be held as early as March 22 and has been held as late as April 25. This year, Good Friday is on March 30th and Easter Sunday is on April 1st (also April Fools’ Day, but you may not want to joke about the Easter Bunny not coming).
Easter is time to gather with family and friends and perhaps plan an Easter egg hunt! The Easter Bunny arrives on Easter morning with baskets filled with chocolate eggs and bunnies, jelly beans and sometimes even a new Easter outfit.
Eggs and rabbits are symbols of fertility and new beginnings and were first mentioned around the 1600s in Greek literature. Dyeing or painting hard boiled eggs is a tradition dating back to the days when pioneers used beet juice and fruit juice to colour eggs and even rubbed the eggs with bacon fat to make them shine! Today we can just head to the grocery store and buy an Easter egg decorating kit!
Family dinner on Easter weekend is another popular tradition and the menu often includes turkey or ham, but can be any dish your heart desires! The Easter meal is said to be the third largest meal nationwide, following Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner. That means you will likely have a house full of company, so here is a salad and a side as a perfect accompaniment to turkey or ham. Egg-citing, hu?
Spring Spinach and Strawberry Salad
- 8 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- ½ thinly sliced red onion
- Optional: ½ cup of sliced almonds
- Dressing: Mix together 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil with 2 Tbsp of white wine vinegar, 2 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of Dijon mustard.
Tear spinach leaves into small pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Top with sliced strawberries and thin slices of red onion. Just before serving, sprinkle with almonds. Then make the dressing and pour over salad and stir gently. Serve immediately.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Real Maple Syrup
Spring is also Maple Syrup time in Ontario and Quebec. Here’s a recipe for a great side dish incorporating our famous Canadian syrup.
- 3 large sweet potatoes (peel and slice into chunks)
- 3 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp each of salt and pepper
- ¼ tsp dried ginger
- 4 Tbsp Canadian Maple Syrup (add after vegetables are cooked)
- Serve with a dollop of SOUR SUPREME®
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put sweet potato pieces into a large bowl. Pour oil over top and toss to coat (alternatively you can add the pieces to a plastic bag, add oil, salt and pepper and shake, then pour the mixture on to a large baking sheet lined with foil.) Bake for approximately 1 hour. Carefully transfer cooked vegetables back into the large bowl and pour the maple syrup over top. Stir. Then mash with a potato masher or beat with a hand-held beater until smooth and creamy. Pour into a serving bowl and top with a large spoonful of SOUR SUPREME®