Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter Everyone

First, businessy stuff: We switched our phone service from Cricket ($50/month) to Vonage ($25/month). Consequently, we no longer get text messages, but we forgot to tell everyone. We're fairly happy with the change (the phone battery doesn't die anymore!), but twice now the internet has gone down, leaving us with no way to call and complain that it's down, and leaving me concerned about what if I go into labor? Even if Tim is home, we still have to call the babysitter and the hospital. So we're working on that. We actually switched to Sunrocket first, which had better voice quality and cost something like $12/month, but they wouldn't port our "denver" number into their system because we live in Longmont. Anyway, call any time--same number--and talk as long as you like, but don't try to text us anymore. We won't get it.

This weekend has been hairy for me. We had an unfortunate convergence of multiple holidays, and all require cooking on my part, so I'm a little tired.

First, we had April 6, which we celebrate as "White Cake Day." Tim and I have always struggled with the fact that, no matter what anyone says or how hard you try, Christmas is NOT about Jesus. It's about family and stuff. Even if you say, "Christmas is about giving," like Veggie Tales do, the focus is still on stuff! Further, all the commercialism and "magic" of Christmas then gets associated with Jesus, and it's just a mess. Think about Christmas--is that how Jesus would really want to celebrate his birthday? It's not that Christmas is all bad. As Mom pointed out, anything that draws families together is good. And Christmas does that. But we wanted a day during the year when we could really spend all day thinking about Jesus, celebrating the fact that he was born and died for us, and Not doing anything else--no gifts, no "events" that we're obligated to go to, no spending money out of the ordinary.

And so White Cake Day was born. We decided that celebrating Jesus on his birthday was really appropriate, so we have a birthday cake for Jesus on April 6. It's always the same cake: Angelfood cake torn up and layered with strawberry cream sauce (strawberry jello, real strawberries, and whipped cream stirred together before the jello sets up). It's the best, tastiest cake I know. And, while we eat it, we talk about the symbolism of the white and red in the cake (Jesus' birth and death; perfection and the chance for us to become perfect; his life and the Atonement).

I didn't have an Angel food cake this year, though, so April 5 I got out my cookbooks and made an angel food cake from scratch. It wasn't as light as I hoped, but it worked. And it left me with a dozen egg yolks I couldn't bear to throw away. So I put them in a bag in the fridge.

April 6, White Cake Day, I assembled the cake and put it in the fridge to set up. Then I realized I had to make a full dinner or we'd have fighting from eating that much sugar. So I tossed a ham in the oven and made scalloped potatoes and, you know, dinner stuff. Then I realized I had a dozen egg yolks I needed to use right away, so I dug up a recipe on the internet for Creme Brulee that used 6 yolks and no whole eggs, doubled it, and made that. I didn't have cream, so I used milk and sour cream mixed together. The custard came out REALLY yummy. Creamier than flan, but the same idea. I'll post the recipe sometime if anyone cares. It was really easy. So then we ate dinner, and custard, and I realized we had Easter Saturday the next day, so I had to boil and color eggs. So we did that while Tim napped, and then ate our White Cake, and by the time it was bedtime, I was having back labor and could hardly walk and was grumpy--and the kids had a primary party at 10:00 am.

So, Easter Saturday came along way too early. We don't believe in having parties on Sunday (not the egg-finding variety, anyway), so we do that on Saturday. So we all got up and Tim took the kids to the Primary Easter Egg Hunt, and, mercifully, nobody felt bad even if they didn't find a lot of eggs. They just had a lot of fun. Then we put everyone back to bed.

When we finally woke up, I realized once again that I had to cook dinner because we were facing a lot of candy later. So I made a "crustless quiche" from a Kraft Foods Magazine that really was just baked scrambled eggs with ham and cheese but tasted good. We fed everyone and then Tim went down to get the internet working (he had 4 songs he's doing contract work on that were due today, and the INternet went down! extremely frustrating for me--he seemed rather calmer than I felt about it). The kids and I stuffed plastic eggs with candy (Dan mostly ate candy--he didn't get what was going on), and they took turns hiding eggs for each other. We don't do the Easter Bunny thing. Too much work--and why associate yet another holiday "for Jesus" with an imaginary magical being? (How did that happen, anyway?). Dan DID get the "find the eggs" thing. Caleb and Anda had to work to find theirs, but they had fun. And then they ate a lot of candy. I'm glad I bought the candy and stuff last week. We managed to not put Easter away at all last year, so we had to start over and buy everything (except baskets--we found three baskets somehow). Still, even with buying everything fresh, I spent less than $15 on all of Easter--and most people spend more than that on one kid. It's because we don't do TONS of candy and no presents at all.

Miraculously, nobody is fighting yet, and they're all happy with how things turned out. And I survived not one, but TWO intensive holidays right in a row. I know Easter is really tomorrow, but that is a "no-party" holiday. We'll eat the left over white cake. Have our usual soup and sandwiches, listen to the choir at church, and call it good.

And no, I'm not in labor. Having lots of contractions, some very strong, but not in any pattern that makes me think we're going anywhere right away. I now have great sympathy for women who have back labors. Even the "soft" contractions of back labor are awful.

So Happy Easter to you all.

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