It’s hard to believe that just a year ago we felt complete and normal. I’ve tried to find the words to start this post for a week now. Nothing flows freely from my fingertips, but I wanted to share this recipe for Easter Bread with you. I hadn’t realized how close we were to Easter until I went to the local pastry shop with Virginia last week. Lamb-shaped cakes and rounds of sweet bread filled with colored eggs adorned the counter tops.
Last year our house was overflowing with homemade Easter Bread, as I was testing it to be featured in the Washington Post. I read the old post I wrote back then, with tears dripping from the corners of my eyes. How was that my life just one year ago?
Then there’s this picture I have of Virginia kneading the dough with Mikey. People constantly tell me she’s too young to be as deeply affected by his death as Isabella, and it’s infuriating. She may be barely four years old, but she’s not stupid. One day she had the most loving, caring, involved daddy, and then he disappeared as quickly as flipping a light switch.
As I type these words, I’m beckoned back to last April, the scents of my new kitchen filled with those from my past. There’s an Easter Bread in the oven, one I started way too late, since it’s now 11:36pm and I really should be sleeping. Below is a picture of Mikey and Virginia kneading the dough last year. I keep it in my phone, and she stares at it with a longing look, and ache in her heart.
The bread in the oven right now posed a challenge. The ingredients were measured properly, the dough felt and tasted right, but something was off. Something was missing. I continued on, determined to see the recipe through. Afterall, I made more than half a dozen loaves in just one week last year. This was a tried and true, tested recipe. And yet on this night, my bread is a little mishapen, the bottom a littler darker than I prefer. It was finicky, but all was not lost. In the end it came together, baking up into a buttery, sweet ring of goodness. Perhaps it’s a metaphor of things to come.
This recipe is now part of my new site, Simmering. It can be found here.