How is it that family traditions come about? Why do we dye Easter eggs, or bake hot cross buns, or prepare lamb with mint jelly? My childhood memories include egg cracking contests, lots of chocolate bunnies, and easter baskets filled with candy hidden in the oven, which would later also produce an aromatic honey baked ham.
I was quite pleased with what became of my Easter dinner tonight. We had ham, boiled red potatoes, steamed asparagus, and deviled eggs. I only made one slice of ham, I substituted a slice of whole wheat bread for the missing buttery rolls, and I didn’t munch off any chocolate bunny ears for dessert, and yet I was tickled Easter pastel pink at the memories the meal did evoke of family traditions gone by.
I was remarking on how pleased I was with my traditional Easter meal to my husband, and he said, “And next year, I’ll make my traditional Easter meal.”
“And what would that be?”
Though they may vary, family traditions surrounding food carry quite a bit of importance. In terms of cultural psychology, food traditions are reflective of cultural knowledge, including that essential know-how in the kitchen which has been passed down through generations. The creation of traditions also encourages a sense of family unity and cultural belonging… even if no one really knows how that tradition ever got created in the first place.
I now pose a question to myself, what kinds of traditions am I going to carry on with my family? I imagine I will break out the Easter egg dye when one day I’ve got kids bouncing around in the kitchen, but maybe we will also make goat soup. We may also come up with a unique mesh of “yours, mine, and ours” family traditions — such as for example, Chili Pepper Deviled Eggs, the spontaneous creation that accompanied our Easter dinner this year (some traditional eggs from my culture, some spicy heat from his).
In a micro-study of how family traditions are often created, please note the traditional paprika got passed up because there was none left on our shelf…
What are some of your family’s unique holiday food traditions?
Chili Pepper Deviled Eggs
1 tablespoon sour sream
1/2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
Few shakes of hot sauce
Salt to taste
Powdered chili pepper
Place a medium sauce pan over a stove burner. Fill the sauce pan with out three inches of cold water, and carefully add eggs tot he pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from burner and cover. Let stand, covered, about 13 minutes. Remove eggs to a bowl of ice water. Allow eggs to cool for about 5 minutes, then peel. Slice boiled eggs in half, and scoop out yolk to a small bowl. Add sour cream, mustard, mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt, and a few shakes of chili pepper to york, and stir to combine. Spoon yolk mixture back into egg shells, and sprinkle a dash of chili pepper over each egg for presentation.