Apr 26, 2011

Cheesy Bunnies and Cheesecake


I took to Thanksgiving almost straight away when I arrived in the States sixteen years ago—all that stuffing and potatoes and being grateful and stuffing. The Easter Bunny came less immediately (and without stuffing). I always loved Easter as a kid; I'd starve myself (okay, of sweets—but that's a substantial part of an Irish kid's diet) for forty days and forty nights and then wake to a feast of Cadbury's eggs. I didn't hunt for eggs (I did that every day but Easter Sunday at my grandmother's farm) and I didn't get any non-chocolate gifts, I just shoveled sweets into my face all day and loved it. I don't get the whole bunny connection. It's silly. There's no weight, story, or history to it. I'm holding back here: I kind of hate the Easter Bunny. I know, I'm a monster—who can hate bunnies?

Despite my anti-Easter-Bunny feelings, my young man has decided to believe wholeheartedly in the Easter Bunny. He's eight and doesn't seem to care/notice that the Easter Bunny has passed over our house every other year; he heard tell of gifts and glory and bought into the holiday hook, line, and fluffy tail. I think he assumes that a la The Polar Express, if he believes, he will receive. I giggled nervously at his mounting excitement, bunny drawings, and bunny-gift speculations like my grandmother giggles when someone tries to hug her. I didn't want to piss on his Easter Parade but I felt pissed that his friends' parents had dictated that I buy my kid gifts as well as chocolate to support their buck-toothed idol; everyone hates the cynical kid/mom who bursts the bubble/cracks the shell for everyone else. I wanted to shake sense into him, but worried I might shake loose more than I could handle—Santa Claus? The Tooth Fairy? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph? 
He's making his Communion in two weeks so I put on my fake bunny ears.
The Easter Bunny brought him a waffle maker. Yes, my Easter Bunny has a sense of humor (and was a little desperate) and knows that my young man's favorite word is "waffles." It is a great word. Not such a great Easter Bunny gift though, judging by the WTF? faces/reactions of his friends. Sigh.

I redeemed myself with a delicious Easter Cheesecake. Easter and cheesecake are like Thanksgiving and turkey for me (that would be Easter and lamb for most people, but I'm a dessert person).

 (okay, so there was lamb on the table, too, and it was delicious thanks to Mark Bittman's recipe)

I love Irish cheesecake—a light, no-bake cheesecake with a base of crushed, buttery Digestive biscuits. It's so easy to whip up and a beautiful blank palette to decorate or flavor. I kept mine really simple this year with just a hint of lemon and some chocolate shavings for flavor, and sliced lemons for decoration. I was going to type out the recipe, but seems as I don't do anything special to make it my own, I'm recommending this one from BBC Good Food.

Now to find some good waffle recipes ...

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