Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter from Portugal

Our Easter has been interesting thus far. I guess it started yesterday when Michael walked down the street to get a few errands taken care of. While there he wrote to me on the phone and asked if I needed any meat from the butcher. I wrote back that I had some for our evening meal, but that maybe he could surprise me and bring home some meat for Sunday. When he got home he pulled out what we thought was a Ham. I thought, "Great! perfect for Easter!" Michael said he wasn't sure it was a ham, but we both agreed that it looked like a ham. Michael went on to describe how the butcher brought out the entire leg of the pig and put it up on the block and with one hard "whack" cut off the part he brought home. My stomach feels a little queasy now as I recount this.

After everyone had baths and was ready for bed we made Resurrection Cookies. You know the kind. The ones where all the ingredients have something to do with the Gospel story and you put them in the oven, seal the oven door with tape(like the tomb..only not with tape) and on Easter morning you open the tomb to find the cookies are hollow on the inside (also like the tomb!). If anyone is interested in the recipe leave a comment and I'll type it up.

All the kids were put in bed, and I finished up the usual Saturday evening things. I was the last to get to bed at about 11:45 pm. Just as I was about to doze off I heard what sounded like the beating of drums on the roof. I laid there trying to determine which direction it was coming from, all the while trying to remember if all the doors are locked and if maybe one of the girls is sleep walking. After a few minutes it stopped. "Good. Now I can get some sleep." I thought. Then again, the beating started, only this time it sounded even closer. I jumped out of bed, and opened our bedroom window to find the night sky filled with the lights of what looked like high powered fireworks! Everyone, all across this land was shooting fireworks. Not the normal 4th of July kind, but the kind like someone is in distress on the highway. Almost like flares, only they go on and on and on... Finally it dawned on me. At midnight it had turned Easter. I guess this is a usual way to celebrate Easter in Portugal. As I type this it's almost 3:00 pm on Easter. The "fireworks/flares" are still going off. The picture above is of our neighbors out shooting theirs this morning.

Last Friday, Good Friday, Michael and I carried the kids walking down the center of town here in Barcelos. Lots of people were out and about. Most folks were off from work and there were activities for the kids and the grown ups shopped and ate lunch at little cafes along the way. Since arriving in Portugal I've wanted to go inside a Catholic chapel to see what they were all about. Well, the doors were standing open to this chapel:

and Michael said, there is your chance. So I walked in. I wish I could have taken a picture, cause I cannot describe what I saw as well as I want to. Everything was very beautiful in an old, sort of way. But right up front was a life sized "dummy" laying down with blood on him and a white sheet draped over his body. It was supposed to be Christ after the crucifixion. As I looked over at a gentleman standing beside me he clasped his hands over his mouth as if it were a very disturbing sight to him. I wonder...well...I wonder about a lot of things....but I wonder about that man. What was he thinking? Does he know Jesus as Savior? Or only as a weak, pitiful man who died. I wish I could communicate...I wish I had all the answers....or at least more than I have now.


Tori said...

Sounds like you've had an interesting time.

The fireworks thing happened to us but on New Years. Their fireworks on NY almost outdone ours for the 4th. We lived in the center of town so they were over our house. Very cool but noisy.

Oh good luck with your ham, I never know what we're going to get and finding brisket is almost impossible.

Have a great week!!

Erica Lynn said...

I would love the cookie recipe. The chapel looks beautiful, how did your ham turn out?

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I read it daily for updates and long for the day I can be there with you. Carey reads the blog too and loves it. It is almost 100% decided she will accept the Auburn offer.

I thought of you all yesterday but knew you would be busy. It sounds like you had a good week-end. Give all my babies hugs from Nanny.

Nina Andrzejewski said...

The ham was weird. It was a fresh piece of meat. Not smoked like most are when you buy them in the Sates. So, even though I tried to make it a baked ham with brown sugar, it still tasted like a plain ol' pork roast. We still ate it though. These kids of mine have done so well eating the weird things. They have really impressed me! What troopers!
Here is the recipe for the Resurrection Cookies

Items Needed:
wooden spoon
zip lock bags

1 C whole pecans
1 C sugar
3 egg whites
1 t vinegar
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 300. Put pecans in zip lock and allow kids to beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. John 19:1-3

2. Let the children smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink. John 19:28-30

3. Add egg whites to vinegar. Explain that eggs represent life and that Jesus gave His life to give us eternal life. John 10:10-11

4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.

5. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Psalm 34:8 & John 3:16

6. Beat with a wire mixer on high for 11-15 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Explain that the color white represents purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Isaiah 1:18 & John 3:1-3

7. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Matt 27:65-66

8. Put cookie sheet in oven. Close door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and allow them to seal the door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Matt 27:65-66

9. Go to bed. They may be sad to leave the cookies in the oven all night. Explain that Jesus' followers were sad too when they had to leave Jesus' body in the tomb. John 16:20 & 22

10. On Resurrection morning open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked open surface and the cookies are hollow!! Tell how the tomb was also empty. Matt 28:1-9


We had a lot of fun making these. I've had this recipe for several years, and finally remembered to make them this year. We'll try to make it a tradition in our family from now on.

Hope you have fun too!

Anonymous said...

Nina, I love the Ressurrection Cookie Recipe thank you for sharing it .I have not forgotten what I'm suppose to send you, it want be much longer.I love you all , please kiss the kids for us. David & June