Growing up, my family’s tradition for Easter was to get up before the rooster crowed and head to church with all of our best potluck brunch items kept warm in crock pots. We would have a sunrise service, literally in the dark as the sun arose. Then we enjoyed a huge brunch with our church family.
When I left home, none of the churches that I attended had sunrise services, so besides attending church on Sunday morning, I didn’t have any other set traditions.
When I met and married Jason, his grandma Doodle would invite all the extended family to her house after church for an Easter feast. There were always various potluck items brought, but there were certain things that she included every year.
Grandma Doodle passed away about fourteen years ago. Since then, I have always made her menu, though I use some of my own recipes, for our family celebration, until recently when we moved back to my home town, and I once again celebrate with a meal at our church.
Even now though we may not have Grandma Doodle’s meal on Easter every year, I still make it sometime close to Easter in her memory, and because everyone loves it. Now my family has two Easter meal traditions!
Here is our crew on Easter 2010. Look how little they all were!
Grandma Doodle’s Menu:
Grandma Doodle swore by Cure 81 ham. It is so easy to just wrap it in foil and place it in the slow cooker, and it’s ready after church. Some years for a special treat, we have purchased Honey Baked Ham–You just can’t go wrong with that!
I make my baked beans they way my mom made them. It’s my favorite quick recipe starting with a can of Pork & Beans. If you want delicious baked beans in a hurry, try these!
Although I think my husband prefers Grandma Doodle’s beans. One year, after we had pretty much finished eating, I asked my husband, “So how did you like the baked beans this year? Do you like them better or less than the recipe I usually make?”
“Oh these are a hundred times better than the ones you usually make!” came his enthusiastic reply.
Uh this year happened to be the first year that instead of making my homemade baked beans, I just bought a can that said, ” Baked Beans,” heated it up, and placed it on the table! Oh how I laughed. That’s when I realized, he likes them runny. To me baked beans are thick! If you like them runny, you can still use my recipe, just don’t cook them as long! 😉
My potato salad is one of my dishes people rave over. Once I’ve taken it to a potluck, it’s always requested. I can’t take credit for it though. I learned how to making it helping my mom, and she learned it helping her mom. It’s tried and true and passed down generations.
If you’ve never had this dish, it will change your world! It’s considered a salad and served with the meal, but I love it more than dessert. My kids think it’s the best that they can have dessert with and after the meal! Find my tips and tricks from making this through the years: Strawberry Pretzel Salad.
While Grandma would purchase her dinner rolls, I love making my own with the easy of a bread machine. See I still take short cuts! It kneads the dough for me and I all have to do is separate the dough, place it on a pan, and let it rise before baking. This is my family’s favorite dinner roll recipe!
To top off the meal, is Grandma Doodle’s Cream Puff Dessert! Our Easter meal would not be the same without it! Grandma would always take chocolate syrup and drizzle it over the top, but I’m not a fan of that kind of syrup so I’ve always left it off. Now if I made some homemade chocolate sauce to drizzle…I could handle that!
That is our Easter menu! Everything is easy to make ahead, and I try to prepare it all on Saturday, so that I can put things on the table right away when we get home from church. You just can’t keep a crowd waiting! Happy Easter!