From chocolate bunnies to colored eggs, traditional Easter treats can be traced back to the 13th century.
The Easter Bunny tradition is thought to stem from the German myth of Osterhas, a rabbit said to have laid colored eggs in early spring. In anticipation of his arrival, children made nests for him, according to history.com
Decorated eggs date back to pagan festivities in the 13th century that also celebrated spring’s arrival. Easter is a Christian holy day marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s traditionally celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of spring.
Recipes for festive Easter sweets abound. Easter egg bread, which involves baking dyed Easter eggs into braided loaves of sweet bread, are attention-getters. A word of caution, guests can eat the dyed eggs if the loaves are kept refrigerated from the time they are taken out of the oven, until they are served. Otherwise, display your Easter egg bread proudly, but treat the eggs like you would any nonedible decoration.
Chick and Egg Cupcakes are showstopper on the Easter dinner dessert cart. The recipe is available online on the Food Network app in the App Store.
Contemporary Easter egg hunts combine the traditions of searching for the eggs left by the Easter bunny with the practice of decorating eggs.
How to produce an Easter egg hunt:
Ask your invited guests to RSVP.
Find a backup location in case of inclement weather, especially if the hunt is for real eggs. Sniffing out an elusive rotten egg weeks later is no fun.
If you ask invitees to bring their own basket, offer a reward for the most original basket. Designate someone to anonymously judge the baskets before the egg hunt. Reward the winner. Maybe with a five second head start for the egg hunt.
If you do provide baskets, pails, gift bags or another festive container remember to keep the size relative to the number of eggs your hunters are likely to find. Basket is a relative term. Gift bags and pails work as well.
Include about a dozen eggs for each participant. Artificial grass to line the baskets is a nice touch.
Hide the eggs strategically based on the ages of the hunters. If the age range is wide, offer two hunts.
Some hunts rely on hard boiled eggs. Plastic eggs filled with candy, small plastic toys, or money are popular too.
Prizes are optional.
Marilyn Ostermiller is a longtime journalist who enjoys tracing the history of traditional holiday foods.