Hi evfurrybuddy! It's me, Dori *wavy paws* welcoming yoo to another Tuesdays with Dori. Except today is Thursday. We had a teknikal diffy-culty on Tuesday because our comments went into hiding. Thank yoo to Da Tabbies o Trout Towne for contacting us about this problem. So anyway, this is what my column was about on Tuesday:
In my family Easter is probably the favorite holiday. Daddy shops at a small Polish grocery store by the beach and brings home delicious meats and baked goods to fill the Easter breakfast basket. Momma decorates the house with her collection of bunnies and lambs in baskets, accompanied by Pisanki - wooden eggs with designs. Traditional Pisanki were painted with melted wax and dipped into dyes during Lent. The word Pisac means "to write."
It is the Polish Catholic custom to take the pretty basket, filled with everything needed for Easter breakfast, to church the Saturday before Easter, and have it blessed by the priest.
Swieconka(sh-vee-en-soon-kah) is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions. Baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. The basket is traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen. Poles take special pride in preparing a decorative and tasteful basket with crisp linens, occasionally embroidered for the occasion, and just enough boxwood and ribbon woven through the handle. Observing the beautiful foods and creations of other parishioners is one of the special joys of the event.
The priest then sprinkles the individual baskets with Holy Water. More traditional Polish churches uses a straw brush for dispersing the Water; others use the more modern metal Holy Water sprinkling wand. In some parishes, the baskets are lined up on long tables; in others, parishioners process to the front of the alter carrying their baskets, as if in a Communion line. Older generations of Polish migrants, descended from early 19th century immigrants, tend to bless whole meal quantities, often brought to church halls or cafeterias in large hampers & picnic baskets
Below is what you will traditionally find in a Polish Easter breakfast basket:
Maslo (Butter) - This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the good will of Christ that we should have towards all things.
Babka (Easter Bread) - A round or long loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.
Chrzan (Horseradish) - Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds.
Jajka (Eggs) and Pisanki (decorated with symbols of Easter, of life, of prosperity) - Indicates new life and Christ's Resurrection from the tomb.
Kielbasa (Sausage) - A sausage product, symbolic of God's favor and generosity.
Szynka (Ham) - Symbolic of great joy and abundance. Some prefer lamb or veal. The lamb also reminds Christians that the Risen Christ is the "Lamb of God."
Slonina (Smoked Bacon) - A symbol of the overabundance of God's mercy and generosity.
Sol (Salt) - A necessary element in our physical life. Symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us that people are the flavor of the earth.
Ser (Cheese) - Symbolic of the moderation Christians should have at all times.
Candle - Represents Christ as the Light of the World.
Colorful Ribbons and Sprigs of Greenery - are attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.
Linen Cover - drawn over the top of the basket which is ready for the priest's visit to the home or the trip to church where it is joined with the baskets of others to await the blessing. The food is then set aside and enjoyed on Easter Sunday.
Wishing yoo all a Wonderpurr Easter! Love, Dori