Monday, April 10, 2017
Saturday, April 2, 2016
|Polish and Ukrainian Easter Eggs (Pysanki) on my Easter Table.|
I enjoy displaying my pysanky (Easter Eggs), some Polish, most Ukrainian, a couple new this year. In my early 20's I bought the dyes, the beeswax, and the stylus, and created several eggs of my own. Some were in the traditional style, but I also branched out and did some modern designs as well. The process was very tedious, painstaking, and time-consuming. Sadly, I lost my entire collection in one of my moves overseas. I could never create them again today; my hands are not still enough to make the tiny straight lines and my eyes would never be strong enough to keep everything straight. Today, I simply enjoy collectingpysanky and add a few to my collection every year. Every area in the Slavic world has their own style of eggs, I wish I could find samples of all of them.
|Home-made shrink-wrapped pysanky on my Easter table.|
|Preparing "pysanky" Easter eggs.|
I've also discovered a neat trick for simulating pysanky on my Easter table. You can buy psyanky "sleeves" wrap them over hard-boiled eggs, dip in boiling water for about 5 seconds and you have instant pysanky! You can't save them, but they sure do look pretty on an Easter table.
I bought my package of sleeves online from the Polish Art Center in Hamtramck, Michigan. Here is the link: www.polartcenter.com.
When we visited my grandmother in Detroit for Easter in the 1950s and 60s, we would always have cake after our traditional Polish breakfast of Easter soup. There would always be Polish poppy seed coffee cake, sometimes a cake made by my Aunt Hattie in the shape of a lamb and covered in coconut, or, my favorite, a cake from Sander's Bakery in Detroit. It would be a yellow cake with "buttercream" icing garnished with finely crushed hazelnuts. The icing was very light and smooth. A "nest" of green-colored coconut with a couple of chocolate malted milk Easter eggs would complete the cake.
|Sander's No Butter, No Cream "Buttercream" Easter Cake!|
My mother saved a recipe for the icing she found on the "Bob Allison's Ask Your Neighbor" radio program which still, after 50 years, is on the air in the Detroit area. Click here to go to their website. What's interesting about the recipe for the buttercream icing is that it does not contain any butter or cream! I've tweaked the recipe for the cake by adding orange zest and flavoring, and sometimes I substitute toasted sliced almonds in place of the hazelnuts, but the icing itself is always the same recipe.
Sander’s Easter Cake with Buttercream Icing
1 package Duncan Hines butter yellow cake mix
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon orange flavoring
2 cups hazelnuts
Toast hazelnuts and remove skins. Chop finely in a food processor.
Bake cake as directed on the package adding the grated orange peel and flavoring to the batter before beating.
When cool, frost with Sander’s Buttercream Icing.
Gently pat hazelnuts on the side of the cake.
If desired, decorate with a “nest” of coconut dyed green and candy Easter eggs or jelly beans.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Sander’s Buttercream Icing
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk, lukewarm
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together the margarine and Crisco shortening. Add sugar, and then gradually add milk.
Beat on medium high speed for at least 15 minutes. For about the first 14 minutes the mixture will be very watery until suddenly the icing will congeal. Continue beating for a few minutes or until the icing is smooth.
Chill the icing for about an hour before icing the cake.
Note: If you can't find hazelnuts, sliced toasted almonds may be substituted instead.