Tired of seeing little chocolate eggs and bunnies on Easter when what you really want is sausage and a glass of wine? Look no further: this is the Easter basket for you. It’s not a new innovation by curmudgeons fed up with using the rebirth of Creation as a marketing ploy, either – most of Eastern Christendom has done this for a thousand years, or variations thereof. Enjoy!
1) Easter Eggs – fancy or not, your choice. I’m not a big fan of fancy eggs here, because they’ll probably be eaten – but perhaps you have a great deal of extra time on your hands.
2) Cheese – Whatever kind you want. Or go traditional and make a soft Pascha cheese (yes, it’s really named that).
3) Bread – Preferably with lots of milk and butter in it. Greek and Russian Pascha bread is especially well adapted to this purpose. But if you’re partial to French baguettes, or whatever else, go right ahead. Whatever kind of bread you choose, do get some, so that you’ll have something to stack your cheese and sausage on, or possibly make egg sandwiches with.
4) Sausage – I have full confidence in your ability to find a proper sausage. Just make sure there’s enough of it to share, and it goes with your bread, cheese, and wine.
5) Wine – again, your preference. Since you’re eating it with sausage, I’d suggest it be red.
6) Butter – Because we weren’t supposed to eat it for Lent; and because Greek Pascha bread is amazing with butter on it.
7) Salt – because we are to be “the salt of the earth”
8 ) Horseradish – because it’s used in the Passover Seder in remembrance of the bitterness of captivity. You may substitute garlic if you (like me) would throw out horseradish.
9) Candle – Because Christ is the “light of the world.” Stick the candle in the bread so that it’ll stand up when you light it.