Saturday, April 11, 2009

Swieconka, Holy Saturday

The Blessing of the food in a basket is something we as children did in our home ALWAYS. My mother of coarse early Saturday morning would be rushing to paint some eggs. The basket would contain foods representing the meal we would enjoy on Easter morning. Bread, butter in the shape of a lamb, salt, eggs, hard boiled, some painted and decorated, kielbasa (polish sausage). Our basket was usually quite simple. There was of coarse that unwritten competition amongst the ladies, who had the nicest embroidered covering, who had the biggest Babka, etc. Since it was usually my dad and us that went to bless it, my mother didn't really get involved in the competition. And of coarse when paper napkins came to be available that was the thing, cover your basket with a paper napkin "very in". As Poles began to move out into suburbia the tradition of blessing the Easter baskets appealed to non-Polish people and in our church of manly Filipino and people from Goa the blessing has now become quite a popular new practice. The food are not your usual Polish eats but a mixture.
So you start with your favorite basket. I like the grapeviney ones.
Line it with a cloth napkin, or paper napkin if you want to be "in".

You'll need the following items to complete your presentation, butter, some people do a lamb shaped butter, I didn't this year, because I have my sugar one.


Hard boiled eggs, I've done quite a few here because we will be sharing these both at my house for our family breakfast and at our dinner when our extended family gets together for dinner. There is also the painted one, or as many as you would like to include in your basket.
I've added a few slices of bread, and a small container of salt. I decorated this year with the daffodils from my garden and an olive branch. The napkin gets folded in for transportation and opened for blessing. So for my small family when we sit down to breakfast Easter morning "Andy the head of the household" goes around the table to share the blessed egg, which is cut up into small portions. All blessed food must be consumed, no throwing it out into the trash. I don't do the wine and the chocolate, and neither did my mother, just because she figured we would eat the chocolate before we got to share it, and the wine well ... I'll leave that to your imagination.And Watch the cat, all of this smells so strongly that it's extremely attrictive to pets. We had a poodle at one point in my mother's house, that was fed mostly from table scraps, during holy week when we fasted from Wednesday on the animal had not had much meat so when the basket came out you could see her little nose go and look for it, much like my cat, who wouldn't eat any of it anyway but...

Now I'll have to tell you about some of the fun things of blessing your food. One year this lady came with her very large basket to be blessed, she was a large lady, the church floor had just been waxed and yes you guessed it she took a ride, on her new high heels. She and her basket were quite disheveled but blessed they were.

3 comments:

nancy said...

lovely tradition, happy easter, nancy

Annette said...

what a neat thing to do, and I love how other people started doing it as well, I have a friend and shes a co~worker as well that is Polish, I'll have to ask her if family does that, she's going back "Home" to remarry with her husband in the church and so her side of the family can meet him and their little baby. Now, listen...if I saw that lady going slipping and sliding in those new high heels I GUARANTEE you I'd be laughing so hard, my stomach would ache and tears would be flowing, I giggled just reading it and picturing it.
I hope you have a blessed Easter day!! I'll be going to mass EARLY!
Hugs~
Annette

Just Joni said...

What a lovely sharing of traditions...I hope your Easter is indeed a blessed day and thank you for the beautiful e-card!

Hugs ~