Maintaining Important Easter Traditions

When Shannon Latham was 5 years old, the Easter bunny delivered a live rabbit.

When Shannon Latham was 5 years old, the Easter bunny delivered a live rabbit.

When I was a child, I remember walking into the kitchen and finding my mom reading church cookbooks for new recipes to try. Fast forward to 2016, and I find myself saving recipes from my Facebook feed or pinning them to board on Pinterest.

There are so many photographs of beautiful dishes in my newsfeed! I was intrigued by the thought of making Baked Potato Cupcakes or Krispy Eggs. I toyed with the idea of making the Iowa Girl Eats’ Easiest Fruit Salad because it’s so colorful – and I could use a little color after this week’s winter storm. Egg Lasagna sounded like an interesting side dish to ham.

I’ll probably try my hand at some of these recipes in the future, but I won’t be making them for Easter. I’ve decided to stick with Asparagus Casserole. Any one of my family members could probably guess what’s inside my dish before the cover comes off, and that thought made me realize that my casserole has become a tradition. I honestly look forward to the Deviled Eggs that my brother makes. My daughter looks forward to the Corn and Macaroni hot dish that my cousin brings. Without intending to, we’ve created family holiday traditions by the foods we serve.

Family traditions provide a constant in our otherwise ever-changing world. “Tradition gives us an opportunity to live in the moment and enjoy something that we have created as a family. It gives us the chance to slow down, appreciate and express gratitude towards the things in our lives that are not run by technology and busy demands.”

Shannon’s mom and her aunts helping her 91-year-old grandma fill Easter eggs for the 2016 hunt.

Shannon’s mom and her aunts helping her 91-year-old grandma fill Easter eggs for the 2016 hunt.

Shannon's kids, at age 5, enjoying their family’s annual Easter egg hunt.

Shannon’s kids, at age 5, enjoying their family’s annual Easter egg hunt.

The case for preserving family traditions was made in a HuffPost Home blog article:

1. Traditions give us something to look forward to.
2. Traditions won’t preserve themselves.
3. Traditions keep us grounded.

The tradition I look forward to most each Easter is our annual egg hunt. My grandparents began hiding eggs more than 50 years ago. This weekend five generations will gather together to search for brightly colored plastic eggs filled with candy. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a potluck meal. Like Pavlov’s dogs, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

What traditions do you look forward to this holiday season? Perhaps you can start a new one… Included below is a recipe for Cherry Red Raspberry Cheesecake, courtesy of Food and Swine. Photo credit to the Iowa Food and Family Project.



Related Posts:

Cherry Red Raspberry Cheesecake


Quick Cherry Red Raspberry Topping
Vanilla Sweetened Whipped Cream


  1. Brush the sides of a 9” springform pan with butter.
  2. Process graham crackers in food processor until fine crumbs. Add sugar and butter. Pulse 10 times.
  3. Pat crust mixture in springform pan evenly, and up the sides of pan a bit.
  4. Bake crust in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 12-14 minutes until golden and fragrant. Remove from oven, set aside.
  1. Beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated after each addition.
  3. Add vanilla and sour cream. Mix well 1 minute.
  4. Pour into baked graham cracker crust.
  5. Place in oven on middle lower rack. Place a pie plate next to the cheesecake. Fill pie plate with 3 C water.
  6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour, the center will still be somewhat unset. Prop the oven door open and let cool for 1 additional hour inside of the oven.
  7. Remove from oven, chill in refrigerator for 4 hours. Prepare topping and fresh whipped cream.
Quick Cherry Red Raspberry Topping
  1. Fold together raspberries and pie filling, set aside.
Vanilla Sweetened Whipped Cream
  1. Whip cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add sugar, whip until stiff peaks form. Fill pastry bag with star tip.
  2. Pipe border of whipped cream (or spoon carefully) around edges of chilled cheesecake. Spoon cherry red raspberry filling in center of border. Serve immediately. Keep chilled.
Recipe Notes

To make homemade cherry filling, combine 1 -12 oz bag of sour cherries, 1 1/2 C sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 TBSP cornstarch in a medium saucepan.  Stir well, then add 1/4 C water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until thickened, cool.

Baking Ahead: I usually bake this cheesecake the night before, let it cool SLOWLY after baking and then cover and chill overnight.  The next day, prior to the party or dinner I’m preparing for, I quickly whip up the cream and mix the fillings.  Assembly takes just minutes. Cheesecake is best for me when it is cold.