Saturday, April 15, 2006

Holy Saturday & Easter Bread

Today is "Holy Saturday" for Catholics, the last day of Holy Week, the day before Easter. Someone asked me if Saturday had "a name" since there was Maundy Thursday, Good Friday & Easter Sunday. I knew there was, but couldn't think of it.

While pondering the official name of Easter Eve, my mind wandered to the Italian Easter Bread that my grandmother, Noni, used to make at Eastertime.

So off to Google I went. I found the name for Holy Saturday. While I was at it, I also looked up why they call Good Friday "Good" Friday. Having gone to Catholic school, it was good alright, since we got the day off and it was the only day of the year with no mass. Sure, you did have to attend Good Friday services (noon to 3 pm), but at least it was something different. Looks like there is no sure answer, although it's probably a derivation of "God's Friday," just like Good-bye is shorthand for God be with you. Who knew.

Anyway, while I was at it, I decided to look up Italian Easter Bread as well. I wasn't sure if it was a Noni invention or an Italian tradition. Noni was famous for concocting her own recipes. She used to make what we called "Mush-it-all-up," which was mostly stew with whatever was around. That and assorted other variations, which were usually delicious. A few times, not so much.

Turns out the Easter Bread (pictured) is an Italian tradition, a bread version of an Easter Egg Basket. The ring shape stands for Christ and the egg for the Resurrection. This egg bread is the traditional recipe for Holy Saturday. Who knew.

I mentioned it to my daughter, who said that she and her friend Maggie were talking about Italian Easter Bread at school yesterday. Small world. Who knew.

No comments: