An Easter Filled with Bunnies and Blessings

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An Easter Filled with Bunnies and Blessings

By Paula Deen

Easter has always been a special time for me. When my boys were young, we’d dress up and go to church and then go out to eat a big breakfast. They’d shovel the food in their mouths because they wanted to get home to go through their Easter baskets. I just adore puttin’ together Easter baskets. It’s in my blood. See, my Aunt Peggy and Uncle George owned the Toy Houses in Georgia, and Aunt Peggy made every Easter basket they sold. And they were the most beautiful baskets. Every toy and chocolate bunny was arranged just so. She taught me how to put a basket together like no other—the kind that children never forget.

Back when Michael and I were first dating, Easter was approaching and I remember asking him if his children ever had a beautiful Easter basket. He said, “Well, I always did the best I could—I put a bunch of candy in a basket.” I decided then and there that I was going make Michelle and Anthony, who were 16 and 19 at the time, real Easter baskets. As you know, impressing teenagers is no small task. I spent a bloody fortune. But it was so worth it when those kids lit up at the sight of their baskets overflowin’ with a lot more than plain ol’ chocolates and Peeps.

It gets difficult trying to outdo myself every year, but I think this Easter is going to top ‘em all. I’ve already got things picked out for my grandson Jack’s basket. There’s so much, I may need two baskets just to hold it all. And that’s not even the best part. See, I’m fixin’ to surprise him with some real live baby rabbits and chicks! Like all kids, he just loves animals. One of our favorite places to visit is Oatland Island Wildlife Center just down the road. They have all sorts of animals, like wolves, bison and even a cross-eyed possum. But Jack and I like the barnyard best of all. He pets the goats and bunnies and gets a kick out of me tellin’ the turkeys and pigs that I’m gonna cook ‘em up (funny thing is, they seem a little nervous when I come around).  Course, Jack’s parents told me I’m not allowed to give him anything that has a heartbeat, but I’ll keep the bunnies and chicks here in my chicken coop. That way, Jack and I can enjoy those precious little things together.

And of course, you can’t have Easter without an egg hunt. We get dozens of eggs straight from our coop and dye them the most vibrant colors. Oh my gosh, we have egg salad for days. But when you grow tired of that, I have a number of wonderful Easter recipes for you. Try my Boiled Egg Casserole, for a new twist on all of those boiled eggs that you’ll be bound to have. I like to keep my side dishes easy and fresh for Easter, like a true taste of spring, so I usually whip up something like this wonderful Corn and Asparagus Salad. And, just like the egg salad, I aways have leftover ham, which is perfect for my Ham Salad that Michael and I use in sandwiches, or just as a little snack! For dessert, everyone loves my Grandma Hiers Carrot Cake. For me, it’s a reminder of my childhood and how special family gatherings are. It also makes for a pretty focal point on your Easter table!

While I adore all the cooking and egg huntin’ that goes along with Easter, I never lose sight of what Easter is really about. My favorite tradition is going to a sunrise service on Tybee Island. I think the beach is such a spiritual place anyway. You know, standing on the shore under that big sky, you see God in all his grandeur. It makes me feel very small, but my heart feels as big as it ever has.

I hope y’all have an Easter just like mine—one that is chock-full of beautiful baskets, precious bunnies and countless blessings.


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Reader Comments:

54321

I miss you on Food Network so much. Your honest , genuine personality always made me smile. . I hope you know you are still an inspiration to so many. Gods plan for you ....you may not understand or even like but I'm sure will one day make sense. Our paths are not always easy but you have your family and friends who you know are your ROCK. This journey will solidify what you always thought to be true. I Hope to see you back on the network soon. Love your recipes! Love you, Sonia Young Rocky Mount NC

By Sonia Young on April 19, 2014

54321

Hey! Happy Easter to you and your family. We miss seeing you Pretty Lady. One day my husband and I will take a trip to Savannah and Tybee Island.

By Joan Lajoie on April 19, 2014

54321

Hi Paula I miss you and your family. Your show was the light of my day. I am glad to hear you are doing well and things are better for you. Hopefully I will see you again soon. God Bless you and your family. Happy Easter. Janet

By Janet Hilden on April 15, 2014

54321

Hello Paula, I do miss your program. Wow you added so much life and dimension to my cooking. I have always been the one in my family that everyone wanted to eat my food; but your recipes have super-ceded mine completely over the top. I have never followed a recipe until I found yours. The one that I started with was "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding"! YUMMY YUMMY YUM! That's when I fell completely under the spell of your food (recipes)! Now, I only surf your web site when I need a recipe. Thank you Paula for sharing your life and wonderful cooking with us. You are sorely missed. I would love to come to Georgia one day to visit your restaurant and area. Sincerely Luci P, April 14, 20014

By Luci Perkins on April 14, 2014

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Greetings Paula- Just wanted to send you and your family Happy Easter Greetings from NY. We miss your show so much, we love you and your cooking! Hopefully "ya-all"will be back on the air in the near future! Have a wonderful holiday. Sending hugs your way. God Bless! smile

By Connie W, on April 10, 2014

54321

Paula I were back on the air. I could use your hummer, ideas on meals etc. Also being a diabetic meal planning is becoming boring. Dr's tell you one thing nutritionist tell you something else. I think they mean the same but it never comes out the same to me.Can you give me a menu plan that I can maybe understand better. I am not a fish person but I Fri night fish fries I do eat whatever they are serving.I believe it is cod. Sorry for taking up your time. Kathy Amenn

By Kathy Amenn on March 25, 2014

54321

Paula: Was Aunt Peggy's maiden name Englehardt by chance?

By Jim Kelleher on October 13, 2011

54321

Hi Susan, Here is the recipe you're looking for: http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/meemaws_texas_tumbleweed_candy

By Jonathan Able on April 27, 2011

54321

Hi Susan, Here is the recipe you're looking for: http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/meemaws_texas_tumbleweed_candy

By Jonathan Able on April 27, 2011

54321

I wanted to know the name of the recipe of the cookies that was aired on the food network on April 23,2011. The cookies had potato sticks and butterscotch chips thats all I caught. If you could email me the receipe or the name. Thank you for your time I really like watching your show when I get a chance.

By susan thompson on April 24, 2011

54321

The Bunnies are beautiful!Love watching your show on Tv, and enjoy your magazines!You are the greatest!

By Ann Souza on April 24, 2011

54321

Dear Paula I love reading all your articals, and your sons also. Most of all I love all your recipes and that Southern drawl Mimi

By Mimi on April 24, 2011

54321

Paula I watch your show all the time your a great cook,I love when your son's come and cook with you.I'm 62yrs.old,married for 9yrs. and I'm always looking for something new to cook I've cooked and baked alot of your recipes and let me tell you they were awesome.Well god Bless you and your family this holiday and take care.

By Delores Taylor on April 24, 2011

54321

Just wanted you to know that I always bake the boneless Smithfield smoked pit ham that I buy at Sam's. I rinse it off with cool water, remove the string and put it in a cooking bag. I make a glaze using a jar of Apricot Jam, Wylie's Sweet Potato Spices, and some Coca Cola. Pour it over the ham and heat it in the oven till hot. Smithfield ham is the best!!! Happy Easter.

By Pam Zinsmeister on April 24, 2011

54321

Life is crazy and things like this remind us why we do what we do for our family. My oldest is 20 and youngest is 2, they both expect a basket made just for them and to their taste! Oh and the middle daugther 17 just likes it all! Have a wonderful blessed Easter!

By Cherie on April 24, 2011

54321

Loved your memories of Easter! My most treasured memory was 30 plus years ago when my two kiddos were young (me TOO!!). I would put mittens on,dipped in baby powder, and make 'bunny' paw prints all thru the house and up to the kids bedrooms. They would get up on Easter morning and would be more excited about tracking the paw prints than their candy. It was just a thought one year that served MANY HAPPY EASTER'S!!! Linda

By Linda Meeks on April 21, 2011

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By Linda on April 21, 2011

54321

i watch your show everyday at 12:oopm and 12:30 pm i am trying to find the recipe for the potatoand confectioners suger easter eggs i saw it on Monday April 18 at 12;30 but cant find it i want to make them for my grand daughter for easter can you help me please i just think your are the greatest person and love watching you and your sons everyday

By Penny M. Stauffer on April 20, 2011

54321

Have a wonderful easter with your family and a cookin of a year

By Anonymous on April 20, 2011

54321

hey paula deen

By donavan on April 15, 2011

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