The Goddess Speaks
Friends turn Easter into family affair
My daughter and I spent a beautiful Easter afternoon last year hunting eggs and eating lunch with our friends the Suisos under the shade of the mango trees in their Makaha back yard.
People all over the state and country were enjoying similar activities on this special Sunday. But underlying such a good old-fashioned celebration is a remarkable coming together of people sharing traditions, family and culture. It doesn't happen like this in too many places, but so easily develops in this magical corner lot I like to call Hawaii's back yard.
Among the diverse crowd is my family. We're Jewish. We don't celebrate Easter in any religious sense. Yet, year after year, we look forward to hunting eggs and being with this family on their special day.
In preparation, I have learned how to boil an entire pot of eggs without half of them cracking. The secret, according to Candy Suiso, is to fill the saucepan so that they don't jiggle around too much, and add a little vinegar. I also contribute my father's advice from my past and add a pinch of salt to adjust the boiling point. Last year, none broke.
Then comes dying them. I'd never dyed an egg in any serious manner. But sister-in-law Patti DeGuzman comes year after year with cartons full of absolute masterpieces. Turns out, if you color them with crayons first, then dunk them in the dye, it creates a really nice batik effect. What does a Jewish girl know? We peel the eggs and eat them on Passover.
Which brings me to Paula's practice. Paula is Candy's husband's brother's wife. She has a Hispanic background and introduced confetti eggs long before we ever showed up for a celebration. This is the most fun and the most work. But my daughter wouldn't have an Easter without them now.
After cutting a hole in the top of the egg and emptying the yolk, then coloring the egg, we fill them with confetti. The first year I did it, I forgot to let the egg dry, so the confetti just stuck to the sides. Not desirable, since the whole fun is to smash them on the heads or shoulders of the family after chasing them around the back yard a few laps.
Young and old participate and wear the rainbows of paper in their hair long after all the eggs have been smashed.
And then there's the food. Or should I say feast?
There's usually hulihuli pig. If I come early enough, I can have some of the crunchy skin when they take it off the fire. So delicious with Candy's special sauce.
Dot makes her German potato salad, while Mark fries casaba he picked from the yard. Renée cooks up a gourmet vegetarian dish. Jeff always carves the turkey, and there has to be mango something for dessert. This eclectic buffet delights our palates as we enjoy a meal and create memories together.
Memories of friends who become family, and traditions that we embrace, shared together under the blue skies and warm sunshine of this enchanting spot, a simple back yard on the Leeward Coast of Oahu.
Lorraine Gershun is publications adviser for Searider Productions at Waianae High School.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
Honolulu 96813 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.