Monday, April 25, 2011

Armenian Easter Traditions

Here is my "real" table for Easter. It is our family's tradition to use these purple transferware plates for Easter.

Also, the cabbage leaf chargers and of course the egg cups are tradition.
Since the little ones were coming for dinner, the kitchen table was the logical choice for my tablescape this year.
Next year, we will eat in the dining room!

There are a few Armenian traditions that my husband's family still honors. Lamb is always served, along with rice pilaf. Which doesn't sound like a big deal, but in my family, we had ham and mashed potatoes for Easter dinner. At least that is what I remember!
For our dinner today, we also had asparagus, salad and a potato/pea puree. Yum!

One of the most important and fun Armenian traditions is the "egg fight!"
This is serious business! Each person selects an egg and then challenges, or is challenged in a fight to see who has the strongest egg.

While one person holds their egg, the other taps the egg with their egg. Whose will break?

This is a game that all generations participate in.

Little Zoe cracked her Mom's egg!

My Mother-in-law concentrating on her egg!

There is much drama to this game and some cheating too!

Congratulations to Reese, who had the winning egg!

Do you have any special Easter traditions?
Do you have lamb or ham? Rice pilaf or mashed potatoes?
Have you ever had an egg fight!?

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Razmataz said...

I think the first time I read your blog was at Easter and I loved the purple transferware with the cabbage plates.

I love seeing other peoples traditions. We have turkey, although I want to switch to ham as it is easier,,,but the family doth protest.

Jennifer@Woodley Cottage said...

What a pretty Easter table and the food looks delish!!
The egg fight looks fun too!
Happy Easter to you.

Rebecca said...

No traditions here....but I really like your "strongest egg" competition! I'd enjoy having the recipe for pea/potato puree (if you'd care to share it).

The eggs in the last post were beautiful! Every year I think I'm going to try natural dyes, decide not to dye ANYTHING, and then eventually end up dyeing a few when grandchildren come with commercial/colorful dyes....

Babs said...

Delores, It's wonderful that you still keep the traditions in your family. The egg fignt looks like so much fun and the food delicious.
We always have ham and, true to Southern "traditions", about ten side dishes, including deviled eggs, potato salad, congealed salad, green beans, etc., plus home made pound cake.
Thanks for sharing your Easter traditions. As always, your table is beautiful.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

What a beautiful table setting! Our traditional Easter dinner has always been ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans and deviled eggs. Coconut cream pie for dessert.

Marlis said...

What lovely traditions your preserve for your family. I love the legacy you are building. the food looks amazing. I wish I could get my husband to eat lamb, he's just so picky! Never heard of the egg tradition, but it's darling. Hope your easter brought you as much joy as your blog brings to me.

Bonnie Bee said...

What great memories.. we ALWAYS had an EGG FIGHT.. and my son always seemed to have the winning egg... he would go around the neighborhood challenging our neighbors, too..
Glad you had a fabulous Easter filled with wonderful family traditions...

Victoria said...

My Ex husband is Armenian and I have to say, I don't miss being married to him but I do miss the food!!! My Ex mil always served cheese boreg, YUM, along with a ton of other food. They never did the egg fight but it looks like fun!

Sarah said...

Congratulations to Reese! What a fun family tradition!
Delores, your table is lovely with the purple transferware and cabbage leaf chargers. It's nice to use the same dishes each year as a tradition. Your children and now Reese will always have fond memories. Your meal looks delicious, healthy, and beautiful. No traditions here for Easter, but we joined a group of friends with a spread of food ~ ham, new potatoes, deviled eggs, pea salad, fresh asparagus w/ grilled peppers, and a green salad. Dessert was lemon meringue pie.
Thanks for sharing your family Easter. ~ Sarah

Lori E said...

My first thought was to sneak in a raw egg just to see the reaction. I guess it would have to be an outdoor challenge.
We had the ham and mashed potatoes here. I was going to do scalloped potatoes but switched out at the last minute and was glad I did because apparently our son's girlfriend is lactose intolerant. Made mashed with chicken broth instead of milk.

quintessence said...

I adore your purple transferware!! I grew up with ham and mashed potatoes as well! But we do lamb now which I actually much prefer. Your meal looks delicious. Our family tradition (both growing and for my kids) was an indoor jelly bean hunt with individual jelly beans hidden all over the public rooms of the house. It was always fun for me as I took the challenge of color coordinating the beans to the decor very seriously. I would find them for weeks following Easter in all sort of obscure places!!

Lizabeth said...

I haven't seen the onion egg dyeing method in a long time. My Mom did that on occassion after we kids we older and didn't insist on coloring our own eggs anymore.
What a fun tradition with the egg breaking!
We always had ham and mashed potatoes too, and I still do it. I tried lamb one year but it didn't grab anybody's attention so I dropped it.
Our family is sooo easy to please I don't have to work too hard to make them happy!
I think most of all getting together is the better part of any tradition at a holiday.

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

I love your purple transferware plates! So pretty.
I have several Armenian girlfriends, one of whom we have spent several different holidays with. We have never been there for Easter but she told me about this tradition!'Your pictures are great. I love Grandmothers' hands and wish I had thought to take close ups of my Grandmother's. Fond memories holding those sweet fragile hands.
Thanks for sharing
Your newest follower.

Priscilla said...

Lamb - I'm much more traditional.
I remember when we were transferred to the south for a few years, we were surprised to learn that lamb was almost never eaten - any time a year. They seemed to eat ham all year long.
We had a hard time finding a meat shop that even sold it. Supermarkets - never!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

I wopuld serve lamb if anyone else would eat it, I LOVE it! WE had ham, potato casserole that everyone LOVES, asparagus, deviled eggs, cole slaw and applesauce. My daughter brought cheesecake for dessert. I LOVE your purple transferware and those cabbage chargers I covet!!!! Would LOVE to have them. I have one cabbage plate/bowl that I uised for my asparagus this year. I posted my table if you'd like to come see! I loved seeing your MIL's beautiful hands.....memories. XO, Pinky

vignette design said...

My dear friend Nettie wrote this about her family's traditions: "My Grandfather, who was from Italy on the Adriatic side, loved to play this game at Easter dinner. I remember him very serious about the winning egg being his! Our dinners were a myriad of courses consisting of homemade ravioli,deviled crab,antipasti,lamb as well, artichoke hearts,peas and platters of cheeses & fruits. There was no less than 20 people and never as beautiful table settings as yours!"

Gerry said...

Another beautiful table! Living in the midwest our Easter dinner consists of the typical ham, mashed potatoes, deviled egg, slaw, hot roll menu. About the only things that change are the beans - green beans or baked beans - and dessert, which is always a choice of a different cake and/or pie selection. Kind of boring I admit but my family doesn't adjust well to change and I also know everyone is going to be satisfied when it's over.

Sevenbeads said...

I married into a Polish family. We have ham AND kielbasa for Easter along with sauerkraut and potato salad. There are other dishes but the first 3 never change. Once a year is OK and it's not difficult to prepare ahead. Loved your pictures!

Anonymous said...

Hi,I m from Greece... We always have egg fight on Easter.. Our eggs are painted red... Our Easter lunch is traditionally lamb on the spit or lamb stuffed with rice in the oven...The traditional Easter sweet is a kind of sweet brioche named tsoureki...The colors in the table design are white and red...

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Our family serves ham, kielbasa, fresh bacon, mashed potatoes, veggies and homemade cheeses. My mom is Slovak and that's the tradition we follow at Easter. I love it and would miss it if we didn't do it. Family traditions are so special, Martina

Tretswelt said...

Hallo!Was für ein schöne Tradition...und dein Essen...lecker!Schöne Woche wünsche ich bdir.Bussi.Lu.

Privet and Holly said...

WHAT a gorgeous family!
I just love how everyone
seemed so engaged in the
festivities, from youngest
to oldest. I hope to always
carry that spirit inside of me,
even when I am the oldest
at a gathering : ). Now, on
to important business: FOOD!
It was ham for us....with onion-
potato gratin and assorted veg.
Your celebration looked delish.
Happy Day-After!
xx Suzanne

Mariette said...

Dearest Delores,

That sounds like being a very warm family tradition! I've meant to ask you for a while, if you do know George & Alice Carapiet. They were Armenians and were with Spawn Mate Inc. in San Jose. They were dear friends of ours when Pieter still did lecture at their Symposiums at a Scottsdale, AZ resort. Also Bob Miroyan, they were all Armenians. We used to spend lots of time in California too... Fond memories of great friends.
It sounds like you had a very special Easter weekend! Ours was a quiet one as we just got back from a 9-day vacation in Florida where we stayed at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites in Miami. It did us a lot of good and it was the 1st time for Pieter being able to do this after his open heart surgery.

Lots of love,


Phyllis said...

Oh, how I loved seeing your photos of the egg contest! The contrast in the ages of the hands holding the lovely eggs was so special to are a great photographer. And, of course, your table was lovely with the cabbage chargers and the purple transfer ware. Lots of memories were made at your table on this Easter day.

AT HOME BLOG said...

Traditions are so special!! I love your plates!

Tracy F. said...

I love your Easter table! The purple transfer ware with the cabbage leaf chargers is spectacular. My daughter decorated our luncheon table with egg cups that stand on little yellow chicken feet! I loved seeing your family pictures, and the egg tradition is charming. The food looks delicious, too.

Marigene said...

Beautiful table, Delores.

Lynn said...

Your purple transferware is just beautiful and the egg cups too cute! We have ham, potato salad and deviled eggs, other sides may vary. It looks like your family all had a great Easter-enjoy:@)

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