Remembering Easter

by Melanie Edwards on April 21, 2011 · 5 comments

in life, Puerto Rico

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Easter egg hunt

This is a sponsored post.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, I remember Easter being kind of a big deal. We went to mass dressed in our brand new Easter outfits and celebrated amongst family. Though we didn’t have any Easter-specific special dishes for our meal that day, we often did get together with extended family on Easter and shared a traditional Puerto Rican menu with foods such as pernil y arroz con gandules.

What I don’t remember are the traditions of the Easter bunny, receiving Easter baskets, or Easter egg hunts. I did not learn about any of those until we moved to Florida. That is when my parents began to do the Easter baskets for us, well really me, since my brothers were already too old for it.

Something else that changed after we moved to Florida is that we no longer had a big Easter meal with extended family. After going to mass in the morning, the rest of our Easter Sundays were spent much like any other Sunday. I asked my husband, and his family was much the same way. Of course, that means that we are now doing pretty much the same thing with our own family.

Sometimes I actually miss the fact that we got together with extended family and had a traditional Easter meal. I’ve been thinking more and more that we should start the tradition back up. So, perhaps next year, I will give it a try. Of course, keeping with our cultural traditions, the menu will include typical Puerto Rican and Trinidadian foods. Let me share with you what I envision will be served at our Easter meal.

  • Pernil – Literally translated as roast pork shoulder, pernil is a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine and can be found on just about everyone’s dinner table for special meals, especially Christmas.
  • Arroz con Gandules – This is a very traditional rice for Puerto Ricans. We eat it at most special occasions and family get-togethers. Here is a recipe for how to make arroz con gandules in a rice cooker.
  • Potato Salad – I have never made potato salad, but it’s a dish I like quite a bit. It’s probably time I learn how to make it. I found a potato salad recipe on Walmart’s Easter Recipes page that looks simple enough.
  • Macaroni Pie – Similar to macaroni and cheese, this is a dish from my husband’s native Trinidad that I’ve come to love. Plus, it’s very easy to make.

Hopefully next year we can celebrate Easter in a larger manner than we’ve been doing. This year, though, we’ll have another relaxed and laid-back day full of family time. No big meal is necessary when you’ve got that.

If you’re still planning your Easter meal, you can get more ideas for your Easter lunch or dinner on the Walmart site. They have a variety of recipes and some cute dessert options – like these flower cupcakes that I know my daughter would love to make with me.

Does your family have a big Easter meal? What do you traditionally serve?

Disclosure:  As a member of the Walmart Moms program, I was compensated for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda April 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Arroz con gandules in the rice cooker? Totally trying that!

We have an Easter Egg-stravanganza, with a big egg hunt for the kids. I usually make it a brunch and serve bagels, croissants, sliced deli meats, fruits and the like. This year it’s in the early afternoon, so I was really at a loss as to what to serve. I made it a potluck so I don’t have to think about it too much, my guests do. 😉


Shafeena Y April 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

These sound so yum ! i have NEVER had puerto rican or trinidadian food EVER ! 🙂 but would love to try some


Carrie @ Tiki Tiki Blog! April 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I can’t for the life of me remember what our traditional Easter meal was. I think the memory is being blocked by the big hats, fancy shoes and gloves my mom used to put on me … in Miami!

I am going to ask her.

Thank you for sharing this. It has me thinking I would like to institute a tradition on Easter with my family.


Norma823 April 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

love the arroz con gandules recipe in a rice cooker. I am old fashioned and I make my rice the old way. You just made me hungry and I am going to make my pernil and my rice this week…


Alicia May 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm

We usually have a pot-luck at my grandma’s along with a carne asada BBQ. The staple at our Easter gathering is definitely the Peeps candy! 


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