Communion. It’s one of the few rites that Christians around the world share… remembering the death of Jesus for our sins.
I still remember my very first communion. I was 18, a college freshman, and I’d been a believer for less than three weeks. Every quarter, our campus Christian fellowship gathered the Friday evening before finals week to share bread and wine together. As ignorant as I was, I understood that this was an important occasion, a time for introspection, repentance, and gratitude.
There is one time of year that I make a point of baking bread… and not any bread will do. Given that we’re celebrating resurrection this Sunday, I like to make a yeast bread. It too shall rise!
Our traditional Easter bread is the Finnish cardamom loaf Pete’s family always made. It’s very good, and I posted the recipe last year.
However, we have a son-in-law who loves honey, almond flavoring, and coconut, so I went hunting for another bread to make in his honor. These Honey Almond Buns are amazing. Totally decadent. Too bad he lives so far away—and the buns do not ship well (you need to eat them warm from the oven!). On the other hand, that means there are more for us.
Easter (or Resurrection Sunday, as our previous church called it) is coming in a few weeks. I don’t want to distract you from focusing on Jesus, but like all holidays, Easter can become more meaningful when family traditions are incorporated into the celebration.
Back when Pete and I became engaged, his mother, Martha, gave me a copy of the Finnish cookbook she frequently referred to, as she endeavored to pass along her Finnish heritage to her six children. I was then politely (but firmly!) informed that if I was going to be a member of the family, I should start learning how to make Nisu! This mouth-watering yeast bread, also known as Pulla, is served year-round in Finland, but I don’t have the time and energy to make it every Saturday. At our house, it’s the most important part of our annual Easter brunch.
The “party season” is coming up, and this hot broccoli dip is perfect for a crisp—or snowy—autumn evening. It somewhat resembles the more common spinach artichoke dip, which I can’t eat because I’m allergic to spinach. You can trade the Jack cheese for another variety if you like, but don’t overpower the taste of the vegetables.