1. Easter Art Exhibit: Birkenhead Community Church, on the North Shore of Auckland, held an art exhibit entitled “Reflections on Easter,” and featured over 23 original works of art reflecting the stations of the cross. All works were recently created by local artists, some belonging to the church and others just from the area. There were some really stellar pieces in the collection, and I thought it was a very cool way to reflect on the meaning of Easter.
2. Sunrise Service on the Beach: At 6:30am, an Anglican church called St. Mary’s on the Sea held a sunrise service on Torbay Beach. Being on the beach and watching the sun rise over the water was a great way to begin the day.
3. Easter Morning Breakfast: Welcoming the day of Resurrection and reflecting on the hope that is ours with the Keels (Mimi, Tim, Mabry & Blaise) over a delicious Easter breakfast. Mimi had the table decorated so festively with Easter egg plates and an abundance of chocolaty treats.
4. Feast of Gluten: Glutenous treats from dawn till dusk after giving them up for lent. Including but not limited to: Hot cross buns, Pain de Chocolat from a french bakery, cinnamon rolls, cae, and focaccia bread. Yum.
5. Post-breakfast hang out with the Keels: All of us full of gluten and other good things, debating whether or not to give into the the urge to fall asleep, keep watching the boys playing Madden, or read food magazines.
6. The always loved and rarely-achieved afternoon nap: All that gluten can tucker a person out.
7. Sharing traditions: We were surprised to learn that Easter meals are not typical in this land Down Under. Easter itself doesn’t seem to be celebrated in the ways that North America does it (i.e. with large family meals similar to that of Thanksgiving and Christmas). The Williams Family, who moved to NZ from Australia over a year ago, joined us at the Keel’s for what would be their first “traditional” Easter meal. It was fun to share this new experience with them.
8. Mimi’s glazed ham: Mimi cooked a delicious glazed ham that will be talked about for years to come, complimented by a delicious array of salads and other delicacies including deviled eggs and a blueberry cake.
9. Bunny cake: No Easter is complete without a bunny cake. Every Easter, for as long I can remember, my mom has made a delightful bunny cake, and I endeavored to continue that tradition here in NZ. I couldn’t find a cake pan big enough to hold the whole batter, so I ended up using 3 little ones. With the help of Blaise and Olivia, we pulled together 3 fantastic looking baby bunnies to feast on post-dinner. Brendon kindly crafted some ears for our delicious new friends.
10. Easter Fireworks: Around 8:00 in the evening, we heard loud blasts from outside, and look out to see fireworks. This is not just your average backyard fireworks show, but it is in fact a competition between two different parties to see who can set off the best show. Surrounding neighbors clapped and cheered, and when we thought the show was over, it just kept going. Apparently, no Kiwi Easter is complete without a round of fireworks. He is risen indeed!