Celebrate Easter Traditions…Just A Bit Differently

Maureen Rowan Murphy

Manager Consumer Trends, Nutrition, and Lifestyles

Viewed as the most important religious feast for Christians, Easter is a time of rejoicing and rebirth. On Easter Sunday, many families attend religious services, gather for Easter egg hunts and sit down together to enjoy a special meal. This year we’ll all be home adhering to local, state and federal guidelines in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. During these challenging times it’s more important than ever to have some sense of normalcy, and treasured traditions can provide that especially for children. While unable to be physically together with some of our loved ones we can still connect thanks to Zoom, Skype, etc…  Many churches will be offering virtual religious services, and families can have a virtual celebration so that grandparents and others can join in the fun.

We are all in this together, and we’re here to help you in planning your family’s Easter by providing recipes, fun activities and games for all to enjoy whether together or virtually!

Ham takes center stage at Easter, and we have a variety of hams to help you find one that best meet your family’s needs. Choose from butt or shank portion hams, boneless, spiral and canned hams, and flavored ham steaks for those looking for something small.

Brunch is an Easter tradition for many, whether enjoyed at home or restaurant. Although dining out for brunch isn’t an option this year, dining home is easy with a Smithfield Flavored or Cure 81 Vermont Maple Spiral Ham or this delicious Make-Ahead Hash Brown Egg Bake Make-Ahead Hash Brown Egg Bake . Serve with your favorite fresh fruit or this Citrus-Glazed Fruit Salad, full of flavor and packed with nutrients!

Pick up your favorite muffins from our bakery department or you can bake these Berry-licious Muffins, bursting with colorful berries.

For many Italians, (and non-Italians too) a time-honored Easter tradition is Italian Easter Pie. While not as quick to prepare as the other dishes, you’ll discover this meat and cheese pie is worth the extra effort once you taste it!

Dinner tends not to be as popular as Easter brunch, but for those who prefer it Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus and Mini Croissants (available in the bakery department) is a simple, but delicious menu. If you’ve never prepared scalloped potatoes, you’ll be surprised how easy they are to make!

Scalloped Potatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

4 T. PICS butter

4 T. PICS flour

Salt and pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups PICS whole milk

6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced

Cook onion in butter until tender, but not browned.  Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned.  Add salt and pepper.  Add milk and cook, stirring until slightly thickened.  Place one quarter of potatoes in greased 3-quart casserole; pour ¼ of sauce over potatoes.  Continue layers ending with sauce.  Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until browned on top and potatoes test tender.  Serves 8-10.

Egg Decorating

Children love coloring and decorating eggs for Easter, and it’s fun to see just how creative they can be!

If you are dyeing eggs for fun or for an egg hunt keep in mind these basics for safety: 

  1. Wash hands following the recommended CDC guidelines
  2. Use only eggs that have been refrigerated and discard eggs that are cracked or dirty
  3. After hard cooking eggs, dye them with food-safe coloring and return them to the refrigerator within 2 hours
  4. For an egg hunt, eggs should be hidden in places that are protected from dirt, moisture, pets, and other sources of bacteria
  5. Total time for hiding and hunting eggs should not exceed 2 hours
  6. “Found” eggs must be washed, re-refrigerated and should be eaten within a week.

There are so many ways they (and you) can decorate Easter eggs. Choose what works best for your family. You can check out our Kids Cooking Club egg decorating video below.

Purchase a kit – Today egg decorating kits come with stickers, holders, etc., holders etc.

Make your own food color dyes – Using a container deep enough to hold the eggs,  combine ½ to 1 Tbs. of food coloring with 2 tsp. vinegar, and fill half way with water. Carefully place eggs in the container. The longer they are left in the dye, the darker the color shade. Remove eggs from the dye, pat dry with a paper towel and place in a holder.

*Eggs may also be colored on before placing in the dye with swirls, shapes, etc. The wax will resist the dye and the colored design will show through.

Make your own natural dyes –Combine one of the following dye sources from the color chart below with ½ Tbs. vinegar with some cold water in a saucepan. Add raw eggs (make sure there’s enough water to cover the eggs) and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. The longer you simmer, the darker the color will be, but simmer at least 8 minutes so that the eggs cook thoroughly.

Color chart

Yellow – turmeric or saffron 
Red – cranberries 
Purple – beets, red onion skin
Green – spinach 
Blue – blueberries 

Color with crayons – This may be a perfect option for little ones since they can simply color the eggs with crayons.

Paint – Undiluted food coloring and a cotton swab can be used to paint on hard boiled eggs.

Chocolate Easter Egg Nests – Delight the kids with this easy DIY for their Easter baskets!

Easter Games – Fun for mom, dad and kids!

Easter Egg Roll

You will need:

Large area either inside or outside with a slight slope or incline

Big spoons

Start and finish lines

How to play:

  1. Each player gets a decorated Easter egg and a spoon
  2. Players place the egg in front of them and position spoon behind it
  3. When told to begin players use the spoon to move their egg down the grass towards the finish line
  4. The winner is the first person to cross the finish line with their egg

Easter Egg Toss

You will need:

One empty decorated Easter egg for each team of two playing (or uncooked eggs – with care!)

  1. Each team member stands approximately 15 feet apart from each other
  2. One person tosses the egg to their partner. If they catch the egg and it doesn’t break, they move a few feet further apart and the partner tosses the egg back
  3. If an egg breaks, then the pair is out of the game
  4. Each team keeps moving further and further apart until all eggs are broken
  5. The team left with an unbroken egg is the winning team

While it is difficult for all of us not to gather, we need to be safe and keep our loved ones safe so that we can be together again soon. We wish you and your family a Safe and Happy Easter!

Looking for more Easter inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board here for a basketful!