It's probably not on anyone's Top 10 lists of favorite meals. However, this Good Friday Dinner serves me extra flavor.
Potatoes and hard-boiled eggs have been our family's tradition since before I was born. However, I remember peeled, boiled potatoes when we were younger; we then switched over to baked. Grandma said that since Good Friday Dinner should be as plain and as simple as possible, baked were acceptable since it took less effort to prepare.
I remember not being too excited about Good Friday when I was very young. It was as boring and as bland as the food we ate. My brother and I weren't allowed to play during 12-3pm, and had to stay generally quiet and calm throughout the day. It was a difficult task when we were in the throes of starting a rock band with our Sesame Street figurines on an u-shaped, orange and brown plaid living room chair. It was the perfect amphitheatre. When school came around we spent most of the afternoon in Church praying the Stations of the Cross. Then, we'd come home to boiled potatoes and boiled eggs. And, at that time, I didn't like boiled eggs.
However, this meal did serve anticipation. At least when dinner was done we were able to color eggs. I loved coloring them, just not eating them. That job was for the grown-ups on Easter, so I loved making the eggs as pretty as possible for them. I remember being so excited to color them because Mom made such a big deal out of it. She was so enthusiastic about each egg we made; each were a work of art to be praised, even if our experiments turned it brown or grey. We felt as if we invented new colors. Mom has always encouraged our creativity.
It wasn't until I was in jr.high when I started to appreciate this meal's extra ingredients. My mom, brother and I had the privilege of moving in with my great-grandfather who lived down the street from my grandparents. Mom was finishing practical nursing school at this time, then taking any shift available when she got hired. So, there were many times when Grandma cooked for the six of us, especially on Good Friday, as she now took over the coloring and boiling lots of eggs.
I miss those times. I miss the Good Friday Dinner with all of us. I miss Grandpa and Great-Grandpa, both hard of hearing, sitting on opposite ends of the table shouting to each other about the Cleveland Indians. They were usually in agreement with each other, it just sounded like they were arguing due to their shouting and frustration of the team in the 80's.
For the past few years, I've heated a few fish sticks in the oven for my husband, since he doesn't like boiled eggs.
I've kept to the standard - plain baked potato and boiled eggs - with a few dashes of pepper.
Each time I eat this I remember Good Friday. My family is with me in each simple bite.