Guest Post- Polish Easter Baskets

Today I have a special guest post for y'all from my good friend Liz over at Frugally Blonde! She has such a sweet family with 2 little girls and another on the way! She blogs about "Living the Good Life on Less"- so if that sounds like something you're interested in you should pop over and check her out! :-)

Throughout my childhood, my family made a Polish Easter basket every year for our Easter brunch.  I believe that we started the tradition while attending a Ruthenian Byzantine Rite parish for a few years, where this tradition is very important.  However, it also has strong family roots in my Polish heritage.  Now I am excited to be able to continue this tradition with my own family.

Basically, the foods traditionally included in the Easter meal were those that were originally given up during Lent, including all meat and dairy products.  Those foods certainly tasted good if you had given them up for 40 days!  A great explanation of the meanings of the religious meanings of the different foods can be found here.  Here's what we usually include in our Easter basket:

Pascha - This recipe is similar to the bread we usually make; another traditional bread is called Babka.  We usually bake them in a round cake pan and top them with a cross made of dough.

Colored Eggs - Just this year I had the opportunity to learn the Polish art of Pisanki, which I have wanted to learn for years!  However, these are made from blown-out eggs, and they are not very child-friendly!  For our Easter meal my daughter and sister will just color hard boiled eggs with a grocery store kit.

Butter Lamb - You can order a  Lamb Butter Mold, which is simple to use.  There are also instructions for making a beautiful free form lamb here.

Kielbasa - My great-grandmother made her own, and there are places online from which you can order the traditionally made sausage.  However, we usually make do with Hillshire Farms, which is perfectly good.

Horseradish - This is a necessary part of the Easter basket, symbolizing the bitterness of the passion.  A little jar of this definitely lasts us a full year!

Salt - My mom used to by a new canister of salt and write, "Christ is Risen," with the year, on it.  It added a little blessing to our cooking for the whole next year.

Cheese - I believe a mild, white cheese is traditional, since it symbolizes moderation.  We often used something as simple as a block of Monterrey Jack.  My mom often decorated it with a peppercorn cross.

The Easter baskets of food were traditionally blessed on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday.  Right now we are lucky enough to attend a parish which continues this beautiful tradition with a food blessing on Holy Saturday morning.  Some people bring these traditional foods; others bring whatever else they plan to eat on Easter, even their children's candy.  The important thing is the sanctification of the Easter meal!

Thanks for sharing this great post with us, Liz! :-)

If you'd like to make your own beautiful eggs like Liz made, 
That Artist Woman has a
great tutorial on making Pysanki (or Pysanka) eggs!
(This is a Polish as well as Ukrainian tradition.)
If you're thinking it's too complicated to do, know that her class of
third graders was very successful with this craft and she has
the pictures to prove it! ;-)

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  1. Thanks for the good reminder of blessing the Easter Baskets!!

  2. This is amazing! Last week our (new)Church mentioned doing this and while wanting to participate I had NO IDEA what to put in the basket. Thank you so much!!!

  3. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!!! This guest post brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of my childhood.

    I am 100% Polish-American and my parents were born and raised the Polish ethnic neighborhoods of Detroit. Each year we would travel to Michigan to visit my grandparents for Easter...and I LOVED taking the Easter basked filled with our special dinner foods to church on Saturday to be blessed. This was a ritual I participated in with my grandmother...b/c I was "such a big girl!"

    Thank you, thank you!


  4. My family is Polish Catholic and we do all this too. We just got all our stuff for the basket blessing on Saturday - it's still my favorite holiday ritual. Even my husband (who wasn't raised Catholic) loves it!

  5. Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could write
    a litte more on this subject? I'd be very grateful
    if you could elaborate a little bit more. Appreciate

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Thanks for your comments! They're the icing on my cake ;-)