Easter Traditions from Around the World

Hickory Farms is a holiday tradition that Americans have been enjoying for more than 60 years. And while we look forward to egg hunts, family brunches, and other Easter traditions, this spring, people all over the globe will be celebrating their own special traditions on Easter.

Flying Kites

Burmese tradition is to fly kites on Good Friday. The story goes that a British teacher was trying to teach the story of Jesus’ ascension to his Sunday school class. He used a cross-shaped kite soaring up into the sky to visually demonstrate the lesson.

Easter Traditions from Around the World

Photo via Brent Danley/Flickr

Smingus-Dyngus

This unusual sounding tradition comes from Poland, and, if you have sons, be careful of letting them learn about this one! On Easter Monday, boys try to splash water on as many people as they can, using anything from buckets to water guns. It’s believed that girls who get splashed will be married in the coming year. The splashing tradition is thought to stem from the baptism of a Polish prince on Easter Monday in 966 AD.

Easter Traditions from Around the World

Photo via Alex Ridgway/Flickr

Breaking Pots

If you ever find yourself on the Greek island of Corfu on the Saturday before Easter, make sure to watch out for falling pots. The locals traditionally throw out pots and pans from their windows and let them break on the streets.  One theory of how this tradition originated is that by breaking all of their old pots, people are symbolizing their readiness to collect new crops in new pots in the coming spring.

Greek Easter Traditions

Photo via pberry041655/Flickr

Painting Eggs

Interestingly enough, egg painting pre-dated the advent of Christianity, and it actually has a rich history in Sorbian culture. Hand-painted Easter eggs in Sorbian tradition feature intricate designs and beautiful colors made with a variety of techniques and materials. The most popular color in Sorbian egg painting traditions is red, since it represents the resurrection.

Painting Easter Eggs

Photo via abac077/Flickr

If your Easter celebration includes a special family dinner or brunch at home, serving delicious, but easy to prepare dishes is a huge win to keep your stress-level low and your family fun high! Make this Easter special with a HoneyGold® Ham or gourmet sausage and cheese from Hickory Farms.

HoneyGold Ham from Hickory Farms

If you’ve got a great dish or tradition to share, we would love to hear about it!  You can also check out our Pinterest page for some of our favorite ideas.

What are your favorite Easter traditions? Share it with us on our Facebook page

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Savor the Weekend with These Great Brunch Ideas

If only we could enjoy the slow, relaxing pace of the weekend every day! But you can savor the weekend a little bit longer with a delicious brunch.

As we have shared before, breakfast quiches are always a savory option that can be created with leftover slices of gourmet cheese, eggs, spinach, and your favorite gourmet sausage.

Ham & Cheese Quiche

Photo via Food Network

Breakfast casseroles are also a favorite choice of many brunch hosts and hostesses because you can prepare all of the ingredients the night before and then pop it in the oven first thing the next morning! Try our Ham, Egg and Cheese Strata recipe filled with HoneyGold® Ham and Our Smoked Cheddar Blend and Jalapeno & Cheddar Blend Cheese. It makes an excellent main dish for a brunch.

Hickory Farms Ham, Egg and Cheese Strata

Fruit salads are a wonderful side for adding refreshing flavors and textures into your brunch menu. This Maple Citrus Coconut Salad sounds divine!

Maple Citrus Coconut Salad

Photo via Country Living

toast and jam

Photo via Daily Dream Decor

Toast and assorted jams, jellies, and preserves are a perfect addition to any brunch menu. Hickory Farms’ Orchard Preserves Sampler offers six deliciously sweet flavors that are sure to satisfy.

Hickory Farms Orchard Preserves Sampler

biscuits

Photo via Martha Stewart

Lightly buttered biscuits are also perfect with jams, jellies, and preserves, but ham is another delicious option. Leftover HoneyGold® Ham and biscuits make for a hearty brunch sandwich.

Hickory Farms HoneyGold Ham

Who says dessert can only be served after dinner? Our Crown Comice® Pear Bread Pudding recipe is the perfect sweet treat to complete your brunch. Juicy seasonal pears are cooked to perfection and topped with remaining pear slices, sprinkled with a cinnamon mix and topped off with caramel sauce. Yum!

Hickory Farms Crown Comice Pear Bread Pudding

Don’t forget your breakfast beverages! Rather than stopping at coffee and juice, consider making your brunch even more special with breakfast cocktails like mimosas and sangrias garnished with fruit.

brunch cocktails

Photo via Cooking Channel

What are your favorite savory brunch recipes? Share them with us in the comments below.

 

Ham, Egg & Cheese Strata Recipe:

-          6 cups French bread (1” cubes)

-          3 cups Hickory Farms Smoked Cheddar Blend-shredded

-          2 cups Hickory Farms Jalapeno & Cheddar Blend-shredded

-          2 cups Hickory Farms HoneyGold® Spiral Sliced Ham (1/2 lb.), large diced

-          ½ cup leeks, chopped

-          8 large eggs

-          2-1/2 cups milk

-          1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

-          1 tsp. seasoning salt

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly layer bread in a lightly greased 9” x 13” baking dish. Sprinkle Smoked Cheddar Blend, 1 cup Jalapeno & Cheddar Blend, ham, and leeks evenly over bread. In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning salt. Whisk to blend. Pour egg mixture over casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of Jalapeno & Cheddar Blend Cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.  Serves 6-8 people.

Crown Comice® Pear Bread Pudding Recipe:

-          3 cups milk

-          3 cups day old bread – cut into 1″ cubes

-          1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp. sugar

-          1/4 cup butter – melted

-          3 eggs – slightly beaten

-          1/4 – 1/2 tsp. almond extract

-          1/4 tsp. salt

-          2 Hickory Farms Crown Comice® Pears (or other favorite), pared, cored and sliced

-          1 tsp. cinnamon

-          1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325°F. In a small saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form around the edge of pan. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, eggs, almond extract and salt; mix well. Butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Layer with half of the pear slices; pour bread mixture over pears. Top with remaining pear slices. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 tablespoon sugar; sprinkle on top of pears.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Serves 8 to 10 people.

Organizing a Progressive Dinner Party

Dinner parties are a fun way to gather with family, friends, and neighbors, but it also involves a lot of work for the host. A progressive dinner party is a great option that allows everyone to show off their culinary skills and share the hosting responsibilities.

Progressive dinner parties usually work best with a smaller group of people and with people who live in the same neighborhood or within a few minutes of each other. Once you’ve determined who will be participating, it’s time to figure out who will be the hosts for the evening and what they will serve.

progressive dinner party invitation

Photo via My Insanity

Most dinner parties involve four courses, but you can add more or take some away as needed. Courses can include appetizers and drinks, soup and salad, a main course, a cheese or vegetable course, and after-dinner desserts and drinks.

Once you’ve decided how many courses will be served, it’s time for the hosts to gather and plan a menu and a schedule of events. Will you stick to dishes that follow a certain theme, or will your group allow for creative freedom, with each host offering a different type of cuisine?

One important point to remember as your group plans the progressive dinner is that you’ll want to select dishes that can be prepared mostly in advance and that require minimal heating time. For example, the host in charge of serving appetizers can offer a spread of gourmet sausage, cheeses, crackers, and nuts. It’s easy to prepare and quick to restock, which means you can spend more time socializing with your guests.

sausage and cheese tray

For hosts serving soup and salad, a crockpot soup recipe is your best friend! Start cooking your soup earlier in the day, and then turn the heat down before you head out. The soup will be warm and ready to eat when guests arrive at your house.

crockpot soup recipe

Photo via Healthy Snack Recipes

And since you’ll be moving from one home to the next, it’s also important to create a schedule and stick to it. Give your guests plenty of time to arrive at the first home, or tell them to arrive within a certain time frame, and list the time of arrival for each house on the invitations. Be sure to progress to each house at the times listed. This is out of courtesy for the next host, as well as allowing for the next course to be served in a timely manner.

Do you have any tips, recipes, or ideas to share for progressive dinner parties? Please leave a comment to share with us!