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Bette Banjack

The coronavirus pandemic may be easing but by no means is it over.

As coordinator and founder of “FILL THE SHELVES For After the Holidays,” can we talk? I am looking forward not only to the loyal and generous contributors to this challenge but to all of you out there who have taken the time to read this.

If you are able financially to help someone in need, I urge you to do so. The most important item you can give and share with someone is your time.

Share your time and energies. The lady down the street who needs groceries delivered. The gentleman who needs a drugstore pick-up. Clean the snow off your neighbor’s porch and steps. Most important is to share “YOU.”

Find a way to communicate with someone who is alone and especially lonely with the need to just talk with someone. We all find the need to talk – make it count. If you listen and look closely, there's an opportunity to find a way to be someone’s lifeline. No matter how small. Don’t be afraid to reach out and touch someone.

A generous person, along with one who volunteers, reaps from what they sow. It can make you happier, healthier and improves your relationships

Being kind, loving and giving are part of all major religions — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Actually, there are over 310 religions and denominations in the United States alone.

On Sunday, March 28, we celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week for most Christians. It is very significant that the Jewish Passover starts the same day this year. The Last Supper was most likely a Seder the day before the resurrection of Jesus.

Easter Sunday is determined by the first Sunday following the full moon that happens on or just after the spring equinox. It is early this year as the first full moon after the equinox is March 28.

Passover always begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. The 15th day of Nisan is always a full moon, according to the lunar cycle.

For both religions, this coming week is the most important time. It is a busy week with prayer and preparations. Many are still fasting as part of their promise and giving up a certain food or events during the days of preparations.

In my family, it was the time of baking. Especially Easter breads and nut and fruit rolls. Along with kiflis — my mom just called them Little Hungarian Cakes. On or about Thursday through Saturday, there would be making Beets & Horseradish Relish, Sirecz (Easter cheese) and the making of pickled eggs.

The best was on Saturday when it was time to bake the ham for our Easter dinner. The aroma permeated the house inside and on the outside if it was warm enough to have the doors and windows open.

The most important things to do were the coloring of eggs. As well as making peanut butter and coconut candy eggs.

My aunt Sara (Harple) Marton was a great baker. One of her specialties at Easter was this pastry.

AUNT SARA’S DOUBLE DECKER

Sift together & set aside

5 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

Cream together in a large mixing bowl

½ lb. softened butter

2 Tbsp. shortening

4 egg yolks

1 cup granulated sugar

½ pint sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine creamed & flour mixture. Mix well – chill dough.

Divide dough into 3 portions. Roll first portion out & place in a jelly roll pan. You may have to piece it together.

*To this first layer spread walnut mixture of 2 ½ cups ground walnuts & ½ cup granulated sugar.

*Roll out 2nd portion of dough & place on top of walnut mixture. On top of this spread 1 lb. of lekvar (plum butter) or other fruit butters or do ½ of each.

*Roll out last 1/3 portion of dough – using a pastry cutter, cut strips of the dough. Place in a lattice pattern on top of fruit topped layer.

Baked in a pre-heating oven of 350-degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

TIP: When dying hard-boiled eggs — add about a teaspoon of vinegar in the water off each color of dye. It brightens the color and helps the dye stick to the egg.

STAY SAFE — WEAR THAT MASK — MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING.

Contact columnist Bette Banjack at banjack303.verizon.net. Search YouTube – with BetteBanjack as well as phoenixvillenews.com (search bar Banjack). She can also be found on Facebook.

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