Well this past Sunday was Easter, which is significant for a couple of reasons:
(1) As a Catholic, I can now go back to eating meat on Fridays with a clear conscience
(2) Traffic was light today
(3) There's nothing more to look forward to holiday-wise until Memorial Day.
I spent this Easter with my girlfriend's family, as part of a holiday sharing agreement whereby in exchange for Easter with her family she must travel to Michigan with me on Christmas to play the bongos. With this plan, we are able to experience the most important aspects of each other's family traditions - meaning food. Typically, her family meals feature tried and true standbys such as honey baked ham. My family tends to lean towards grotesque Franken-meats and other adventurous non-traditional eating extravaganzas which, surprisingly, often turn out delicious (but if they don't, there's always a Taco Bell about five minutes away).
One of her family's Easter traditions is the eating of the Lamb Cake. For those of you who don't know what a Lamb Cake is, it is exactly what it sounds like: a cake baked in the shape of a lamb.
Like most Easter objects, the cake is symbolic. The lamb is supposed to symbolise the Lamb of God (Jesus) who was sacreficed to alleviate the burden of original sin on all mankind. And as if lifting that burden wasn't enough, you then get to eat the Lamb of God (again... Jesus). Bonus!
Anyway, the cake must be procured from a certain bakery in Mount Prospect, IL, and it must have fudgy frosting. Here's a picture of a Lamb Cake:
This is not quite an ideal Lamb Cake because it doesn't have fudgy frosting but you get the idea. For the record, they're delicious.
As I was munching on a slice of the Lamb Cake's rump area, the meaning of Easter suddenly dawned on me: Easter is the time of year where we all get together and eat things that are shaped like cute little animals. Think about it: Lamb Cake, Chocolate Bunnies, Marshmallow Baby Chickens, Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Eggs.
When you stop to think about it, it's actually kind of a creepy holiday. All across the country, people are letting their little children loose on a candy-coated petting zoo. If I didn't love sugar and chocolate so much, I might be weirded out. Instead, I'm still buzzing from my sugar high, and wondering if there's a way to spin sugar into flags for Flag Day, or bake Lincoln shaped cakes for President's day.