Mazanec (Czech Easter Bread)

As a follow-up to my Christmas cookies of Czech Republic post, I decided to share my mother-in-law’s Easter bread recipe (“Mazanec”, in Czech). Mazanec is a slightly sweet bread with some fruit and nuts, and subtle vanilla and lemon flavor. My Czech husband has always preferred Mazanec over the similar, but differently shaped, Christmas bread, called “Vánočka”. Continue reading

Family roots pulled up and separated

oak tree

My mother was the central root of my family “tree”. She kept a strong link between us all, and allowed the family “tree” to stand tall and secure in the ground. When she was alive we were all gathered together. We knew what was happening to each of us at almost all times. Every celebration was a large family affair and maintained traditional customs that dated back generations. We always felt a connection with our childhood home in the New Jersey woods. She was our childhood home, and when she lived, that “home” was a living thriving being. It was rare that any one of us (her children, spouse, parents, siblings, in-laws, cousins, friends) ever felt neglected or alone. There was a constant closeness and interconnection to each member root of the family and beyond because of our link to her. Continue reading