For as long as I can remember, Good Friday meant two things in my family:
1) Abstaining from such pleasures as animal meat, sugary treats and music (truth: in 1985, while all my friends took part in the global sing-along of ”We Are the World,” my mother enforced Good Friday law and forbade us from all broadcast devices).
2) Coloring Easter eggs, Polish-style.
Years later my mother’s Good Friday rules have relaxed some, and music plays in the house freely and without consequence. But the ritual egg decorating remains a house mandate. Last night we gathered around the kitchen table once again, three generations of the family, to do our wax-painting duties and make Polish pisanki.
My husband was suspect. Why all the fuss over our Polish egg-painting techniques? Wouldn’t it be less of a hassle to dunk a few eggs in some drug-store dye and call it a night?
“This is my family’s tradition!” I protested.
“Well, Paas is my family tradition,” he said.
The man was in luck. We had a fresh package of the stuff, and from the bottom of our egg-decorating supply basket, I fished out an old Paas wax crayon. We would pit his tradition versus ours. You be the judge: Continue reading