Deep Fried Diaries

The insider's scoop on food, travel & southern culture

SIMONE SEZ: A blast from Easters past

Easter just seems the perfect time to whip out old pictures. I know I’m late on “Throwback Thursday,” but quite frankly, I like to throwback to old pictures any day of the week.

SR and Family EasterYou’re looking at my whole family in our best Easter stitches, circa 1968. I’m the youngest in the photo, gazing off to my right. I would imagine that I probably enjoyed the matching outfits a little more than my older sister did at that age: little white stockings, bows in hair. But we all know the rules of sibling attire, and to be without corresponding outfits on Easter Sunday would have been, well, sinful.

There are so many more pictures I could show you… just not enough space on the Internet.

Needless to say, Easter was a big deal growing up in New Orleans. I was raised in a staunch Catholic household and attended an all-girls Catholic school for the entirety of my grade school years. My father set the tone in our house for religious holidays. He was a charming man—great sense of humor—but when it came to church, there were rules and respect.

It turns out that obedience and respect weren’t such hard things for me to conjure up on Easter Sunday. I learned early on that if you made it through church and Easter brunch well-behaved, there would be a special treat from the Easter bunny waiting when you got home. It was always big ole basket of chocolate bunnies and peek-a-boo eggs, arranged in a special Easter scene on top of that not-so-sustainable “grass” filling.

Our tradition followed suit every year: Easter brunch at the Rib Room of the Royal Orleans Hotel. There was always a spectacular display of chocolate sculptures in the hotel lobby—so intricate you could stare for hours, but it was hard not to taste! Then I would nearly be choking down my eggs sardou just to get home to the “good stuff.”

I say “good stuff” because I can hardly stomach those sugary treats anymore. When you’re a kid, Peeps and jellybeans are your filet mignon. And your rocket fuel.

Easter evokes in me so many happy memories, especially for my father (who passed away 9 years ago during the Easter holiday).  I like to take it as a time to remember my mother, my father and my sister, who are no longer with us. I carry on many of our traditions with my own boys, as it takes me back to the time when I was their age. So much to smile about.

Lucky am I to have two boys who still believe in the Easter bunny—it makes it such fun for me! I’ve always been somewhat of a dreamer, and I love nothing more than to see their little imaginations run wild. In the past, we’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to the White House Easter Egg Roll, and this year will make three. The President and his family host activities on the White House lawn, and the boys get to see their favorite TV characters come to life.

My boys in their searsucker, White House Easter Egg Roll

My boys in their seersucker, White House Easter Egg Roll

Of course, we carry on tradition by donning our Sunday best. Just look at those two little gentlemen in their seersucker suits, white bucks and bow ties! As you can see, the rules of sibling attire still applies. We keep a strong nod to the South, because I can’t let these boys forget their roots.

(My youngest seems to have mastered my “gazing off in the distance” pose. See the resemblance?)

Let’s hope the rainy weather holds off this weekend. It looks like a few showers in the forecast for Easter Sunday, and the last thing we want come Monday is a soggy Easter Egg Roll.

Whatever your traditions may be, enjoy your Easter weekend! Hope it’s Egg-cellent.

I’m Simone. And this is what simonesez

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Easter Specials Around Town

  • Ceiba — The Latin-inspired restaurant will be offering a special egg dish for those attending the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday. The Molette de Huevos  is an open-faced, Mexican sandwich with spicy egg salad and yuca frita.
  • Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery — Chef David Guas will be offering a Lamb Gravy Po’boy throughout the weekend, prepared with house-made garlic & rosemary “Mynez” (AKA mayo) with “holy” swiss cheese. On Easter Sunday, he’ll be serving up Lamb Grits & Grillades with a smoked tomato gravy. The traditional Southern brunch dish will be made with grits ground exclusively for Chef David from the gristmill at Mount Vernon Estate (which once belonged to George Washington 241 years ago!)
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