LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Easter symbolizes the renewal of the earth after a cold winter.
As with most Christian holidays, this one also has pagan roots. Eostre, the pagan springtime goddess, lent her name to the celebration. As with many pagan rituals, specific symbols had particular meanings: Egg symbolized rebirth, lamb symbolized sacrifice, and breads/cakes symbolized fertility. The egg plays an important part in many cultures celebrations of a new season. Pagans actually believed the world arose from a giant egg. As pagan cultures were touched by Christianity, they were allowed to keep their ancient celebrations as long as a biblical reference was included. For example, egg rolling contests symbolize the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb.
Eggs play a big part in the foods associated with Easter. Pagans celebrated with small wheat cakes that were crossed to keep away evil spirits. The church kept the sweet cakes, but blessed them for each family before they ate them. Even today, cultures will bring their Easter meal to church for a blessing by the priest. Still yet, eggs can be found in just about every dish whether savory or sweet no matter if they have one of the other symbolic Easter ingredients. Try the following classic wilted lettuce salad with warm bacon dressing that is topped with chopped hard boiled eggs, a great way to use up those Easter eggs the bunny left behind!
Wilted Lettuce with Warm Bacon Dressing
6 slices bacon, fried, grease saved
1/4 cup bacon grease (aka drippings)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TB water
1-1/2 TB granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 green onions, sliced
6 cups leaf lettuce or spinach, rinsed, and dried
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
Remove crispy bacon from skillet if you haven't already, and measure out the grease. If you don't have a 1/4 cup of grease, top it off with vegetable oil. Crumble bacon, set aside until needed.
Return grease to skillet, and turn heat to medium high. Whisk in vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Cook until sugar, and salt are dissolved, about 1 minute. Add green onions. Whisk again being sure to scrape up any bacon bits from bottom of pan. Bring just to a boil. Remove from heat.
Put lettuce in a shallow bowl. Pour hot dressing over top. Toss to coat each leaf. Garnish with crumbled bacon, and hard boiled eggs. Serve immediately.
This dressing is also good over potatoes, green beans, or spinach.
NOTE: Northern bacon dressing is thickened with either cornstarch or an egg. You can whisk together 2 tsp of cornstarch, and 2 tsp cold water then drizzle it in while cooking to dissolve sugar. It will thicken up within a couple of minutes. Whisk until mixtures goes from cloudy to transparent. Proceed with recipe from there.
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