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In Christian countries all over the world, this week is known as Holy Week and there are activities in many churches, depending on the religion practiced.
In Roman Catholic churches, there will be services on Holy Thursday, which is the celebration of the Eucharist, Good Friday, which is the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, Holy Saturday, the vigil of the Resurrection and Easter Sunday, the celebration of the Resurrection. I know as a member of the choir at St. James, we will be living at church this week for this glorious week. In Protestant religions, I know many local churches are having special musical celebrations and Good Friday services.
One of the neatest activities is the following recipe that was sent to me by dear friend, Carolyn Smith of Hodgenville. The activity is to tell small children the story of Easter by making these cookies. After the eggs are dyed or egg hunts are held, have the children help you make these cookies and read to them the scripture that follows.
Follow the directions and after the children discover the Easter Bunny has arrived on Easter morning, let them go to the kitchen and open the oven door and realize what they made and how it relates to Easter.
It should be an activity that will help them remember the meaning of Easter is much more than bunnies and baskets.
I also have included two of my favorite Easter desserts in case you haven’t decided on one for Easter dinner. My wish for you and your family is to have a happy Easter.
Easter Story Cookies
These are to be made the evening before Easter.
1 c. whole pecans
1 t. vinegar
3 egg whites
1 c. sugar
Quart freezer bag
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is a very important step).
Place pecans in freezer bag and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let your child smell the vinegar. Put 1 t. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the tears shed by Jesus’ followers and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Explain the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper-covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rock tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27-65-66.
Now, it's time to go to bed. Explain that they might feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight and Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow. On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.
Source: Carolyn Smith and DLTK’s Bible Activities for Kids, April, 2007
1 orange cake mix
2 t. orange extract
16 oz. Cool Whip
16 oz. sour cream
2 c. powdered sugar
Mandarin orange segments
Bake cake mix according to package directions except use milk instead of water and add 2 t. orange extract. Bake in two 9-inch greased and floured pans. Allow to cool completely and slice each with serrated knife to form 4 layers. For filling, mix sour cream and powdered sugar, fold in Cool Whip. Use between layers and to frost cake. Garnish with mandarin orange segments. Refrigerate.
3 Day Coconut Cake
White cake mix
1 t. vanilla
8 oz. sour cream
1 ½ c. sugar
12 oz. frozen coconut (found near the Cool Whip in the grocery)
12 oz. Cool Whip
Prepare cake mix according to package directions and add vanilla. You can bake in two round layer pans or a 13 x 9 x 2 pan. Allow to cool, split layers with serrated knife. Mix sour cream, sugar and coconut. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread between layers and over top and side. Chill three days before serving.
Nora Sweat is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.