The Last Easter Basket

What a whirlwind I have been living in as of late.  My father-in-law had a heart attack in March and hubby and I had to make an unplanned trip to Dallas.  Then a dear uncle of mine left this world to be with those he loves in heaven.  Hubby had surgery.  A precious little boy is now in the arms of Jesus.  A family Disney World trip and then Easter. 

My father-in-law is doing well.  After spending a few weeks in a rehab facility he is at home.  Hubby is also doing well.  The trip to Disney was wonderful.  The first time ever that both kids, son-in-law and grands were on vacation together.  Money well spent and truly a priceless experience.

Yesterday we celebrated Easter.  The celebration of Christ’s resurrection began for us on Maundy Thursday with a special service and continued on Friday with an outstanding presentation of The Lenten Sketches. 

Easter day was filled with activity.  This year Eric and I attended a sunrise service.  It was a true blessing.  A small gathering of friends from Sunday School.  Everyone took a breakfast item to share and I made a blueberry coffee cake (gluten free of course).  I will get to the recipe in a little bit. 

The Sunrise Service was followed by Sunday School and a very uplifting sermon at church.  About mid-afternoon I crashed and was able to take a much needed Easter nap.  I was a little sad that my children and grandchildren were not here to share the day.  Due to their schedules and illness we will be celebrating Easter as a family this coming weekend.  

Last night was a time of quite and reflection.  I have a photo of me when I was about 2 or 3 years old with possibly my first Easter basket.  Of course I don’t actually remember the basket itself.  I only have the photo to remember.  I do; however, remember my last Easter basket.  Growing up money was tight.

Long after I had passed the age of Easter baskets, Mom gave me money with a list of candy treats to purchase at a 5 and 10 cent store in downtown.  I bought the items and brought them home.  A chocolate covered coconut cream egg was the star attraction.  

Together Mom and I filled a small basket with the Easter goodies and she gave it to me.  The Easter treats lasted several days and of course I shared the sweets with her.  It was a very special time for me.  A memory that I will cherish forever. 

Needless to say the last several weeks have been overwhelming but with the grace of God I have made it through.  Easter is a time of renewal and celebration.  To think that someone loved me enough to give such a supreme sacrifice.  

This morning Eric and I finished off the last of the coffeecake.  I promised to share my recipe with our hostess from yesterday morning.  What better than to also share the memories of my last Easter basket.

The coffeecake is an adaption of the recipe found at King Arthur Flour.  They have absolute the best gluten free products.

Gluten Free Blueberry Coffeecake

Topping

4 tablespoons soft butter
1 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons Gluten-Free Muffin Mix
1 cup chopped pecans
pinch of salt

Cake

6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter

3 large eggs
remainder of Gluten-Free Muffin Mix
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen blueberries, divided
1/4 to 1/3 cup candied lemon peel, chopped
powdered sugar for dusting, optional

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 8″ X 2″ round cake pans.
For the topping place the soft butter, brown sugar, 6 tablespoons muffin mix, pecans and salt in the container of your food processor.  Pulse several times until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside while preparing the cake batter.

Mix the batter, starting with the remainder of the muffin mix, butter or oil and eggs, on medium-high speed until well-blended.  Add the milk, 1/4 cup at a time, blending well and scraping the sides of the bowl between additions. When all of the milk is added, mix on medium-high speed for about a minute or until the batter has thickened. Gently fold in 1/2 cup of the blueberries and chopped candied lemon peel.
   
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s)and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Top with the remaining blueberries.  Sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping.  Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the middle reads 210°F.  Remove it from the oven, and cool.  This can be dusted with powdered sugar if desired.
Yield: about 16 servings. 

As you continue on your journey remember the gift of Easter.  Don’t forget to make memories with those you love.  

  

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