There was always something miraculous about Easter when I was growing up. Yes, the miracle and message of Easter for Christians is extraordinary and powerful.

Now that I am an adult with grown children and grandchildren, I can appreciate the miracle that happened each Easter as a kid in my house. We three sisters would get up to find candy-filled Easter baskets waiting for us. We were allowed a little time to gobble down a sugary breakfast before cleaning up and putting on our Easter outfits for church. Then it was off to Sunday school and church before coming home to Easter dinner.

That’s where the miracle happened. It was always ready to go on the table when we got home. Lace tablecloth and Mom’s good china and silverware were brought out for the meal. We carefully set the table, mindful not to “ding” the dishes and make sure the fork was on the left, knife and spoon at the right of each plate. There would be ham, scalloped potatoes, vegetables, rolls, a jello salad and some kind of dessert, usually with coconut and whipped cream (not Cool Whip). Looking back at the feast of 60 years ago makes me think it was nothing short of a miracle to get everything timed to the moment we came home from church. Remember there were no slow cookers, microwaves, insta-pots, air fryers. We never even got an electric percolator until I was in high school. Mom’s biggest convenience back then was a Teflon-coated electric skillet with avocado-colored lid. And of course, she had a couple of daughters old enough to help get everything to the table. Youngest sister usually had a pretty good sugar buzz going by the time she got to the table.

This year, we can finally get together with family we haven’t seen since before the pandemic. It will be a potluck meal so maybe I will take something from this week’s recipes. A blessed Easter to all of you.

Maybe ham isn’t your thing for Easter. There are lots of great dishes that can replace it. This shrimp dish would dress up any dinner table.

1 (8 oz) package angel hair pasta

1 lb raw peeled and deveined shrimp, slightly thawed if frozen

½ c grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook angel hair in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain.

2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

3. Cook and stir shrimp in a skillet over medium heat until slightly pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli; cover skillet and let broccoli steam, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Spread angel hair pasta over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with shrimp and broccoli. Pour Alfredo sauce over shrimp and broccoli, cover sauce with Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is slightly browned, about 20 minutes.