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Breaking bread with family at Easter

| Thursday, April 8, 2004

With the Atkins diet and other low or no carb eating plans being the craze these days, I think I can safely say that there is one thing that many of us still enjoy, calories and carbs be darned, and that is a good piece of homemade Easter bread. The wonderful joyous holiday season will soon be upon us, and many families have their traditional holiday bread that they make only at this time of year, celebrating the Easter Season in yet another unique way. Russian families make an Easter bread or "paska" bread that is a slightly heavy, yet sweet bread with tons of eggs (15 per recipe). Families in Germany and Austria make a similar bread, but they add raisons and honey, and either braid or twist the bread, pulling it oblong. In Ireland they enjoy "Golden Bread" on Easter Sunday which resembles our French toast. In Poland they enjoy "mazurki," or as we refer to as "nut rolls," filled with ground nuts and fruit, and they also prepare another Easter favorite called "Baba," which is a coffee cake that is prepared in a fluted pan. "Baba" is a provincialism for women, and popular folklore says that the fluted pan is used as it resembles a women's skirt. Families have their different dishes that they prepare, and traditions that they celebrate, but there is one thing that all have in common and that is the sharing of these with family and friends at this Easter celebration. Happy and joyous Easter to all, and enjoy your Easter bread!

Town news follows:

= Beware of the traveling Gnome. He is here, he is there, he is everywhere, and he may temporarily become part of the newest photo essay project being sponsored by the Mount Pleasant Library. Gnomes are being photographed "traveling" through these vast parts, and the creative photographers recording their travels are adolescents and teens with a flair for adventure. If you would like more information on "Gnoming" attend the Teen Sci-Fi programs every Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. or call the library at 724-547-3850.

= Blood pressure screenings are held three times every month at the Mount Pleasant Senior Center. Screenings are held at 11 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of every month and the second Thursday. Early detection of high blood pressure could be a lifesaver. Stop in and have it checked. Also, don't forget to stop in at the center every Tuesday for coffee and donuts. It's a nice way to start your day!

= Attention all business owners who want to increase your business and business contacts. B&B (Breakfast and Business) Mornings have proved to be a huge success and don't be left out of this month's get-together. From 7:30 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Laurel Highland Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them at Jimmy Paul Restaurant to meet others and learn more about area businesses. This networking has already increased some local businesses. Call 724-547-7521 for more information.

= The next ticket being sold by the Mount Pleasant Glass and Ethnic Committee will be going off this Saturday evening, based on the Pennsylvania Lottery drawing at 7 p.m Tickets are only $5 and the winner will receive $500 plus a chance to win the escalating bug. Each ticket contains three, three digit numbers. Hurry and get your ticket now for Saturdays chance -- the next ticket will go off April 24. For tickets, call 724-547-3386.

= Don't forget to sign up for learn to swim classes being held at the Mount Pleasant Junior/Senior High June 7 through July 16. Sign ups are Monday at the Mount Pleasant Township Municipal Building in Mammoth. Open swim is also available on these dates from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 724-423-5653.

= There are still a few tickets left for the big Gun bash and Sportsman Expo being sponsored by the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department. The event will run 1 to 5 p.m. April 24 and will be held at the Westmoreland fairgrounds. Drawings will be held every 10 minutes with the final drawing being at 5 p.m. The last drawing is worth $10,000. Tickets are $20 each, and every ticket holder will receive four, four digit numbers plus free food and beverages. Call 724-423-9540 for information and tickets.

= I want to send out a personal thank you to the person who was kind enough to mail my daughter her school ID card. My daughter, Chelsea, lost her ID and whoever found it, took the time to mail it to the school -- thank you from the both of us, I'm sure your kindness will not go unrewarded in life.

What happened on this day -- A couple first happened on this day through history. The very first fire escape which consisted on a wicker basket, rope and pulley was patented on this day way back in 1766. Milk was first introduced in bottles on this day in 1879. After 204 episodes, the family that help shape America and introduce the catch words "meathead" and "stifle" aired for the last time on this day in 1979. Archie Bunker and the rest of the "All in the Family" cast bid a fond farewell to the American public. Finally, a big "Happy Birthday" to the state of Florida that was discovered today in 1513 by Juan Ponce de Leon, who claimed the land for Spain. The romantic theory is that he was searching for a stream that would restore youth and cure sickness or as we fondly refer to it as, "The Fountain of Youth." However, many historians feel that although he knew of the streams legend from the natives he encountered in the Caribbean, he was actually seeking wealth and new lands to govern.

Have a wonderful Easter!

For comments or ideas, birthdays, or anniversaries, I can be reached at 724-547-0785 or

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