CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Easter season has its flavors

Published 12:04 am Thursday, April 6, 2023

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Gonna be honest here. Some people go to Easter ham, coconut cakes shaped like bunnies and colorful candy eggs.

I’ll take the chocolate bunnies, but lately my Easter has some old world flavors. I screen “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Godspell” and “The Ten Commandments” during holy week.

It always calls for rather Biblical foods. I’m thinking figs, hummus, fish, bread and dipping oil and red, red wine.

Heraclea samples arrived just in time for my celebration. I always go back to a tidbit I read to buy the best olive oil you can afford. The good stuff truly makes a difference. Look beyond the beautiful bottles and get romantic about the scenery of ancient Mount Latmos, where these olives get a start on the way to your kitchen.

There’s a legendary story of Selene, goddess of the moon, who’s mortal love was put to eternal sleep under an olive tree. So all of that goes into Heraclea.

Here’s my surprise. I figured I’d love the black bottle of mature harvest, to roast, pan fry and marinate. I like hearty stuff. But it turns out it was “love at first press” with the early harvest, with peppery, grassy, fruity notes. Dipping sauces ready. Cue the Easter movies.

Jovial is a brand of organic gluten-free pasta made of brown rice. I invited a gluten-free pal over, and she said I didn’t cook the vegan mac right. So we collaborated on the white cheddar mac & cheeses and she gave it a thumb’s up. I’m sure MOST people can make a box of mac and cheese right the first time. We all enjoyed the end result when we followed the directions right on the package. Easy to keep and easy to make, when you read the box. Learn more at

“Breath for the Soul” – The cabbage soup story is right for this space. This is a book on self-care steps to integrative wellness discussing breath, movement, nutrition, spirit and mindfulness for stress, anxiety, depression and grief. Does that cover everyone?

Jan E. Patterson is an M.D. sharing medical wisdom. Phyllis Clark Nichols is an inspirational writer. I asked my husband to read an excerpt, and he said “I don’t know who this Phyllis is, but she’s got it going on.” She shared the experience of watching Sister Gabby prepare soup for an orphanage in the Guatemalan highlands.

She chopped a giant head of cabbage in a tiny work space with a knife so old and primitive Phyllis couldn’t determine the sharp side. Sister G. acted like this was the most enjoyable thing she’d ever done, because God had provided this food.

Gratitude, baby. Then we get a little lesson on what we eat to keep our bodies healthy. This is just one of the many lessons in “Breath for the Soul.” The bonus was recipes at the end so hey, if almond toast and Spanish lentils with sweet potato are your thing, you’ll love this whole book experience.

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas foodie who’s ready to praise some Easter oils, eggs and chocolate bunnies. Share your culinary adventures with her at