My grandmother was the glue on my father’s side of the family. Every so often for one reason or another the Bachetti’s would gather at her home in Front Royal; catching up with people we probably hadn’t seen since the last get-together. My grandmother would send letters, make phone calls… do what it took to keep the family together. As a boy I never recognized all the work she did behind the scenes. When she passed away we didn’t just lose her. We lost our family.
When you grow up you make your own family, your own tribe. You meet people, you build something, you foster a community, a support system, an ecosystem of love. These are made in part by your blood but also by others you meet in your life. When my grandmother passed away the “looser” family members in each person’s tribe started to slip away, and I’m sad to say no one took up the reigns. I don’t remember the last time I talked with my uncle.
Eventually I learned that most relationships can’t survive without upkeep; not the ones that really matter at least. Without attention they wither and eventually die. Most don’t take much. A letter, a phone call, a photo over e-mail. We all have our ways one one of mine is of course food.
Every Easter we would visit my grandmother and every Easter she’d have for us these delicious peanut butter and coconut eggs. Oh, how I loved them. A few years ago I took up her tradition, making them for my friends and family. The recipe is amazingly simple. If this Easter has you thinking about rekindling some past relationships, consider these as a possible method.
Grandma’s Peanut Butter Eggs – Makes approximately 8 eggs
2 lbs peanut butter
2 sticks butter; room temperature
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
4-5 cups powdered sugar
Mix the peanut butter, butter, milk and vanilla together in a stand mixer on low speed. Slowly add the powdered sugar (to avoid a sugar cloud), scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Don’t worry about over mixing, there’s no flour to over mix. The peanut butter should start pulling away from the bowl, but still stay together. Try balling it in your hands. If it sticks, you need more powdered sugar.
Grab approximately two handfuls and shape into an egg. Place on a wax covered baking pan. Let chill in the refrigerator while you make your ganache (grandma didn’t have a chocolate ganache recipe and honestly neither do I). Pour over your eggs after ganache has cooled but is still liquidy. Let harden in fridge and enjoy.