Easter’s Cutest Traditions

When you travel as much as I do, you tend to lose track of the various holidays. Fortunately, we’re often bombarded with constant reminders whenever making the weekly CVS/supermarket run (whose shelves are lined with seasonal frippery months in advance). When Easter rolled around, I had a different reminder: my roommate Jenn had decided to give her Artist Diploma recital on Good Friday. She asked me to bring some form of dessert, and it was all too easy to give in to Easter’s colorful traditions with these Mint-Chocolate Birds’ Nests.
I never imagined I would be placing a package of crunchy chow mein noodles into the same camera shot as a bag of Cadbury chocolate eggs…yet here they were – two food products whose chance pairing make an adorable, crunchy delight. The only time I’d ever used chow mein noodles had been as topping for a chicken stir-fry…a far fetch from chocolate. Though labeled as “noodles”, they are actually cracker-like in both taste and consistency. This otherwise bland flavor makes them an easy complement for a variety of dishes.
These are extremely simple to make, and can be assembled in a matter of minutes. The first time I made them was with butterscotch and peanut butter. Looking for a new flavor profile, I added a dash of peppermint extract…and oh my God they were good! The perfect combination of crunch and sweet, these are a quick and easy way to entertain and delight your friends – click HERE to see how to make these adorable treats.
Considering I made these for my roommate’s recital (which was a phenomenal concert!) it was only fitting that the musical pairing be a piece she performed. Her program began with two Good Friday arias, and I chose the first of these for my pairing: “Endlich wird mein Joch” from Cantata BWV 56.  Bach composed this cantata in October of 1726 during his time as Cantor at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. “Endlich” is one of the more uplifting arias from this otherwise somber cantata, celebrating the “end of suffering”. The translation is as follows:

Finally, finally my yoke
Must again be lifted from me.
Then I shall battle in the Lord’s power,
Then I shall be like an eagle,
Then I shall ascend from this earth,
And soar inexhaustible.
Oh, may it happen yet today!

The joyous tone of the piece perfectly complements these delicious treats, with the lyric “like an eagle” serving as the obligatory literal piece 🙂 She performed the piece with my very dear friend Tim Wilfong singing the baritone line (who did a fabulous job!) The recording below is with oboist Marc Lifschey (one of THE American oboists, according to Jenn) and baritone Mack Harrell. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_589br3HP8

Sources Cited:
“Cantata #56 ‘Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen'”, Bellingham Festival of Music
“Helmut Rilling interprets Bach Cantatas,” www.drmm.net

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