Handel and Easter chocolates: la friture

Easter weekend. When I was a child ('I spoke as a child, I...'), church-going was compulsory. I have (somewhere) badges, tiny pins  they gave us in Sunday School at the end of each year to reward us for 100% attendance. I probably have one for every year from the age of 6 to 18.  I can't remember what happened there, except memorising verses from the Bible, which stood me good stead when I spent Christmas a couple of times in my 20s with Mennonite friends who lived outside Winnipeg. We'd met teaching in Kumasi, Ghana, me as a Canadian (CUSO) peace corps volunteer and them as a trained teachers sent abroad by the Canadian government. Will and Leona Penner and their children. I've lost touch with them, unfortunately, but I do remember sitting around one member of their extended family's living room in a week when their chicken barns were freezing, and everyone reciting in turn a verse from the bible. In my panic--I've never been comfortable speaking in public--I could remember only one verse (John 3:16: 'For God so loved the world...'). No one else said it before my turn came.


Not many Easter memories. In fact the main one is going to church in a hat and sitting in a row in a pew and standing to sing (Presbyterian hymns). Probably the Hallalujah chorus, rendered by the choir. My granddad used to sing in the choir, so it was always good to sing along beside him. Aside from that...?  Well, my French mother-in-law celebrated Easter by giving us wonderful French chocolates, including a specialty called 'la friture': tiny dark and light chocolates in the shape of fishes and shells. Often they were the surprise filling in the huge chocolate Easter eggs she never failed to send us, even when we were living abroad. And of course any French pastry shop at this time of year will have them.