We snuck away to a cabin in West Virginia last weekend for what seemed like the first really summery getaway I’ve had this year. Our hosts were old friends of Ben’s family, who are some of the most gracious folks you can imagine. They’re the type of people who love traditions, both new and old. Generally, those traditions involve a lot of food shared around a table on their big front porch, overlooking the mountains and the south branch of the Potomac river. The crab feast of last weekend is one of the newer traditions; but their celebration of “Russian Easter”, which takes place in the spring, is an event that dates back to the childhood of our hostess’s late mother. They have an astonishingly detailed documentation of these yearly celebrations in album form, complete not just with photos, but with the menu and guest list from each year, as well as a beautifully written introduction that explains the roots of the celebration. I spent hours poring over 60s- and 70s-era photos and painstakingly typewritten descriptions of “Poor Man’s Caviar”, exquisitely distilled vodka, and “the abundance of their table.” They’ve also compiled a Russian Easter cookbook, complete with all the wonderful cheese-, cream-, and dill-laden dishes you’d expect from a Russian recipe—but I’m saving those for some more appropriately colder months.