It's the Thursday before Easter and I have promised to make the traditional cheese crostada my mother makes for Easter brunch. It occurs to me as I'm out running errands that I had better pick up the ricotta cheese because everything will be closed tomorrow. I stopped at International Cheese a few blocks from my house and see a line-up around the block, mostly Italian men sent to purchase the coveted fresh cheese required at any good Italian's Easter table. The cheese will be made into sweet and savoury tarts, put in soups and eaten fresh and unadorned. I circled the block trying to decide if I want to take the time to wait in the line. I decide yes, I'll wait. If I don't get the cheese I will be in trouble at home, I have to have the good stuff, the supermarket variety just will not do when you producing a cheesecake subject to the scrutiny of tradition. Twenty minutes later I walked out, as every person before me has, with a steaming hot plastic bag filled with curdled gold... fresh ricotta, newly made and still draining whey. I bought one extra to drizzle with honey and eat with a delicious loaf of hazelnut sourdough bread I happen to have at home. I also bought two "trecce" that is, braided fresh mozzarella cheese and a "burrata", also mozzarella but with a centre that is so soft it is nearly liquid (a delicacy rarely found in these parts). I'm glad I took the time to wait! This is a plate I bought in Italy last summer, I love the sheep around the outside. The holes are to let the water drain away from the freshly made mozzarella. Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a place where you needed a dish to like this? I wrote a story on my families traditional easter brunch in the April issue of Canadian Living magazine. You'll find links to the recipe for the ricotta crostada along with the other easter specialties by clicking on this link. Click here to sign up for Christine's Food for Friends e-newsletter!