When I was a little girl, we lived with my grandmother for a few years before moving several states away from all of our extended family. Of that time, holidays always seem to stand out in my memories. Easter was no exception.
We’d color eggs the night before, making sure that each egg bore the name of a family member and then, before I went to bed, we’d leave the carton with the colored eggs out on the table. In the morning I’d get up, run to the kitchen table and peer up at all the eggs nestled amongst that cellophane Easter grass on a big silver platter.
One year I swear I saw the Easter bunny hopping away down the driveway, but everyone says I just dreamed that.
Well, last fall my aunt–the youngest of my father’s siblings–was in town and we were reminiscing after dinner and this story came up. Turns out my aunt was in possession of said silver platter (Maw-Maw having passed away while I was in high school, many [many] years ago) and a couple of months ago that very platter was FedExed to me at work.
So this year, with friends coming over for Easter dinner (my family was either out of town or otherwise engaged on Sunday), Todd and I revived that tradition by making everyone an egg with their name on it (plus a few more) and, just before they arrived, set them all out on the tray.
In year’s past I’ve gone to various lengths with egg dying (the year of the plaid-dyed eggs stands out as the most memorable) but this year we went old school–colored dye dots and a wax crayon. Instead of the shredded cellophane, though, I used the edible Easter grass (looks and feels like Styrofoam but is actually pretty tasty)–some things are worth updating!
One of these days we’ll buy a “real” dining room table
With 8 people* for dinner we swapped out our small (yet completely functional) IKEA kitchen table for a folding table and our patio table brought in for extra elbow room. These tables work great but they’re still not wide enough to hold place settings and the serving dishes so the meal was served buffet-style from the kitchen. Except the rolls, those fit on the table.
To dress up the plain ivory tablecloth and plates, I cut egg-shaped place mats from wallpaper sample books and added mismatched napkins from my magpie-like stash (I buy random cloth napkins when they go on sale and use them as covers for hand-bound journals)–no two anything matched. A mini-“basket” (cocktail cup full of candy) at each place-setting finished the suddenly festive table.
The menu was
(deviled eggs, pimento cheese with celery, chocolate covered matzo, & spinach dip with crackers)
Andalusian Lamb (recipe will be posted on Thursday over on Nibbles ‘n Bites)
Roasted Vegetables (red potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, carrots and onions)
Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Salad
Brioche Bunny Rolls
And one of our guests brought Cheesecake for dessert with a choice of toppings. Everything was delicious (though I still need to tweak the dressing on the broccoli/sprout salad, should I ever make it again).
The kitchen table got moved into the library to hold all the Easter goodies. Frankly, I’d hoped our guests would have taken more candy home with them–we still have quite the sugar haul for just 2 people.
After dinner we kept on with the traditions (this time, a newer one) and played a round of Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot, snacked on candy and engaged in light-hearted smack talk as we tried to be the last bunny standing with the right carrot. Todd was that bunny.
It was a wonderful afternoon spent in even better company with enough leftovers that we don’t need to cook for at least another day. A win all the way around.
*we were supposed to be 8, but a couple of last-minute cancellations brought us down to only 6
Food safety note: I’m sure (I hope) my family didn’t actually leave the eggs out all night. Most likely they went back in the fridge right after I went to bed and someone got up very early and set them out before I got up. At least I hope so. Even hard-boiled eggs should be refrigerated, folks.