Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday - a family dinner

"He is not here, but He has risen 
Remember how He spoke to you 
while He was still in Galilee, 
saying that the Son of Man 
must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, 
and be crucified, and the third day rise again." 
Luke 24:6-7 

Yesterday I was feeling just a sick as ever, thinking that I was never going to get well. But today I really felt pretty good, which is great, as I needed to hit the ground running at 7:00 AM. We decided to go to the first service at church, and it was scheduled for 8:15, instead of the usual 9:15.  

Yesterday I had managed to make two cheese cakes and a batch of meringues for an Eton Mess.  But that was about all. Well actually we had cleared off the table and counter in the back room. That in itself was a good accomplishment, as it seems that every surface needs to be covered with stuff in this house.

And I also got the salad dressing made, because I was cleaning in the kitchen and I saw that my gallon of rice vinegar was down to about a half cup.

So I got up this morning, washed my hair, started the French bread, got the cheesecakes into the downstairs refrigerator, and then dear sweet Riley said he'd iron my dress while I dried my hair. Everything went quite well, really, and we were only about 5 minutes late for church.

Guest List:
Heidi and Stephane
Christina, Emily, and Parker
Ken and Marilyn
Annie and Corey
Gramma and Grampa
Bill and Jill


French bread
green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and pears
with an orange vinaigrette dressing

baked ham
scalloped potatoes

gateau au fromage classique
strawberry glazed cheesecake
orange flan
Eton Mess
coffee and tea

After church Riley and I stopped at the grocery store for some half and half and an orange for the flan. When I had made the meringues I had six egg yolks that needed to be made into something, so I chose Orange Flan. Somehow, in between everything I worked on setting the table, cleaning up the toys, and keeping the kitchen mess in order.

We got home, ate a little breakfast, and then we started right in on all the things that needed doing. I started right in on the flan, then I moved on to putting a strawberry jelly on top of one of the cheesecakes. By one o'clock I started the ham. By the time it was in I began to worry about the scalloped potatoes. I had thought that Annie wanted to do it, but I called her and somehow she thought I was going to do it. So I realized I had better get going fast on the potatoes. That was a lot of peeling and cutting. But I finally got it into the oven about 20 minutes late.

So I had the ham in the gas oven, the potatoes in the Miele, the meringues were in the warming cupboard just chilling, and the electric oven was heating up for the bread. I got out all the things for the salad, and just about then Ken and Marilyn showed up. Marilyn volenteered to help with the salad. She also offered to put the bread in the oven, slashing the bread in her own unique little way.

Soon everyone else arrived. My Mom brought me a lovely bouquet of flowers from her garden. Emily arrived in a beautiful dress that had a Central European look about it. And Heidi arrived with eggs for the hunt. Things were fast winding down as people began to settle in. I don't know what they all did, but I did see Riley handing out classes of Scotch. Unfortunately Riley was really tired. I think I should have insisted that he eat a proper lunch.

We all sat down to salad and bread at about 3:30 - not bad really.
Everyone loved the bread. It could have been the new flour that I used - Stone-Buhr Unbleached White Bread Flour. Everyone went right through the bread. The pears were great in the salad. I used some little yellow ones. Parker gave thumbs up to the bread, but he didn't want any salad, and neither did Emily.

By the time we finished the salad course, the main course seemed quite ready. We cleared off the salad plates, and I quickly heated up the asparagus, and got it all on the table, the ham, and scalloped potatoes and asparagus.

The ham was purchased at Costco, and it was labeled Martha Stewart, and the scalloped potato recipe was a modification of on in Martha Stewart's book Entertaining. This was a coincidence, but in fact we found a video on the internet of Martha preparing both the ham and the potatoes. I did not use as much cream as she called for.

I think that it was all just the perfect amount of food. This needs to happen to Thanksgiving. Maybe for Thanksgiving what we need is to have more than one day for eating the food. But that's another talk. People cleared off the table when we were done, and I went into the kitchen to make Eton Mess with the little kids. We had a lot of fun.

Emily broke up the meringue for a while, and then Parker took over and finished the job. We then moved on to assembling the whole think is a big bowl, with Emily on whipped cream, Parker on strawberries, and me on the meringue.

They were pretty proud of the work.

For dessert we also had cheesecakes and orange flan.  The flan was a really big hit.

And to end it all we had an Easter egg hunt. Actually, only Emily and Parker participated, as my children have decided that they don't like doing an Easter egg hunt. This was the first time in 35 years that I did not make Easter baskets for my girls. A bit sad that. But anyway, Christian had great fun hiding the eggs. He too felt that he was too old to hunt for eggs.

Emily and Parker each had very different views of what the hunt was all about. For Parker it was all about the chocolate, and for Emily it was all about the Eggs. So she gave him her chocolate, and he gave her his empty eggs.

"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. 
Let them walk to school like I did."
Yogi Berra 

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