Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Dinner

As regular readers of my blog can attest, I love to cook for friends! So it was with joyful enthusiasm that I went about preparing a festive Easter dinner for my good friends Robert, Jan and Jesse this weekend. I chose menu offerings that would feature traditional dishes but would also be low-fat and healthful. Here is the Easter dinner I planned:
Assorted crudités with roasted red-pepper hummus
Gorgonzola-stuffed green olives
Classic deviled eggs (from eggs I dyed last weekend at my park program)
Sherry-Cointreau sangria with stone fruit

Greek-style leg of lamb with new potatoes
Bibb lettuce salad with haricots verts, hardboiled eggs, cucumber and feta dressed with lemon-cider vinaigrette
Roasted cauliflower "popcorn"
Chateau de Segries Lirac Rhone, 2009 (from Robert and Jan)

Oat shortcakes with yogurt-vanilla filling and fresh strawberries
Pear tarts
Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz, 2003
Once I had the sangria and deviled eggs prepared, the shortcakes baked, the lamb and potatoes in the oven and the salad and crudité fixings chopped and assembled, I started to think about what to wear to my Easter dinner. I settled on a spring-green tunic with tortoise-shell patterned embellishments circling the neck by M Collection for Macy’s, which I paired with my favorite vintage slacks, stretchy black travel pants I bought at JCPenney when I worked there in the 1970s.

For jewelry I chose treasured family heirlooms: a carved jade Aztec mask on a gold chain and matching carved jade earrings that my father bought my mother while they honeymooned in Mexico in 1953. I added a fashion ring of green beveled glass that was a gift from my best friend’s mother, Joyce, and a chunky bracelet of green and purple beads that was a gift from my dear friend Judy in Dallas. I slid into my comfy high-heeled platform loafers by Studio Paolo for JCPenney and dashed back downstairs and into the kitchen to put the finishing touches on dinner.
I set my antique dining table with my grandmother’s heirloom china and gold flatwear that was a gift from my mother in 1980, adorning each place setting with a basket of Easter chocolates and jelly beans. I sprinkled confetti of tiny irridescent pink bunnies over the tablecloth and nestled a few dyed eggs from last weekend's park program into a crystal bowl.  Everything was ready.

My guests surprised me with a beautiful yellow Easter Lily and a bottle of wine, and brought contributions of potato krugel, spinach souffle and an assortment of unleavened pastries left over from their Passover dinner the night before. I introduced everyone to my new kitty, Ember, and they were instantly as smitten as I was with her affectionate nature and playful personality.
As my guests spun tales of their recent adventures on an extended trip to Poland and Russia, we ate heartily and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. It was a wonderful evening.
Happy Easter.

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