Easter…a time to celebrate surrounded by family and friends, a time for laughter, nourishment of the soul and the stomach. It’s a wonderful time to prepare for a feast. This was really going to be a special Easter because my Mother and Aunt had come to visit for the weekend.
|Photography by Robert Demetrius|
We were blessed with a glorious day. I flung open all the doors in the house leading to the patio to let the fresh air in. The sun was shining brightly; the air was cool, slightly crisp, so we decided to set up the table on the patio. My hubby moved the dining table on the patio, my Mum kept busy by ironing a crisp white tablecloth, while I chose the glassware and arranged a centerpiece to put on the table. Mornings like these always remind me just how great my life is.
I started early in the morning with preparations in order to be able to enjoy as much time with guests. Now, if my sister were around, she would have said that my true enjoyment is in the preparation. This is so true.
In a short period of time, the table was set. I realized that I had another hour before getting ready. My planning schedule had been timed very well. The serving dishes were out, the carving board, the serving spoons, the glasses and punch bowl for the cocktails…everything was ready to go. We were expecting our guests at 2pm and at 1pm, everything was organized. Enough time, to get ready without rushing.
|Me in my Element!|
Two dishes were in the oven, the timer had been set. By the time we were ready, it would have been done.
|Photography by Felieca A. Cordle|
As the first couple walked in, I was preparing two cocktails, a White Wine Bowle and a Minted Blood Orange Pomegranate Punch.
|Minted Blood Orange and Pomegranate Punch|
I just love starting off with a signature cocktail during my cocktail hour. It gives guests the time to mingle with others, meet, chat and nibble on something while I put the final touches on the meal. The punch was non-alcoholic and each guest had a choice of adding either rum or vodka. We were in for a seriously fun time.
By the time the second couple arrived, bearing 2 bottles of Perrier Jouet, the celebrating was ready to begin.
|Lemony Potted Crab|
Whilst they sipped on their cocktails, nibbling on some Lemony Potted Crab with toast points, I was busy whipping up some chive cream to be served with the Watercress Soup.
|Watercress Soup with Chive Cream|
Because our kitchen lends itself for entertaining, I can enjoy the conversation while doing my thing for the meal. Every thing was really timed to perfection and all the prep work had been done, so it was a breeze.
The inspiration for my Easter Luncheon was from Canal House and of course 1 or 2 of my own recipes.
The first timer went off and the Potato Leek Gratin was ready to come out of the oven. I was enjoying a cup of soup before checking in on my Easter Ham, which was coated with fig preserves, brown sugar, mustard and breadcrumbs. A pot of water for the Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas with Spicy Basil Oil was boiling so I plunked in the Asparagus, then the peas, just for a quick minute, so they remained fresh and crunchy. It really is sad when you have to eat soft and soggy veggies.
As Mum and hubby were helping to move the food out on the patio, I was finishing up the Madeira Sauce for the Easter Ham and plating the Crunchy Fig Dressing.
All that was left, was the tossed greens that was being served with Red Wine Vinaigrette and we were ready for the feast.
Ian Russell from The Wine Barn had assisted in choosing some wines to go with the meal, so we were set.
After lunch we ended the meal on a sweet note, with a Ginger Spice Cake and Chocolate Sauce.
|Ginger Spice Cake|
The afternoon turned into evening and we ended the evening with our friend Tim serenading the crowd by playing the piano. What a great way to end a beautiful day with friends and family!
Check back for the recipes, they will be following!