April 6, 2012
I love Easter! I have claimed it as “my” holiday within our family, planning a big, festive brunch and egg hunt. It’s more than just a hunt and brunch; rather, it turns into a marathon of eating and drinking gathered together in the garden. For me, there is nothing better than visiting with family and friends, playing old-fashioned games and savoring a decadent round of post-lent food and drink that sometimes lasts into the evening.
For decorating the dining tables, I always bust out my vintage eggcup collection to hold small treasures. I line each eggcup with a little green moss and then nestle in a colored egg that my girls have dyed and decorated. It’s charming and personal, plus the moss adds a nice organic feel to the table. Mixed in with the eggcups I’ll place small bouquets in pops of spring colors to make a pretty Easter table.
When planning your menu, look to what’s in season for a delicious, fresh and festive meal. For a large celebration like Easter, I aim to offer five side dishes along with two proteins; this year I’ll be making maple glazed ham and slow roasted salmon. It gives plenty of options for your guests and variety comes in handy when you are feeding kids.
It’s meaningful and fun to mix your cherished childhood traditions with your lifestyle today. In my home this translates to my Italian grandmother’s hardboiled egg, sausage and mozzarella pie finding a place on the buffet table. It’s a decadent and beautiful reminder of my family as it sits beside the healthy and modern quinoa salad with radishes and avocado.
Easter brunch is a time for drinking light wine. We have a term in our house for crisp light bodied wine— “picnic wine“. Whether it’s rose or white, this kind of quaffable wine goes great with a brunch and sunny skies. Don’t be afraid to go to your local wine shop and ask them for suggestions based on your budget. Do yourself a favor and try something new, break out of the oaky chardonnay rut. There are many great wines out there at all price points, and with some knowledgeable guidance I bet you’ll find a new favorite.
For this style of entertaining, it’s nice to set up a bar so your guests can help themselves throughout the party. Make sure to let guests know they are free to help themselves, but it’s a good idea for the host to always do the first pour so everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Always offer plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks, too. From time to time, I’ll circulate with water or wine and top off those glasses. It’s a great way to check in with all of your guests and see how they’re doing.
The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy this day centered on family, friends and adorable children. All it takes is a little planning, fresh ingredients and a sense of adventure to have a memorable and delicious Easter celebration.