Hello! Happy Easter! What a wonderful day. By popular demand (100% of blog comments yesterday - 2 of 2 - requested a photo of the twinkling eggs), here's the photo, thanks to a very fancy camera-phone-Angry Bird player.
That's it for the artsy chat, so click on to your next blog unless you're interested in our day today. We got up really early to go to the sunrise service at 6 am, which was so lovely. All four of us went and it was very special. DD1 said when we woke her at 5:30, "My eyes are open, but I'm still asleep." DD2 required the slight incentive of an Easter egg hunt when we got home from church and then she was all right. After the service, there was a delicious breakfast at the church, which was so nice to share with our friends there. Then home for an Easter egg hunt and checking out the goodies in the Easter baskets. That dear little Easter bunny brought some more Playmobil mermaids to round out the set, much to the girls' delight. And he brought hubby some fancy Belgian chocolates, and he brought me some Caran d'Ache watersoluble pastel crayons. Yay! Many chocolate eggs later, it was time to go to church again (hubby and DD1 are in the choir) and it was the full-on pageantry, complete with trumpeters and flowers everywhere and favourite hymns all around. It was a wonderful service, with the church packed to the rafters. Then home again for some quiet time and a well-earned nap, some playtime outside in the gorgeous sunshine, and hubby even got the parkas and snowpants dried on the line, a sure sign of spring! The birds are really active now, even saw a pileated woodpecker in the woods behind the house yesterday! There are cardinals nesting in the cedars beside the driveway and the chickadees are everywhere. I love it!
Around 4 my brother and his family arrived for the Easter feast and we had a lovely visit, and my sister-in-law saved the green bean casserole with a quick dart home for sour cream, which I'd forgotten in the big grocery run yesterday. Good thing too, because the only alternative was a mushroom-laden recipe, which would have strained the good will of at least half those around the table. As it was, the beans were only a hit with the grown-ups. Still, I shamelessly played to the crowd and received accolades from the under 9 set for my Kraft Dinner à la boîte. There were actual cheers and dancing when it was revealed that we were having it. My only fear is that I've set a dangerous precedent..... Nigella's ham in coca cola was unbelievably easy and marvellously delicious. Our hams here don't have that nice layer of fat on the outside so it didn't look like the picture, but it was still really good. It did get nice and burnished on the outside nonetheless. And the Joy of Cooking scalloped potatoes (with a tweak in preparation thanks to Jean Paré, who suggests making a white sauce instead of dredging potatoes in flour - definitely an improvement as it would quickly have become drudging with that many potatoes very thinly sliced....) were perfection - silky and delectable. I also sautéed the onions before adding them, which made them much nicer in the final dish I think, and not much effort for the payoff. The green beans had fresh lemon in them, which was very nice, and the coleslaw was the perfect zingy crunch in contrast to the other things. I also had a delicious beet chow chow out, which was quite vinegary and crunchy, and very nice with the ham. The chocolate lime cheesecake for dessert was wonderful too - and quite tart with all those fresh limes, but with the sublimely velvety texture of really good cheesecake. My sister-in-law brought a raffle cake she made (and won!) for the school bake sale, very cute in the shape of an Easter egg, all decorated with candy. The kids were so excited about that. A wonderful day all around. So much to be grateful for, so much abundance, not merely on the table, but all around it, and those dear ones absent from the table are missed and ever in our hearts.