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easter feasting

Is it just me, or does food bring people together in a special way? There is something wonderful about sharing your table and the fruits of your labours (or someone else’s for that matter). Conversation flows more naturally and small silences go unnoticed as we enjoy the meal.

Years ago, we would split the time of the long weekend amongst family members and others, so we’ve usually had two festive meals: one turkey and one ham. This year is no different, though we have no extended family close by. Our younger two left at home miss having many around over the holidays, so we love to invite friends and acquaintances to make it more celebratory.

As you can see, it’s a tight squeeze in our tiny kitchen! We managed to fit nine in and we could have made room for one more, but she wasn’t able to come. So the one on the end had a little more elbow room!

This year the menu for our Good Friday meal consisted of:

  • Roasted Turkey with herb rub
  • Turkey gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oven stuffing
  • Vegetables: cauliflower, corn and peas
  • Condiments: pickles, chow, and cranberry sauce
  • Hot cross buns
  • Put the Lime in the Coconut Cake

Some helpful hints for preparing a turkey dinner:

  • Turkey generally takes about 20 minutes per pound, but I find it’s often done faster, so keep checking it, basting regularly. I like to make an oil or butter rub with herbs and salt and pepper. Make sure you give yourself time to let the turkey rest a bit before carving.
  • For the gravy, it’s good to make a roux with 1/2 cup of butter or oil and 1/2 cup of flour cooked for a few minutes before added meat juices.
  • I like oven stuffing. I’ve never had consistently good luck with stuffing the bird. Basically, I tear up a whole loaf of bread (I used both white and whole wheat this time), toast it lightly in the oven. I cook 2 onions and 4-6 cloves of garlic in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of butter, adding in herbs (I like summer savoury, sage and thyme). I beat an egg well, add it to 2 cups of stock, mix in the onion combo and pour it all over the toasted bread, gently mixing well. It all goes in a greased dish and is baked for about an hour at 350. Yum!

You must try the “Put the Lime in the Coconut Cake” recipe from Food Network. It’s a little finicky, but totally worth it. The flavour is outstanding! I didn’t put coconut around the sides and I added a little lime zest and a few white chocolate Lindor eggs.

Our Easter Celebration at church includes a “Sunrise” Service, potluck continental breakfast and our regular worship service and communion.

For the breakfast, I’ll be preparing:

  • Paska (orange-y Easter bread)
  • hot cross buns (yes, more…because they were such a hit yesterday)
  • fruit tray
  • colourful hard boiled eggs (of course!)
  • apple carrot muffins

Our ham dinner menu will include:

  • ham (we like the half shank style with bone), no glaze just au naturel
  • scalloped potatoes
  • broccoli with cheese sauce
  • maple-glazed carrots
  • overnight dutch oven bread
  • pavlova with whipped cream and berries (my fav!)

Hope this inspires you as you plan your own festivities. May you have a blessed Easter weekend celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Make wonderful memories with friends and family!

Joining the fun over here:
Friendship Friday at Create with Joy

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