Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Dinner

We usually spend Easter with my uncle's family since his 3 daughters all have birthdays in the spring. But this year since our friends Mr. & Mrs. K are in the PNdub while she's in rotation, we invited them down to have Easter with us. Mr. K is Serbian Orthodox so he joked we were celebrating on the wrong day. Mr. W and Mr. K like to out food each other so this was sure to be a good meal. Preliminary email exchanges included stuffing multiple animals inside each other a'la a turducken, which Mr. W has prepared in the past. But they were starting with gerbils and working their way up to camels. At that point I decided to butt out and just set the table and make a lamb cake for desert.

This the menu they finally settled upon
  • Rabbit confit with artisan pickled shallot wonton appetizer
  • Cheesy wonton appetizer for the children
  • Deviled eggs shaped like chicks hatching
  • Dueling legs of lamb. One with a Herbs de Provence rub, one stuffed with feta, pistachios, Both served with a Bordelaise sauce
  • Hasselback potatoes roasted in butter
  • Steamed asparagus with Hollandaise sauce
  • Fruit salad
  • Dinner rolls with butter lambs
They also served a whiskey cocktail and made their own lavender simple syrup for it.

I made the lamb cake for dessert. I use a pound cake recipe because I have found that while a lighter cake will fill out the mould better, it can't hold up through to being served. The denser pound cake ends up being a bit flatter in the back, but can stand upright on its own. I frosted it with butter cream this year, the recipe in the BH&G cookbook. Mrs. K added a few drops of green food coloring to some shredded cocoanut for the grass and Our Little Helper spread it around to make a nice bed of grass for our lamb cake.

A couple years ago I saw butter lambs on Catholic Cuisine. I found them to be simply adorable, but hadn't gotten around to ordering a mould. With all the talk of cooking baby animals that the menfolk were doing I decided this was definitely the year to add the butter lamb. I ordered the mould and followed the directions from here. They were pretty simple to make and I'm so happy with how they turned out. Mr. W was especially pleased with the butter lambs. We ended up inviting a few of our Jewish and Agnostic friends over in addition to my mother and sister so we had 10 adults and 7 boys. I planned to make a butter lamb for each table. Mr. K felt I really ought to be making individual butter lambs for everyone!

The Ks came down to Portland the weekend before Easter to visit also. The boys spent a lot of time at the markets, meeting the ranchers who raise the lambs and getting a taste test. Also before they returned to Seattle Mr. K left us with a menagerie of eggs. I think it came down to 1 goose, 6 duck, a dozen chicken, and a dozen quail eggs. The night before Easter Mr. K pickled the quail eggs, to be used as garnish for the cocktail, and shallots to be used in the appetizers.
It was like our very own episode of Portlandia!  They also made the rabbit confit on Saturday and I baked the lamb cake.  The next morning the pickled shallots looked so colorful in the wontons.
OLH helped Mrs. K assemble the cheesy poofs. He did a great job of sealing the wonton wrappers.

The boys rubbing their lambs before roasting.

The K's had found a cute photo online for deviled eggs assembled to look like chicks hatching out of the shell. And who doesn't like devilled eggs for Easter.  Mr. K used my recipe for mixing the yolks and they went to town decorating using carrots and olives to create the eyes on beaks.

How adorable is that? The big goose egg in the center is supposed to be a bunny.

Meanwhile I was setting tables. With 17 people total I decided to make a little boy in the Parlor. I set it with a simple white cotton table cloth and a pale blue linen runner and napkins. I was going to use paper plates, but I fell in love with a set of Peter Rabbit ceramic plates at PB. I wasn't going to get them, but a couple weeks later I got an email notification they were on sale so I bought them. I mixed in some of our everyday ivy plates.

I also used some amethyst glass pieces out here for a pop of color.  The vase came with a bouquet sent for my father's funeral; it is filled with pussy willow branches.

The grown ups' table is set with a linen tablecloth and my great aunts Lu Ray dishes. I have filled in with a few serving pieces found on ebay.  She had service for * so I filled in with our everyday ivy plates for Mr. W and me.

I have also added a few Lu Ray egg cups to the collection, which I was going to fill with tiny daffodils, grape hyacinth, and other tiny flowers from the yard, but I have been unable to locate the box with the egg cups and the tea cups since the move. I thought smaller, lower arrangements would be better for conversation, but we went with a large arrangement of tulips for a centerpiece instead.

The boys put together such a wonderful meal.

1 comment:

  1. Now I feel really guilty that we did not do Easter dinner at all, this is beautiful and my Mom would love it!