Coming up with the perfect Easter menu was tricky. And Ian says that I always make too much. Not that I make a bunch of one dish, but that I make far too many dishes. I believe folks ought to have options when they're sitting at a strange dining table.
After leafing through a few cookbooks I decided on what to make. Once that decision was made, I called my mother-in-law, Barbara and asked her to bring deviled eggs, green bean casserole, rolls, and her fluff. I thought I'd written about the fluff previously. But I have not. It's deceptively simple, versatile, and very good. Barb talks up it's low-cal specialness, but I'm not convinced of that. Ingredients include a box of vanilla pudding, buttermilk, cool whip, and any fruits you want; Barb usually does mandarin oranges and pineapple. I've made it with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Then I asked Aleda to bring her sweet potato casserole; the one with mega-sized marshmallows topping it. She brought cheese and crackers to snack on and also a plate of deviled eggs, which was good because otherwise we would have run out.
Most of my inspiration came from Nigella Lawson this holiday, though I did use a Martha Stewart recipe as well. And, sadly, I took no photos of this feast. Cooking for two days, and cleaning the house, then being the ultimate hostess left me no time to fritter away behind a camera. Take my word for it, my meal was aesthetic. In fact, Andrew, my brother-in-law who loves Giada De Laurentis and is quite the burgeoning foodie with all the right kitchen equipment, complimented me on such a colorful menu. He liked that the food was Not all the same color. I'm glad he noticed. Variety is something I strive for on the dinner plate.
Aside: Jennifer's mother told this story the last time I was at Jen's house. There was a couple she knew, probably worked with. The man was quiet and rarely spoke. The woman likely was not quiet. And she had the task of cooking dinner for him every evening.
After sampling his food one evening, he raised his head and spoke: Everything is the same color. He lowered his head and resumed eating.
The next night as he he sat at the head of the table, his wife placed his plate in front of him. A grin flitted across his normally expressionless face: Each item was a different color! His wife used food coloring to tint the mashed potatoes blue, the macaroni red, and the cauliflower green.
- Ham in coca-cola (amazing, really! Everybody loved its taste and the fact it was cooked in a 2 litre of coke) from Nigella Bites
- Lemon, mint, & spinach salad (Nigella's, I think from Forever summer )
- Macaroni & cheese (from Edna Lewis's Gift of Southern Cooking)
- Carrot w/ horseradish casserole (modified from Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking)
- Raw beet with dill & mustard seed salad (from Nigella's Forever summer)
- Cabbage & Bok choy with basil chiffonade (the Martha recipe)
- Damp apple & almond cake (from Nigella's Feast) probably not a repeat;
- Chocolate Guinness cake (from Nigella's Feast) super yummy & I don't like chocolate cake even;
- Blackberry & apple kuchen (from Nigella... maybe Forever summer or Feast) eh... this one made my back ache the next day from kneading the bread dough.