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04 April 2013

My Very Grown-Up Easter

This year is the first year I attempted to cook Easter dinner for my family and friends. I've been wanting to have a gathering at the new place for some time now, but it never seemed to work out. Weather and family emergencies and vacations all seemed to get into the way. But Easter seemed to be coming together. We were expecting JD's brother, sister-in-law, and niece, dad, and step-mom, and we had also invited my favorite Durham family. I was planning to make some of my Mom's recipes that remind me so much of my childhood.

I remember as a kid, in the first house we lived in, Easter always seemed to be on a sunny day. Mom would make a ham with cherries and pineapple and a brown sugar glaze (which I found out was not actually her recipe but rather my dad's sister's) and a pineapple upside down cake. We'd always have scalloped potatoes and other tasty morsels. I remember that my uncle Marvin would always bring something cool to entertain us kids. I specifically remember the giant electric airplane that he flew around our backyard for hours. It was great fun, and, faced with a new chapter in my life, I've been feeling nostalgic. Plus we always eat Southern food around here (we do live in NC, after all), so I wanted to bring some of my own traditions to the table ... literally.

Easter morning started rainy and dreary and with a sick pup. Pickles ate something the day before, and he was certainly not feeling well. He couldn't get comfortable and he whined non-stop. JD finally decided that he needed to go to the emergency vet. So, at 7am, we loaded into the car and drove through a rainstorm to get him seen. They performed x-rays and an exam and determined that he had eaten WAY too much food but, thankfully, didn't have an obstruction. The vet felt confident that, with a day fasting and some meds to ease his tummy, he'd be fine. So back home we went.

By the time we got home, it was after 10. The ham needed to be in the oven by 11 to make our 1pm dinner time. Sadly, despite being ready to go to church, I didn't get to attend. I jumped into dinner-prep. I started with my ham, putting it all together just like Mom told me to...

Before the over
After the oven. Yum!
 I also made Mom's pineapple upside-down cake. It turned out so pretty!! It was also an interesting experience because, since the recipe is old school (like Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1970), I had to use Crisco in the batter. But, oh my Lord, that cake tasted DIVINE!

One of my favorite desserts EVER!
We had three kids coming to dinner, so I made sure to have lots of candy and sweets on the tables. Plus, they made for pretty decorations!

All in all, we had 12 people at dinner, and everyone seemed to be happy. My scalloped potatoes were a little underdone, but the cheesiness of them helped compensate for that. The broccoli casserole was yummy as well. My guests brought a nice green salad, some tasty wine, and a chocolate cake for dessert. By the time we were done with dinner, the rain had subsided and the sun had started to shine. The kids even got a little outdoors time. 

So, for my very first grown-up Easter, I think it was quite the success! Good friends. Good food. And good wine. Cheers!

Update: Pickles the pup turned out to be fine. After a day of nothing but sleep and no food, he finally "passed" a rather large chunk of rubber that he had chewed off of a rug. Which, in all honestly, I'm surprised that it didn't cause an obstruction. That thing was HUGE! And now he's back to his normal self. And I'm trying to forget the fact that he BITE me and I'm excusing it because he didn't feel good. :)

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