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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter at the Top Gun Abode

Our Easter Mantel  - ready for the spring show! photo converted into a water colour via Waterlogue App

Spring is definitely my favorite  season.  I love Easter as well.  I love the colours, the eggs, the rabbits and even the way Easter has become Christmas and Halloween-Light - filled with candy and presents.  To say it was a difficult winter for me is the understatement of the year.  So happy that the warmer light-filled days are upon us.  Our Easter season, coinciding with my job's Passover Holiday was a joyous two-week holiday affair.  I had three days off one week, with a quiet two days back at the office, then two  days off before returning to work.  This gave us a chance to do fun stuff as a family, attend egg hunts, dye Easter Eggs and get the house ready for a small Easter dinner gathering.
Dyeing Eggs
As Nate is now 4 and 1/2 (don't forget the half!) he's really at a fun age where he can appreciate and actively participate in the holiday traditions.  Dyeing the eggs is as much for for us as it is for him, although we had a couple of tearful fits because he wanted to make his eggs as beautiful as the drawings I did on my eggs.  I hard-boiled a few extra eggs for him so he could draw pretty flowers and rainbows on his eggs. 

Take My Picture! So I did, and then turned it into a pretty watercolour
 Always wanting his photo taken, the boy pulled up these decorative garden flowers so that I could snap his portrait.  How can you not oblige him?
Easter is now Christmas-Light
 It's going to be inevitable that as an only child, Nate will be a bit more spoiled than his friends.  Between the things we bought him, a paper rocket ship, puzzles, hulla hoops, candy, more candy and still more candy, Nate made out like a proverbial bandit.  A few times when he opened a gift he said he didn't want or like the item.  Ugh.  But then later, when he would actually see the toy, game, item, he'd be completely into gifts. Typical 4 and 1/2 year old!  The French Bingo game from Aunty Jenny was at first met with scorn.  Later in the day he was totally into it and we've played it several times a day since.  Boys...

A simple tablescape. White napkins tied with butcher's string, embellished with a sprig of flowering pear blossoms
Welcome to the table
Our dinner and the guests list was one of our best gatherings yet.  Second only to the first Christmas in the house.  It was a fun, nice, gentle yet lively gathering.  Nate and Baby Kristina, who's no longer a baby at age 2.  Our Church Friends and Family - Mike and Lise, Roberta (Kristina's mum), our Pastor, Francoise and his wife, Cindy.  Simple yet abundant food.  Good wines, great desserts.  Laughter and good conversations.  What more could you ask for?

Appetizers and Mezze

The cooking bug hasn't bite me in a few months, so my cooking mojo is seriously out of whack.  It was hard to motivate myself to find a menu that enthused me. I didn't want to cook too much or all day.  I didn't want to make anything to labor-intensive.  In short, I just don't want to cook these days.  But I found my inner chef and came up with a nice menu that not only pleased us all, was easy to execute, but gave me some nice photo ops and future blog posts! Plus Wegman's grocery store came to my aid with a nice cheese selection, good produce and an amazing truffle mousse pate.  Our dinner was a selection of crudites with store bought hummus doctored with olive oil and Z'tar seasoning; olives; pate; Beemster Gouda Cheese and my Balsamic Fig Jam and my friend, Casey of Salted Plate's, Honey Curry Mustard.  For dinner I made a "deconstructed" ravioli, with a Pea and Ricotta and Mint Puree (recipe will be posted soon!); stuffed leg of lamb (a pascal lamb!); Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest and Shaved Parmesan; guests brought side salads and desserts - Rhubarb Apple and Ginger Crisp and Apple Pie.  We ate like royalty without the multitude of servants needed to create such a feast!
Our Royal Feast
 The rebirth of the season, the religious philosophy I follow, and the renewed interest in doing things again is what I needed.  Now, if I can find the mojo for exercise of some sort, then I'd be back to my (younger/fitter) old self...

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