I’ve always had a thing for Easter. Maybe its because my birthday would fall on Easter when I wasyoung. Maybe I just love bright colors, longer days, and the purple and white crocuses that spring up in random yards. When I recall a memorable meal at Alinea, it is, predictably, the hyacinth scented lobster course that still resonates to this day. Or perhaps it’s just not having seasonal allergies.
This year the excitement for me was to host our family gathering at our Chelsea apartment, the first hosted holiday of our marriage. Bring out the Bernadaud, the Waterford, and of course the colorful clothes. Spray painted raffia nests, hollowed out eggs
I set to work weeks in advance planning the decor and menu. I ordered a smoked ham and suckling lamb from Dickson’s Farmstand and planned an english pea and mussel soup course. Yet the real novelty for me was getting carried away with the ‘arts and crafts box’.
My living room is small, but with the antique table and accompanying leaves, boywas my table going to be grand. I started by hollowing a dozen eggs. This is most easily done by poking a hole with a nail at the base of a raw egg, and then taking a pin and making a tiny hole at the top. It’s quite easy if you blow through the pin hole to get the egg out of the shell, but if you’re not into making out with a raw egg, widen the large hole and use a flexi-straw. I boiled the hollow eggs briefly and then dyed each by filling glasses with 2T white vinegar each, boiling water and food coloring.The eggs sat in the dye for 2-5 min and then dried on a cooling rack overnight. After procuring a bag of gift basket ‘hay’, as Harper called it after seeing it scattered through the house, I separated it into long clusters about 2″ wide and lightly twisted each into birds nests. I then spray painted each with gold glitter spray paint, a necessity to every craft bin! The next day, with gold acrylic paint and a fine brush, I painted each guest’s name on an egg to be placed on the ‘nests’ for the seating arrangements. Harper laughed at my excitement, I giggled and ran out to buy various fresh tulips, hyacinths and daffodils before starting the cooking.
Its fun to put the time and effort into making a family gathering memorable and special. The best was thinking how whatever names I painted on for my parents, someday we’ll pull them out of their safe storage and help the kids repaint Nani, Poppy, Grammy, or Grandpa.