Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Easter Decorating...and Palm Sunday dinner

I haven't shown any photos of my Easter preparations and the girls are in their spring dresses in light pastels with Easter chicks and bunnies . 

I also decorated my white tree for Easter as well. This was a big tradition with my mother, who always had an 'Easter' tree, not a regular green tree, but a white branch tree that she put eggs on. She would also decorate an outside tree in the yard with eggs on colored ribbons way before Palm Sunday , usually one of the dogwoods. 

This year I haven't gone so far as Mom used to, but I did get Ellie Mae Poppy her tree and her critters - her chicks and bunnies. 

I used to love the Beverly Hillbillies as a kid, and this Poppy Parker reminds me of Ellie Mae Clampett. 

The dolls were all on my antique table in the dining room, holding chicks along with Beau, the elf on the shelf and Pokey, his reindeer sidekick

When I was young, Easter was a huge holiday at our house. As big as Christmas.  My mother and I shopped for Easter outfits, and about  one or two days before Easter Sunday, Mom would go and pick up the Easter orchids she and I would wear.  You didn't wear a white orchid unless your mother had passed away, she always made a big deal out of that, I remember when I wanted to wear a white one that I admired because it was pretty when I was about fifteen. As I got older, I also used to wear hats because they had come back into style because of Princess Diana had brought them back into vogue in the early 80's. 

We used to go to the sunrise service, in the nearby park, that had a cross landscaped in azalea bushes, and it was beautiful if it was warm enough and bloomed on Easter. Afterwards our family always met friends for breakfast- this was a tradition that continued even after us kids were grown with our own spouses , and children, even if we had our own Easter tradition, services we went to. It has died out now that the families have grown apart and are very scattered. We would then go to Sunday School and regular church, then finally home to dinner. 

My mother and stepdad (my dad died in 1969) would cook a ham like the way my stepdad's mother cooked it, and it took a couple of days since it was a Smithfield. You had to soak it to get the pepper and salt off, then slow boil it, then bake it. My dad would diamond slice it with pineapple and cherries and that wonderful syrup he poured over it. It was usually ready by Easter eve and allowed to sit in the oven cooling, we would have ham biscuits for a quick snack before going to sunrise service. 

Mom always made deviled eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a pickle tray, and other items, like salad, maccaroni and cheese- my favorite, she varied her side dishes year to year.  Sometimes she just did homemade potato salad instead of mashed potatoes.  

This year for Palm Sunday dinner I fixed ham steaks with pineapple rings, dressing with onion, and scalloped corn, and cole slaw, with water and lemon , we also had peach iced tea. 

I tried to decorate the table Easter-ey, with the vintage table cloth, a big floral centerpiece, not real, the flowers are silk so they will last all week. My vintage bunnies.   

The main courses were too hot to bring and put on the table...

Ham steaks with pineapple rings. I made a syrup with brown sugar, the pineapple juice from the can, and a dash of ginger ale, and cooked or baked the steaks in the oven in that, covered with tin foil on 325 heat 

This is the pepperidge farm herb dressing, the whole bag. I used chicken broth, a whole Swanson 16 ounce box of broth to make mine in, then buttered the dish and sprinkled dice onion on it, and baked it for about 15-20 minutes. I usually put bacon on top, but forgot to pick it up this shopping trip. 

Scalloped corn. I made it from the recipe in the recipe book, but I might modify the recipe because it needed more kick . It contains 4 cups of corn, 1 tablespoon of diced onion, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 3 tablesppons of butter melted, 3 eggs, beat, 1 cup of milk, 30 crackers, divided (you put half in the mix and half on top for the crust, but they must be crushed) salt and pepper to taste mix it all together, then pour in a buttered baking dish, and bake for 1 hour at 325 until a knife testing it comes out clean. It should have a crispy crust and should have  a custard creamy texture. In my opinion it should have more onion and should have been made with canned milk or cream, to give it a richness. 

Am now planning my Easter menu which is going to be more pork as I have a shoulder and am going to do deviled eggs. I haven't done a lot of cooking but it is fun trying new recipes and my husband loved the scalloped corn. 

Hopefully I will have some new Easter photos for you of my old Easter basket all decorated too, soon! Happy decorating!

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