Nourishing Update

What I neglected to mention in the previous post was that on Saturday night around 8:30, I realized that since our Easter plans with Tuan's folks had not worked out, we had nothing planned for Easter dinner--this is "crazy talk" for me, since we've always spent Easter with my folks and kin. Our Sunday lunches are typically quick and easy since we leave for Mount Olive at four o'clock and want to get maximum rest, but it just seemed strange to eat egg salad sandwiches on Easter and without company!

Tuan and I decided to just ask around and see if anyone was in town and not "going home" for Easter, then invite them for dinner! My sweet, adventurous and compliant friend Caroline agreed to come, along with one of our summer staff: Matt L, a Belhaven student from Massachusetts. We roped in Sonny, too, so dinner was on!

Did I mention it was 8:30? I didn't have time or desire to go to Wal-mart, Kroger, or Fresh Market (ha-ha) so a pantry raid was in order, and I have to say that when you put tremendous pressure on our pantry and freezer, all sorts of things come out. The biggest problem was the scant quantity of ground beef--the ONLY meat in the house apart from some turkey pepperoni (and I refuse to serve turkey pepperoni on Easter Sunday--it just seems wrong), but that was resolved with the below meatloaf idea.

Here's what the great pantry raid of '09 yielded.

Easter Menu

Homemade Hummus w/ chips

Caroline's fabulous vegetable salad
Deviled Eggs for Days
Meatloaf w/lentils and brown rice
Smashed/fried potatoes
Roasted baby carrots
Black-eyed peas
Fried Okra
Whole wheat biscuits w/ Molasses
Cherry tomatoes and green Olives

Our guests had to wait a good while after church for everything to cook, so the hummus came in handy. We finished out meal and played a game of Settlers and ate some Ghirardelli chocolates for dessert. It was lots of fun to spend time with these friends and family, and it was a good experience for me to practice hospitality on a whim and have folks over impulsively without deep cleaning and "polishing the silver". I enjoy the deep cleaning and polishing of silver part, but hospitality isn't defined by that.

So, to rate the meatloaf and biscuits: The meatloaf was good and crusty, I thought, but Tuan said it needed fewer lentils. : ) The biscuits were yummy, said Tuan, but I plan to use a bit less flour or more moisture next time. Using whole wheat pastry flour might have helped, had I had it. I will say, that if you try the biscuits, don't despair when the dough seems unbearably thick and unwieldy. The entire recipe felt counter-intuitive for biscuit making, but produced a really fun, layered biscuit.

Johnny and Aubrey alternated naps during all of the festivities, so they didn't get their Easter basket until after supper. This was the first year of Easter baskets and we have decided to do a family basket each year. Johnny got so excited when he pulled the big, hollow chocolate bunny out of the basket. He tore into it and pulled off that foil wrapper and proceeded to set it on the ground and play with it. Not eat it, but play with it. It was totally lost on Johnny that this was an edible chocolate bunny! He and Aubrey shared a bite of the ear and then there could have been a feeding frenzy, in the likes of the bunny binge of Rack, Shack and Benny, but the now, deaf bunny was rescued--for the moment!

Hope you all had a blessed Easter as well.

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