Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Lovely Easter

These are the most glorious few weeks of the year in the neighborhood.  Everything is blooming - irises, wisteria, black locust trees (they drip with white blossoms that smell amazing), the honeysuckle outside my window.  On top of this, my neighbor's goat had triplets and when Jamey and I went for an evening walk on Thursday they were playing "king of the mountain".  And, to boot, I am rereading one of my favorite books of all time, Phillip Keller's A Shepherd Looks At The 23rd Psalm, which puts me in a pastoral mood for days, maybe even weeks.  I prefer the term "pastoral"  to "lazy".  I just want to sit in my chair on the deck and look across the creek at the pasture and the cows for hours....listening to baseball of course.

  And, I made blue eggs.  I saw them online and thought they were beautiful, so I gave it a try myself - the coloring requires boiling red cabbage and vinegar together (yuk!) and then soaking the eggs for about 24 hours.  I got a dozen eggs from my friend PJ because I wanted to see how the color would work on a variety of tans, browns, and aquas.  After they were colored, I put them into a bowl, snapped a photo, then put them in the fridge and gazed upon their beauty for a couple of days.  But really, there's not too much you can do with unpeeled eggs.  So, I eventually pickled half of them, and the other half got deviled.  They were just as delicious as usual at our Easter dinner.
We had nine people around the table (actually two tables, pushed together).  Two of these diners were students (well, three, if you include Grace, who spent the day with us), and one of them, a sweet girl named Ivey, brought me such a wonderful bunch of flowers.   I am bummed to say that I forgot to take a picture of the beautiful and feast-laden table.  I must have been having a really good time eating - especially the most amazing glaze on the ham .  None of us are really 'ham people', but this glaze, a "peach-reisling glaze", was soooo good I could have eaten it with a spoon (and perhaps I did....but only to make sure it was good enough to slather on the ham).
 Here is a picture of our leftovers instead - the extra ham and rolls have been made into baked sandwiches.  And you can see the roasted carrots and grilled asparagus, which I liked a whole lot, and which others politely ate to be nice.  And of course the family recipe pickled eggs and spinach salad.
Oh, and I also bought a flat of the most outrageously wonderful strawberries from the guy who parks his truck at the intersection up the road and sells fruit (maybe he has a big garden?  or a small farm?  or he's an angel?  who knows?!), and we ate a bunch of them with vanilla ice cream and homemade whipped cream.  Seriously.  It was a great meal - two days in a row.
Last but not least, after a wonderful outdoor church service on a hill (more pastoral goodness) there was our Easter tradition of the egg hunt, which has been dominated by Grace for the past, well, let's say 17 years.  I just think it's cute and sweet and hilarious that they want to continue to go hunt for eggs around the yard.  We use candy-filled plastic eggs, and here's a lesson I learned this year:  don't use chocolate-coated almonds on a warm sunny day, or you will end up washing all the eggs out by hand.  But still, it was fun to watch the kids romping around the yard just like they did when they were little.  (They just had birthdays, turning 20 and 17....WHAT?  How on earth has that happened?)
It sure was good to enjoy our lives as we celebrated the possibility and promise of eternal life.  

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