Green Bean Mustard Rosemary Salad..

Note:  This blog was begun late in Holy Week and has been added to throughout.  The last entry will be on Easter Monday  when I will hopefully have time to pull the whole shebang together.  Until then, sing a new song, friends.
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Earlier in the week:

The wind is blowing, oh, about 50 miles an hour–no joke.  It kept me up half the night.

Hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on its way…………….

Perhaps in the south, way in the south, the weather is conducive to and making like Easter.  Maybe in Mississippi or Alabama, the grass is way green and the tulips are waving their pretty little heads, showing off their Easter bonnets.   Maybe in Mexico.

But here, up on the Mesa near the foothills of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, winter must howl its way out of existence.  There is no ushering in like a lamb.  Out here, it’s all lion.   While the air has warmed up enough to turn off the heat for one or two days (and to give up baking), every few days there is still a snow or wind storm and we’re reminded that we are not in charge here.  Snow and Easter lilies; these are my favorite sorts of (and the typical Colorado spring) combinations.  So, it’s really like this:

Baby, it’s cold outside….

There is one hopeful, tiny row of daffodils in an extremely sunny spot down the street.  Huh.

And once more, the seasons of Lent and Advent mix and murk-up life.  I once had a friend who said, “It isn’t Christmas unless you find a piece of Easter grass under the sofa when you’re cleaning.”   As I dig through the junk drawer, looking for a little Easter bauble for the table, I come across Christmas ornaments that didn’t make it into the box in the attic.  Or I see a snowman I missed at the top of a bookshelf.  Just when I think I am ready to believe grace is mine, it seems I’m thinking about waiting for the messiah to be born in my heart.  Ah, gee.

No only that, but in my faith, huge, magnificent, screaming winds are not for Easter.  The are for Pentecost, the birth of the church.  I dunno.

And, by golly, I blogged unleavened bread last week.  Ok, I’m confused for sure.  But, if you’re celebrating Passover, check out our Chinese meal and  fix the green onion pancakes, which are not really pancakes, but tasty chewy flatbreads cooked on top of the stove in a skillet.  Rolling the eyes and taking a big breath here.

Meantime, I’m believing Easter will come.  The winds will die down.  I’ll make it through Maudy Thursday and Good Friday services.  I’ll cook through the Saturday vigil.  And, like the rest of the world, I’ll wait to be saved.  Or free.  Or sinless.  Guiltless.  Clean.  Loved.  New slate.  Ready, set, go.

Again.

This year, our brunch is capital “S” Simple.  Friends are coming and bringing part of the meal.  I won’t be putting the whole thing together until Sunday after church, but will do a trial run of a quiche for grins, giggles and fotos.  I’ll gear up the table (which will be filled with grass, eggs, chocolate, etc.) a bit and get it all together for you, but will try to get more complete photos as I work on the meal over the weekend.  Perhaps I’ll be better with the camera than I was on a regular writing/photography gig today.  When I arrived at Patsy’s Candies to take pictures for an article, my battery was dead in the camera.  This from a woman who spent the $50 to have a BACKUP BATTERY and left it at home.

You see how it is this week.  This blog will be a work-in-progress.  Like all of us at Easter.

 Or anytime.

Ok-The bread- Columba de Pasqua- is first.  I couldn’t get it to work in the shape of a dove, the traditional shape.  Instead, I have a braid.  I guess we’ll eat it.  Made on Thursday afternoon-evening, I’ll freeze it and unthaw it Sun.

  Ok, it’s Saturday afternoon, April 3-Happy Birthday, Emily- (and I promised this would be a work in progress.) and next up are two of the quiches.  There were three.  One was in an old tart pan that gave way in the oven and leaked.   (Like a lot of old … oh, for goodness sake, I’m not going there, but you get the drift. ) The custard baked in the bottom of my big oven.  I’ll include a pic of that, too.  So, oven cleaning was part of the mix…  Anyway.  One quiche is bacon, ham and swiss and the other is a green chile quiche that is called “Betty White’s Mexican Quiche” and I’ve had the recipe for 30 years from Sue.  Fun.

Above:  Bacon and Ham Quiche  outdoors on the deck table. It’s now 65.
               (Read all about making quiche in my Quiche 101 article.)

Above:  Betty White’s Mexican Quiche
Above:  This is how a quiche that wants to bake on the bottom of an oven looks.
The oven was so dirty anyway that it was a blessing that this thing happened.  Right.

Above:  Lidia’s Limoncello Tiramisu.  Good thing I made it before the oven disaster because I might have stopped cooking at that point if tiramisu was still ahead.  This stuff is limonsinful.  Recipe at epicurious.com.

I still have to do the table.  No, it isn’t done yet..  Sunday morning I’ll do the beans and Sunday at 12:00 noon, I’ll put the last quiche in the oven.  The shell is chilling and the filling is cooked and in the frig.
Sunday promises to be 60 and sunny.  Thanks, God.

Sunday night:  Well, the brunch went on for 4 or 5 hours, depending on who you were.  We had four more people show up than I thought were coming.  Good thing I always cook for a crowd.  I made one more quiche (no pic–maybe tomorrow of the leftovers) that was turkey Italian sausage and veg from http://www.perfectpantry.com/ (go Lidia).  There was more than we needed and here we are at Sunday night and I’m just reading MY ANTONIA by Willa Cather for my book club.  That’s all.  More later!
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 Pftzz:  Here’s my current plan.  For food, that is. (Written Wed or Thurs? Alyce plans; God laughs.)

Menu
Starters:  Smoked salmon/ lemon, capers,  minced red onions
                 Deviled eggs (Dave will make- out of my dyed eggs.)
                 Mimosas
                Mains:   Quiches:  Lorraine, Italian sausage/veg, and seafood
                Manicotti (Jeanne brings)
               Fresh Green bean salad (blogged last year)
               Fresh Fruit Salad (Sara brings)
               Polish Easter bread (Jeanne brings)
               Alsatian Riesling or Australian Rose (Carlei)
Dessert: Limoncello Tiramisu (a Lidia recipe!)
              Colomba di Pasqua (Italian E. bread shaped like a dove) (left in freezer after all-next week?)
              Coffee
How I’ll accomplish it:
  • I planned the menu a couple of weeks in advance and located my recipes.
  • I did some of the dry-goods grocery shopping last week.
  • I went to the candy store, liquor store and grocery store today, leaving only produce for Sat.
  • Thursday I’ll make the bread and the quiche pastry.  Into the freezer they go.
  • Thursday I’ll dye eggs. 
  • Friday I’ll clean a little house, make sure my clothes are ready, teach a lesson and go to 3 hours of worship.
  • Friday night, we’ll listen to a few requiems.  Verdi is my favorite, but Mozart, Faure and Brahms will show up, as well.
  • Saturday, I’ll send Dave to the store for the produce (I won’t go near a grocery the day before Easter) and I’ll set up the buffet and drinks station and set the tables.  I’ll make the green bean salad and the dressing, only dressing it a little that day. (More dressing on Sunday.) I’ll make the Limoncello tiramisu and refrigerate it.. Oh, and I will chill sparkling wine for the mimosas.
  • Dave will make the deviled eggs, taking care not to over-salt them.  Old recipes are very salty.  One time, we couldn’t eat them.  Agh.
  • We will not cook or sit at the table Saturday night.  I don’t know what we’ll do; maybe we’ll go out or maybe we’ll eat on trays watching a movie.  Waiting, watching.
  • Sunday morning I’ll take the bread and quiche pastry out of the freezer to unthaw.  I’ll make the quiche fillings before we go to church.   When we come home, I’ll fill the quiche pans and bake them.  Hot, warm or room temp–it’s all good for quiche.  I like it cold.  I’ll set up the coffeemaker and put out cups, cream and sugar.  Maybe a little something to nip up the coffee a bit.  Bailey’s?
  • I’ll give the bathrooms a last lick and a promise.  I’ll light the candles gratefully.
  • I’ll grab a basket of eggs and hide them.
  • I will probably shovel and sweep snow.
  • I’ll be wiped clean myself…ready to begin again.
  • And try not to eat so much chocolate.  (Though, if you read my examiner articles, you’ll know it’s ok now to eat some every day!!)
  • I’ll welcome our guests, “He is risen!” (I didn’t do this….how could I have forgotten???!)

Are you glad Lent is over?