He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
(First read this, this, and this.) Happy Easter, everybody! Today was our fourth consecutive day of attending church services. Suzanna was assigned to serve during the 9:00 A.M. service, so that's the one we attended. It included familiar Easter hymns, songs from the choir with trumpets playing along, and extra "stations" for communion to accommodate the bigger-than-normal crowd (due to many congregants' visiting family members and the "C & E Lutherans"--those church members who attend only on Christmas and Easter) (which explains, too, why we had three services this morning instead of the usual two).
Before church the girls searched for their Easter baskets (which the Easter Bunny had hidden around the house but which were full of goodies to enjoy once found). After church we enjoyed a delicious Easter dinner, courtesy of Susan. And I have photos to share! (Remember to click a pic to enlarge it for a better view.)
|our three beauties: Hillary, Suzanna, and Abigail|
In each girl's Easter basket this morning, she found a new outfit (capris, tank top, and t-shirt); two pairs of flip-flops; a book by a Scandinavian author; a music CD; a pair of swim goggles; a collection of items from Bath & Body Works (body spray, lotion, shower gel, and hand sanitizer); and candy (pop rocks and chocolate bunnies). Susan got a zip-up patchwork sweatshirt; I got two pairs of jeans; and we each got hand sanitizers, candy, and Scandinavian travel mugs for our morning lattés.
But even more important (to me, at least) was the delicious meal after church. Susan prepared the main dishes; the girls helped with beverages and deviled eggs; and I set the table, dished up the pickles, and prepared the lefse.
After volunteering to light/hold candles at church last night, the girls were allowed to keep the candles . . . so we used them on our Easter table today. On the plate of lefse are some with white sugar and some with brown. One dish contains about four kinds of olives; another has dill pickles; and the last has pickled beets.
While we were at church, this smoked, bone-in ham sat in a crockpot and soaked up the flavors of brown sugar, maple syrup, and pineapple juice (recipe). It was very good. We love ham anyway and have it rarely enough to appreciate it sincerely whenever we do have it; but the smoky ham flavor was improved by the contrasting sweetness of its cooking broth.
A great accompaniment was this Delmonico potato bake (recipe), a variation on scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin. This dish included both hashbrowns and cubed potatoes along with onions, garlic, cream, chicken broth, nutmeg, lemon, and Parmesan cheese. Tender potatoes in a creamy sauce with savory flavors . . . so delicious.
This side dish recipe came from Food Network Magazine. It's called "creamy spring peas with pancetta": three kinds of peas, chicken broth, cream, freshly ground black pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It was just creamy enough to feel like comfort food without overpowering the freshness of all the sweet peas and crunchy pea pods with the tangy lemon juice. The peas, potatoes, and ham were an excellent match.
Susan made homemade "Jell-O"--in quotation marks because she made the gelatin from scratch rather than from a prepared box, like Jell-O (recipe). In addition to unflavored gelatin, it contained orange juice, ginger ale, mandarin oranges, fresh strawberries, and fresh raspberries. Refreshing!
Deviled eggs with paprika sprinkled on top.
An ice cream cake decorated to look like a pink Easter bunny. Our friend Monica wanted to do something special for our family and decided to buy us this cake from Dairy Queen--how thoughtful! We were too full after dinner to eat dessert, but this bunny is waiting for us to have a light supper of leftovers and then to eat it for dessert after that meal.
Notice the decorated hard-boiled Easter egg in the cup to the left and the ginger ale/pineapple juice cocktail in the wine glass to the right, beside the milk. That completed our meal. We had more than plenty to eat and will enjoy leftover for several more meals, I think. (I already finished carving the ham and gave Susan the ham bone, which she's storing in the fridge until we're ready to use it for split-pea soup or another tasty ham-broth-based soup.)
|Happy Easter for Kevin, Susan, Hillary, Abigail, and Suzanna!|