We had a lovely dinner today. A bonus, since I had not planned to put much effort into it. By the time Easter rolls around, we're pretty worn out around here.
Friday afternoon, Sharon J stopped by on one of her frequent visits. She and her husband often stop by to drop off one thing or another that they want to give us. She is an excellent clearance shopper, so at the change of seasons, my kids often get the treat of some not only new for them, but really, truly new clothes. But on Friday, Sharon had a different sort of gift for us. She brought a ham. And a fresh idea for preparing it.
"I saw this idea and I though of you guys. Mix grapefruit juice and hot pepper jelly. And use it to glaze the ham." Sharon continued with the rest of the instructions. And then she finished up, "I know you probably have hot pepper jelly around. I bought a can of grapefruit juice, and only need half of it. If you're interested, I can leave half of it here for you."
And so our Easter meat was planned.
I had some creamed potatoes left over, a big baking dish of them. I debated between reheating them, or baking potatoes for our dinner. I kind of felt as though I ought not to have left-overs for Easter. Even if they're really good leftovers.
But when the morning came, I found I had procrastinated all week on my laundry. So I spent an hour downstairs this morning catching up a bit on that. By that time, my morning was busy enough to leave little time for the rest of the dinner prep. By the time I jumped in the shower, I had twenty minutes left before church. The younger kids were dressed early, since they were eager to wear their new Easter duds. But I still had to get myself ready and throw the ham into the oven.
I did manage it, but I was scoring the ham at 9:42, with a 9:45 service start time. Thankfully there were still many people pulling into the parking lot as I scurried down to church. So "the pastor" had not started the opening announcements yet as I sat down.
We had a wonderful Easter service, with Holy Communion. The church was packed full of many relatives of our members, home to spend the holiday with family.
After we were done with church, Joe still had to preach over at Nazareth. So that gave me about an hour to get the rest of the dinner organized.
The first thing I did upon returning home was to get the glaze ready for the ham. We had one jar left of the very pretty jelly Joe had made a couple of years ago. He made a wonderful, clear jalapeño jelly, and then arranged prettily in each jar several fresh peppers in a variety of green, red, yellow and orange. They turned out almost too pretty to eat and could have easily competed with Martha Stewart. But alas, it was time to use that last jar. I mixed it together with the grapefruit juice from Sharon. And during the next hour, I basted the ham with the glaze every ten minutes.
In between the glazing, I got Elsie and Sophie busy filling the plastic eggs with candy for the later in the day egg hunt. Louisa entertained the smaller girls and swept the dining room. John, Clara, and Sophie each did their parts helping to get the table set with table clothes and some of our "fancier" dishes.
I put the left over roasted potatoes into the oven to reheat.
And then the vegetables. I did Joe's favorite, garlic and butter roasted asparagus. And the kids' favorite, creamed cauliflower.
As Joe walked in I was opening the pickles. We had a jar of garlic dills, also from Sharon and a jar of bread and butter pickles I had made.
Louisa and Elsie were antsy to get the meal going, since they had leave at 1:30 for work. It's hard for me to let them work on holidays, but the job they do is of service to others. And they get paid double time for working the holiday, so they like that part of it. Louisa has always liked the times she's worked holidays, because so many family members come in to see the residents. The workers feel so appreciated when the family members are so obviously thankful for the care their loved ones receive. And Louisa also likes to give those who don't have family to come in that little bit of extra time and attention on a holiday. This will be Elsie's first time working a holiday. But I'm sure they'll come home with more stories about how much they like their job.
But the did have to miss the Egg Hunt. I asked, "We could do the egg hunt tomorrow morning, or do an extra one for you two girls, if you want. Unless you just want the candy. If that's the case, you can just take some."
They took the candy.
Although the older girls had to rush off, it was wonderful to have almost all my kids together for dinner. We missed our Jeremy, but we were thankful for those of us who could be together.