Looking for the March NewFO Linky Party and giveaway? Click right here.
We had the best time yesterday for Matthew's combination birthday/Easter dinner. And I had the best time combining the two occasions to (a) make it special for Matthew, and (b) bring in the Easter theme. Here's how it went.
I started the morning by dying my Easter deviled eggs. This tutorial inspired me to give this a try.
Aren't they pretty? Here's what I learned: be sure to get all of the membrane off the eggs before dipping them in the dye. It will come off when you take them out and that part of the egg will still be white. In this case, it was all on the back sides of the egg, so...no problem. Also, it took a full ten minutes in the dye to get the colors bright enough. Soaking in the dye didn't change the texture or the flavor of the eggs.
Then I thought I'd go all Martha Stewart and pipe the filling into them. Someone on the Food Network (Alton Brown, I think) showed me how you don't need a pastry bag for this. You can buy the tips and then snip off the corner of a zip-lock bag, attach the tip, and then pipe it from the bag. Then, you can just toss out the bag. (Not the greenest of solutions, but sometimes you just have to go for the gusto. Don't you agree?)
Yeah. A good idea in theory, but I didn't have enough patience in my pantry to do all of that. After doing one, I went back to the old fuddy-duddy method of using a spoon to fill them.
Don't forget the paprika.
Then I went about setting the table. While I was down in the closet getting the candlesticks and candles, I saw this box of vintage silverware that we discovered in my mother-in-law's house after she passed away. I decided to use it.
What era do you think these are? Maybe the 40's or 50's? And inside the box were these pretty engraved butter knives.
And then I noticed the handles were monogrammed. The top one says "I. G." and the bottom one says "Ida". I have no idea who Ida is.
We talked about it over dinner. We believe Mike's grandmother may have been married to a man whose last name was Gaye prior to marrying Mike's grandfather. Possibly these belonged to Mr. Gaye's family?
The soup spoons in the box with this set are monogrammed with a "D" for Devenish, which was Mike's grandmother's maiden name.
I love this old stuff. Sadly, no one is left alive to explain its mysteries now. It does sort of open one's powers of imagination, however.
When I had the table all set, this is how it looked. Each of the "kids" got a dark chocolate rabbit from the Easter bunny.
A day with sunshine isn't truly right until Tractor Man shows up to mow.
When I was out in the yard the other day, I lost my pedometer when it slipped out of its little clip. (I've been afraid this might happen, as it had slipped out of its clip before.) I didn't notice it was missing until I went back inside the house. I'd been all over the property that day, and so it would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack. Tractor Man found it. Sniff.
It has counted its last steps. And it's like losing an old friend since it truly has walked miles in my shoes. Actually, I'm not that attached to it. But I did like using it, and so I've ordered a new one. I should have it in a few days. I ordered a different one however...one with a lanyard so I can't lose it again. Unless something happens to my head, which is a distinct possibility.
So, just before the kids showed up, I put out appetizers of sweet potato and beet chips (I found these in the health food section...yummy!), shrimp cocktail, and the deviled bunny eggs.
Matthew was the first on the scene.
Tractor Man cleans up pretty good.
Then Erik and Mae arrived shortly after Matthew. When the sun shines, these two waste no time checking out the garden. They are enthusiastic gardeners, and much of what grows in our garden was a gift from them.
Erik noticed that their gift daylilies were up.
Matthew watched from the deck above.
Erik checked out the tomato starts in the greenhouse,
As did Mae.
Mae made the "hope" and "think" blocks that serve as the walkway into the greenhouse. She picked up the little tiles on a beach along the Amalfi Coast in Italy when she traveled to Europe after she finished college. She made the blocks and gave them to Mike and me for Christmas one year. The words "hope" and "think" are ambigrams, meaning they read the same when you turn them upside down.
The lovely Mae has the next birthday in our family, followed quickly by me and Mike.
Of course the lovely Smitty came to the party too. Gracie doesn't like crowds. She stayed upstairs.
And then we sat down to dinner. As we were setting food out on the table, Matthew wondered aloud what happened to the green beans. (Yikes! I totally forgot the green beans!) We set them on the table cold, and then I nuked them to warm them up.
Always the camera ham, Matthew humored me by holding up his quilt for this picture. I told him that bloggers live for this shot.
So that was our day! We had such a good time.
Today's weather is lovely again. I'm going to get out and start working on the yard clean-up today, but I want to get some sewing in too. The culinary herb bed is in a bad way right now, so I'll start there. Also, I want to start attacking the weeds before they go to seed. If the weather continues to be nice, I might plant my annual pots tomorrow.
What's on your agenda for today?