Family Dinner

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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?


WoolenSails said...

Wonderfully decorated table and I enjoyed seeing your family and your Easter celebration.


Lucky Duck Dreams said...

LOL about the green beans! Your supper looked as yummy as my mom's, of course I made my homemade mac and cheese! Looks like a wonderful day for you and your family. Love the pic with Mike and his quilt, now you just need one of it hanging up. Thats what I like best when someone sends me a pic of a quilt in use.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

It looks like you had a very nice time and the guitar quilt is super! Ours was a bit unconventional, the only nice days in ages so we gathered on the courtyard around a fire pit and had our food outside. Today it's back to a potential wintry mix!!!!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Oh, I almost forgot- I have to try this deviled egg tutorial, how unique!

Marti said...

What a wonderful day you had. I love the colored eggs; I haven't seen that one before. Your silver looks like 40's to me too. It looks a little older than my mom's and she married in 1950.

I also love the ambigrams. I learn so much from you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sharing-photos!
Your Deviled Eggs are a winner! I've never seen that done>will certainly save your directions>thanks again!


Marei said...

Barbara it looks like you had a wonderful Easter with the family and I love the idea of the "bunny" deviled eggs. I make KILLER deviled eggs and will try this next year. I had to laugh about the pedometer...falling off the clip...as I have lost 2 (count 'em) in toilets! Argh! Now my pedometer is thinner than a credit card and slips into a pocket. Much easier. :)

Lyndsey said...

I love your table decorations and the food looks yummy. Those eggs look amazing so I must give them a try and for me the photo of Matthew holding his quilt even puts Smitty in the shade. I used to enjoy using a pedometer but I kept on losing or breaking them so I now use runkeeper on my phone which measures the distance I walk and logs it on the map.However it only works in areas with good GPS signal.

Diane Wild said...

Looks like you had a grand day with your family. Your table looks so pretty.

Ray and Jeanne said...

What a great day! I must try the colored deviled eggs and I wish we had some of your spring weather - we still have some snow on the ground. Thanks for sharing! ~Jeanne

Not Lucy said...

The colored deviled eggs are very cool! I might have to try that next Easter! I have been following your progress on the guitar quilt and wondered if you had a pattern or just designed it yourself. I would like to make a couple for the guys in our church band.

Kate said...

Looks like you had a lovely family Easter. Fun picture of Matthew with his wall hanging.

I spent the day in the car driving home from My Guy's family farm. Which was actually OK as it is cold and rainy. Again!

Brown Family said...

You had a wonderful day. Mathew was a good sport to hold up his quilt!


Cath said...

I love the Bunny Napkins! That is just how we celebrate birthdays in our home too.....with a family dinner. I love it. Making the table look nice and cooking for the troops.
Cath xx

KatieQ said...

It looks like you spent an absolutely delightful day. Sorry about your pedometer. Mine was constantly falling off when I wore clothing without a pocket so my Curves coach recommended attaching it to my bra. It works great, but I look like I have an odd growth on my chest.

Lynne said...

Sounds like a wonderful family day. Happy birthday Matthew; your present looks fabulous.

Rachel said...

Mama's don't lie. Bloggers do live for "that" shot :-) Love seeing him with that special gift!