I tend to approach big special meals like a small-time event planner. I think it comes from my former catering days. A frequent dream: It’s an hour before the party. I haven’t bought the food and can’t find the car keys. I find the keys, but the car won’t start. Then I realize it doesn’t matter, because (have I lost my glasses?) I can’t see clearly enough to drive. Just as I’m about to face the consequences of my irresponsibility and bad fortune, I wake up.
I’ve always figured the fear in these anxiety dreams is what makes me “successful” in my waking life. This past Easter weekend, however, I let things slide a little… and whadya know. It went very well.
With Maggy and Andy in New York, Sharon and Tony in New Haven, and David and me forty-five minutes smack in the middle, it’s pretty easy for us to gather. This was our first holiday weekend, the six of us. I wanted to make it memorable.
I approached the weekend menus with my usual precision. Fresh tuna kebabs our first night (my answer to Good Friday and Maggy’s excitement to grill in the sunshine!). I scheduled Sharon and Tony’s Olive Oil and Honey Drizzled Chocolate Chip Pancake debut for Saturday morning (check out the recipe on Sharon’s post last Friday).
I put bean burgers on the lunch menu, along with Maggy’s onion rings (another winning recipe on this site). Still full from pancakes, however, no one was up for a gut-filling lunch.
I’m pretty sure there was a time when I would have fried up those onion rings and burgers and, like an Italian grandmother, forced everyone sit down and eat. Instead we all snacked at different times and found a way to connect throughout the day without sitting down to another big meal.
Saturday night was the late-night Easter Vigil, so I prepared a meal of hors d’oeuvres for us to enjoy before heading off. I bumped onion rings to that night’s hors d’oeuvres. What would have been a lead-belly lunch side became the evening’s most popular nibble.
It was a late night on Saturday. There was a time I would have gotten up and delivered a picture-perfect Easter. Instead, I slept in. We warmed up Saturday night’s ham biscuits and transformed asparagus crudite into a frittata. No one missed the hot cross buns.
After an especially hard winter we were grateful on this glorious Easter morning. It was warm enough to sit outside, so we lingered at the breakfast table. Sunday’s roast lamb lunch never got made either. We were happy feasting on Saturday night’s uneaten hors d’oeuvres.
The croquembouche we were supposed to take to my sister-in-law’s for Sunday afternoon dessert didn’t get made either. Instead, there were strawberries that needed eating and a crumble topping tucked away in the freezer, which came together quite simply and beautifully.
Come to think of it, it’s been awhile since I’ve had one of those anxiety dreams. I’d like to think my let-it-be-havior has something to do with it. Maybe it works both ways.