Easter is the perfect holiday to get together for a nice family meal. Some of my best memories are of sitting around the dinner table after church on an Easter Sunday with my family. Easter is a time of renewal, and there is no stress associated with the day.
Traditionally, I have always cooked a ham on Easter Sunday, along with some very special dishes that my family has come to love and look forward to. This year my menu will consist of:
Pineapple Glazed Ham
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Fresh Asparagus Spears in Garlic Butter Sauce
The great thing about these dishes is that they can easily be tweaked to suit your individual taste. So experiment with your own version and your own favorite ingredients.
Pineapple glazed ham: This dish is very simple. After the ham is cooked according to package directions, take the ham out, sprinkle it with brown sugar. Then get canned pineapple slices and place them all over the surface of the ham, on top of the brown sugar. Put a cherry in the center of each slice pineapple slice and hold in place with toothpicks. Bake in the oven until the brown sugar is melted and the pineapple is barely starting to turn golden.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes: This dish is so good. Every time I make it, it vanishes so fast!
3 cups of potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tbsp margarine
4 tbsp all purpose flour
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 – 2 cups of sharp shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesean cheese
2 – 3 cups of milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot, melt your margarine over medium heat and saute the chopped onion until it is translucent. Then slowly stir in the flour, stirring constantly so the flour will not burn. Cook for approximately 1 – 2 minutes. The slowly add the milk, stirring constantly….until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Turn heat to low and slowly stir in 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
In a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan, place a thin layer of the sauce. On top of that place a layer of the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with more sauce. Layer the potatoes and sauce , ending with the sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are done.
While the potatoes are cooking, melt ¼ cup of margarine or butter. Mix together the bread crumbs and the parmesean cheese. Toss the bread crumb mixture into the margarine and then put the crumbs on top of the casserole. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown.
Fresh Asparagus in Garlic Butter Sauce
2 – 3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp margarine
Trim the ends from fresh asparagus and rinse in cold water. Melt margarine in a saute pan and place the asparagus and 3 cloves of fresh garlic in the pan. Saute until asparagus is tender crisp.
Boil eggs until they are hard. Rinse, cool and peel them. Slice in half and scoop the yellows out. Add mayonnaise to taste, along with a pinch of vinegar. Add 1 tsp of mustard and stir together well until mashed and creamy. Fill the whites with the yellow mixture. Garnish with celery seed, paprika, and fresh bacon bits.
4 – 6 ripe bananas
1 box Vanilla Wafers
1 large Cool whip
1 6 oz Sour cream
1 large box Instant vanilla pudding
1 large box Instant banana pudding
4 cups milk
Prepare the pudding according to package directions. When the pudding begins to set up, gently fold in the sour cream and ½ of the Cool Whip. Layer the vanilla wafers, bananas and the pudding mixture, ending with the pudding mixture. Spread the remaining Cool Whip on top, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For a lovely Easter centerpiece I always use my Grandmother’s antique egg dish and fill it with brightly colored Easter eggs. Another great idea is to use fresh cut spring flowers such as daffodils or Easter Lilies. Use whatever will be meaningful and special to your family. Happy Easter!