April 22, 2011

Our Easter Table

The Maine House at Easter.....missing grandchildren, making Easter cupcakes and dying Easter Eggs...missing preparing beautiful Easter baskets for Abbie, Noah and Luke...missing all the children arriving in their Sunday Easter finery as we spend a glorious day thankful to God for his blessings!

A Maine House Mosaic

 I remember Easter day as a child with my sweet family...Mother and Daddy, Steve, Judy and me! Always church and sunday school...beautiful Easter dresses, little linen dusters, white cotton gloves with pearl buttons, sweet little girl Easter bonnets, new white patton leather shoes with a matching little purse and fresh flower corsages from Daddy. Mother always hid our Easter baskets in the living room behind the wing chair and they always, always contained an Elmer's Chocolate Gold Brick egg. I don't think they make those any longer. The Easter dinner aroma filled our home....clove studded ham, vegetable casseroles, her pickled beets and eggs, fresh bread and some sort of glorious fresh pie. I could not have experienced a more lovely childhood. I am so thankful, so grateful for my family....and we will return home to have our family Easter day...perhaps next year!

So this Sunday, it will just be darling and me! Our menu is going to include the Baked Ham with a Mustard Brown Sugar Glaze, Mushroom Green Bean Casserole, Scalloped Corn, Southern Scalloped Pineapple, Homemade Rolls and of course, The Lamb Cake (previous posting). This year he is going to be German Chocolate, adorned with pansies, as always! I have prepared our dining table with Grandmother Grace's lace tablecloth, the pink toile Churchill China, our wedding silver of Tara, Bo's great aunt's tea towels, Grandmother Estelle's linen napkins,  Bobbie's (Darling's mother) antique silver napkin rings, and Mother and Daddy's silver condiment holder. All of the children's favorite Easter bunny figures are in place....we are thankful for this blessed day!

Estelle's Green Bean Casserole
1 lb. whole fresh green beans (fresh or frozen).
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced into thin strips
8 oz. crimini Mushrooms, sliced.
4 oz. shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.
2 tbsp. butter.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot or 14″ saute pan of salted water to a boil.While waiting for water to boil, melt butter in a saute pan over low heat. Add onions, stir once and allow to sweat. (you don’t want to hear any sizzling.) Stir occasionally until all onions are a deep golden. Add green beans to boiling water. cook until just crisp-tender (approximately 2 minutes.) Remove from pan and either submerge in a bowl of ice and water, or place in a colander under cold running water until completely cooled. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add shitake mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add crimini mushrooms and cook,stirring often, for approximately 5 more minutes, or until mushrooms are done to your liking. Strain green beans and add to mushroom mixture. Toss until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and place in a serving dish. Arrange caramelized onions along the outside of casserole or serving bowl.

Southern Scalloped Pineapple
5 cups, fresh bread crumbs, no crust
1 20-ounce can, pineapple tidbits
4 eggs, beaten
11/2 cups, sugar
1/2 cup, canned cream (evaporated milk)
1 cup, melted butter

Toss together bread crumbs and pineapple and place in a casserole baking dish. Combine eggs, sugar, and butter and pour over pineapple mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Estelle's Homemade Dinner Rolls
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) dry active yeast
1 cup milk
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Step 1
Combine water and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk until dissolved, and set aside. Combine milk, butter, sugar, honey, and salt in another glass or plastic bowl. Microwave for one minute, or until milk is just warm. Set aside until butter is melted.
Step 2
Add the flour to the bowl containing the water and yeast, followed by the milk mixture. Stir until a sticky dough forms. Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface. Knead dough for about 6 minutes, adding enough flour, as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the surface, or your hands.
Step 3
Stop when you have a smooth, soft, elastic ball of dough. Grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn over a few times so the dough is lightly oiled. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave to rise in warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Step 4
Punch down the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a square and cut into 16 equal-sized sections. Roll each piece into a ball. Line an 18" x 13" baking sheet with a silicon making mat. Place each ball, seam side down, about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet (4 rows with 4 rolls each).
Step 5
Sprinkle flour gently to dust the tops of each roll. Set the pan in a warm spot (Estelle's places the baking pans under the stovetop light) and allow to rise for 40 minutes.
Step 6
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25 minutes until a beautiful warm golden brown. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes. These are heavenly!

"For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born." ~
Alice Freeman Palmer

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