It’s Friday

Easter traditions and well-chosen sides on the menu

For your Easter brunch, lunch, or dinner I have a few suggestions to finish out your menu.  We’ll be having lunch at dear Laura’s house in Jackson, a tradition that she and Nicholas started for our family and which she and Mack continue.  They’ll be setting the table for the rest of us Sunday when they get back from spring break at the beach. The Holiday ham is ordered and she has pretty Easter napkins for the table settings.  Oh, how I love my family around the table with delicious foods made even sweeter with family traditions and precious memories.
Sides can make a special meal even more fabulous with complimenting flavors, colors, textures, and temperatures. Try these out.  Hope you get to sit down to a fine meal between church services and the big egg hunt on Sunday.
Have something creamy.  Laura is making a big pan of homemade mac & cheese, Mack’s favorite.  Instead you could have cheesy grits or a corn pudding or soufflé.  Or maybe make a sweet potato casserole or last week’s scalloped potatoes for something soft and creamy.  All of these sides will go well with any main course meat entrée.
The rice recipe below is good with stronger flavored dishes, providing a nice relief for your taste buds.  Rice isn’t exactly creamy but it does contribute another texture to your meal.
Have something cold. Different temperatures make a meal interesting so include sides that are hot and cold or frozen. Salads can add any degree of coldness to your menu.  A frozen salad is handy because you can make it a couple of days ahead of time and pull it out at the last minute.  Cut in portions, and place on a chilled lettuce lined place.
Add crunch. Salads do that, too. Make a big tossed salad with a tangy herbal dressing, or your favorite broccoli salad for a big dose of color too.  And there are few diners that don’t enjoy a nice crunchy fruit salad like a traditional Waldorf.
And remember to have a “plain vegetable” on the menu too, like butter peas, crowder peas or green beans.  I’ll be cooking a pot of speckled butter beans because they’re DW’s favorite and they’ll go well with the ham and the broccoli salad I’m taking too.
Dessert? Well of course!  Cakes… a whole table full – a strawberry shortcake, a moist pineapple cake, always a chocolate one, and an old favorite pound cake.  And we’ll have Kristine’s Easter bunny sugar cookies for the little ones.   Below is DW’s mom’s pineapple cake recipe, not as much trouble to make as the old Hummingbird cake but just as yummy and full of sweet tradition.
Add hot rolls, iced tea and fresh coffee with dessert and Easter dinner is served.

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