We had such a nice time yesterday hosting Easter Dinner with family. We had eight...EIGHT...people over for the day, if you count babies. And I count babies! It was great timing because my Dad was in town from Mexico for his six-month visit to the States. He brought our dear family friend, Don, from Phoenix. My sister and her family were there, as was my brother and his family. Including the hosts, we packed ten people around the patio set outside for a Sunday Dinner Feast.
When we got home from church, Hubby and I set the table outside. We borrowed our old dining table to add the additional seating, and it worked out well to give everyone enough elbow room to really dig in. I had purchased and arranged some flowers from Trader Joe's, and I found some neat wicker basket candle holders (from where else...TJ Maxx), that provided some extra lighting as the evening drew closer. T'liese plugged in our overhead dangle lights to help create the perfect mood. It's all about mood lighting to have a successful event!
I tried something new...I delegated people to bring food. And it worked! It meant less stress for me, and others got to contribute to the meal. We all enjoyed the Funeral Potatoes and Caprese Salad brought by guests, and it certainly reduced my workload when prepping everything. Hubby and I provided Ham, (which I cooked in the slow cooker), Rhodes Rolls, Corn on the Cob, and Strawberry Lemonade. There was a ton of food (and now a ton in my fridge for leftovers...perhaps the best part!). And people stayed hours later than they said they could, which meant we were doing something right.
Dad was assigned to bring Easter candy, and I knew right away that I had made the right delegation for that assignment. He made Easter baskets for everyone! I haven't gotten a basket in years, and it was fun to have my name on a beautiful basket full of goodies! Thanks, Dad!
For dessert, I made a Lemon Pound Cake with a Lemon Glaze, covered in Strawberry Compote, Homemade Vanilla Whipped Cream, and fresh Strawberries. It was light, refreshing, and heavenly. Everyone seemed to really like it.
My only complaint was that I wanted the cake to be fresh, so I made it after dinner while the party continued outside. I felt alllllll alone in the kitchen while listening to laughing outside. I was missing out! Next time, to avoid such manual labor during the party, I will have dessert, (something simple and delicious), all ready to go. Then I won't feel like I am left out of some fun conversations and baby interaction! If we were eating inside, it wouldn't have been a problem. My kitchen is next to the dining table and the living room, so I would have been in the middle of all the action. Next time we host dinner outside, I will have everything finished so I can just relax with everyone else.
I did have some great help doing dishes during the party, too. Though I have a few things to wash this morning, it is nothing like the mountain that was washed yesterday by one of my guests. Thank you, Manual Labor! You will be invited to future gatherings, for sure!
With the Alison Kraus Pandora station playing on my iPod during dinner, we enjoyed a lovely time with family and friends. The food was great, and the environment was perfect for eating outside. It was a lovely way to celebrate Easter Sunday.