It’s safe to say that this isn’t the holiday any of us imagined. But whether you’re planning a virtual Easter egg hunt, researching remote church services, or fielding questions about whether the Easter Bunny is subject to a stay at home order, we’re all adapting our festivities for this unprecedented, socially distant time.
Even if your holiday meal doesn’t look quite like you expected back in the Before Times, you can still create a beautiful, intimate, and (of course) delicious Easter meal. (And if we may present one modest upside: a small Easter dinner means a small clean-up.) So, let’s hop to it...
First: set the guest list.
Now’s the time to reach out and teach your Boomers about Zoom! That’s right: even if your quarantine crew is sparse, you can recreate the din of big, boisterous holidays past with a virtual Easter dinner. Don’t worry about menu synchronization – you can up the communal vibe with just a little cocktail coordination. May we suggest getting everyone set up with a Bloody Mary kit for cocktail hour - whip up drinks, compare garnishes, and cheers through your screens. (Just make sure to put your laptop well out of range of spills...no one needs to deal with a broken keyboard right now.)
Plan your menu.
So your local grocery store is out of ham. And eggs. And flour. (And toilet paper. Seriously, can someone tell us why everyone is hoarding toilet paper? But we digress.) A traditional Easter dinner might be, ahem, off the table, but now is the time to improvise! Take inventory of what you’ve already got in the cupboards and google recipes based on your stores. Hey, maybe your garlicky Easter beans will become a cherished holiday tradition for years to come (especially if you finish them off with a sprinkle of sea salt).
Set the scene (and the table).
Even if your dinner won’t be broadcast over the interwebs, setting a beautiful table will add a sense of occasion and normalcy to your meal. Besides, your table might also be doubling as a desk right now, so now’s the time to transform it and pull out all the stops. That tablecloth you picked up while backpacking through the South of France but you’ve never used because you’re afraid of staining it? Carpe diem! The dishes you keep way way up in the top cabinet? Bust out the stepladder (very carefully, please)! Dust off the candelabra. Go overboard. If there are kids in your house who you’ve been trying to keep busy with some egg dying projects, throw those suckers in a beautiful nesting bowl and call it a centerpiece! Make this dinner a black tie affair. Well, at least for your table. (We fully endorse “indoor lounge wear” if you must, but it might be nice to put on pants that don’t involve a drawstring.)
For an extra touch of festivity, start the meal off with carefully curated cheese platter, served on a handsome board. For extra points, do your the cheese and cocktails in a different room from dinner, so when everyone’s had their fill of cheese, you can dramatically proclaim Dinner is served. Your quarantine companions will be so impressed with your hosting skills they might not notice you’re still in your pajama top.
Finally: don’t skimp on dessert.
Of all the (secular) hallmarks of Easter, one stands above the rest: sweets. Even if no one in your household was visited by the Easter Bunny (he’s such a stickler about age restrictions), you can sweeten the meal with some fluffy, decadent, and very on-theme carrot cake marshmallows or an assortment of chocolatey treats.
Happy Easter, from our warrens to yours!