What Are Your Plans for Easter Weekend?

Usually at this time of year, I’m baking and decorating eggs and organizing a big family dinner. Usually I’m up early making sure every nook and cranny is clean. Usually I’m hosting a big family gathering and if not, our immediate family.  But not this year. This year we’ve decided that we need an extended weekend to get some major gardening projects underway. We’ll be building a raised vegetable garden and hopefully getting some lettuce and peas in the ground for early harvesting. By the end of the weekend, we should have something similar to this but only one big bed:

Last year we had a huge family gathering and my decorating theme was to bring the outdoors in with burlap table runners, natural flowers and onion-skinned dyed eggs. Here’s (a very poor) picture of my centerpiece from last year. Ranunculas, pansies, eggs and pussy willows in a basket helped tie in my rustic theme.
But just because I’m not entertaining, doesn’t mean that there won’t be a special dinner for Alan and myself. On the menu for Sunday will be:
Asparagus Soup

Rack of Lamb with an herb crust
Mini roasted potatoes
Grilled asparagus with Parmesan shavings

Pavlova with Strawberries

The pavlova is something that I try to make every Easter. After the heaviness of the lamb or ham usually served at this time of year, I like to counter it with a lighter desert. Here’s my beautiful daughter cutting into last year’s creation:
Pavlova is basically a large meringue covered in whipped cream and berries. An Australian creation honouring the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who is credited with introducing the world to modern ballet as we know it today. Like a ballerina, the pavlova floats with an airy grace. But don’t let all this history and drama sway you from making this delicious and simple dessert:
Pavlova with Berries
6 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. I’m lucky enough to have a Kitchenaid, but a hand mixer will work too, just takes longer. Add the sugar 1 TBS at a time, mixing between additions. Beat until glossy peaks form. Add cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla. Beat until mixed in. Mound meringue on a foil lined cookie sheet to form a circle about 10″ in diameter. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off oven and leave meringue in oven to cool. Remove from cookie sheet and transfer to serving plate. This can be done a day ahead.
Just before serving, whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 3 TBS sugar till stiff. Mound on top of meringue. Top with strawberries, kiwis or any fresh fruit. Serve additional fruit on the side.

Thursday Favorite Things

15 thoughts on “What Are Your Plans for Easter Weekend?

  1. Jann Olson

    Oh my, that dessert looks heavenly! I love anything with fresh fruit and whip cream! Thanks for sharing with “share your cup Thursday”. Hope you will share often!
    Hugs,
    Jann

    Reply
  2. Rita

    What a great post to bring us into Spring!You garden is perfection!
    Have not made Pavlova in a Long time; thanks for the reminder. Yes your daughter is a beauty! Happy Easter!
    Rita

    Reply
  3. Nancy Claeys

    Happy Easter, Heather! Your garden plans sound great (I wish I was that together with mine!)

    The Pavlova looks delicious.

    Following you from Weekend Blog Hop.

    Reply
  4. Paula J

    That’s lovely that you’re gardening this weekend! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me a lemon meringue pie tip! Need all the help I can get :D

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

    Reply
  5. Marie Wreath

    Sounds like a *lovely* Easter weekend! Ours will be a little unconventional too, but I do not have a rack of lamb on the menu!! LOL Sounds delish. And that pavlova… Oh my, together with the beautiful story, I will be trying this soon! Gorgeous daughter. So pretty and happy. xoxo

    Reply
  6. Katherines Corner

    Happy Easter wishes! Your menu sounds wonderful. It snowed here today. I’m hoping it won’t ruin out Easter egg hunt in the backyard for our grandchildren.Thank you for joining in the hop and for your bloggy friendship

    Reply
  7. Jody and Stan

    Heather, I wanted you to know you were the highest viewed last week on Simple & Sweet Fridays. Congrats!
    Hope you can come again this week, love to have you…
    Happy Easter, love your post, the Pavlova looks delicious.

    Jody

    Reply
  8. ~Lavender Dreamer~

    I haven’t made Pavlova in years but I always loved it when the strawberries were in season! Maybe I’ll make some soon with your recipe! Enjoy this special holiday weekend! ♥

    Reply
  9. Sonya Sosa

    Gardening sounds like a wonderful Easter! For us its church, lunch and a little r&r. Heard its going to be a rainy one for us. We don’t get much rain so I will truly welcome and embrace it.

    Reply
  10. Deborah at Kilbourne Grove

    Happy Easter Heather, wish I could be a guest at your dinner, all my favs. My birthday cake is always pavlova (too bad I have to make it myself, lol).
    Love raised beds, they were the very first thing we built at KG, and I have never regretted it.

    Reply

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