18 March 2008

No fast food

This year, I'm hosting Easter dinner.

Hubby's family doesn't really make holiday dinners the way most folks imagine. One year, dinner came from a can, the gravy from a packet and dessert from Sara Lee. It was all processed and bought. The last Christmas dinner was purchased from Simek's freezer case and set out in the aluminum trays they came in and we ate on paper plates while sitting on the floor. Nothing is wrong with these things, but to have years worth of family holiday dinners this way leaves one yearning for a good home-cooked meal.

Now that my kids are a bit older, I'm having Easter dinner at my house. Growing up we always spent holidays with my mom's family and they did holidays up big. Well, not big per se, but they lovingly cooked and labored to provide a wonderful meal where everyone sat down to a beautiful table with the good china and linen napkins.

And we say grace before meals despite hubby's family being Lutheran.

So, if you're in the neighborhood, you're welcome to dinner.

We're having the prerequisite ham along with...
scalloped potatoes
garlic green beans with bacon and slivered almonds
harvard beets
wild rice
baked cinnamon apples
herbed dinner rolls
and carrot cake for dessert

Mmm, mmmm, mmmmmmm.


The bread book I have, The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, by Brother Rick Curry, SJ, has some good recipes for Holy Week. With the tridiuum starting tomorrow, he has a recipe for Spy Wednesday Biscuits.

Spy Wednesday Biscuits
Total time: 3 hours

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chilled vegetable shortening, cut into bits
1/2 cup currants, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup butter, melted and cooled.

Combine the yeast and water in a small bowl, stirring until yeast is dissolved. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is the texture of coarse cornmeal. Add the currants. Stir in the yeast mixture and buttermilk, just until all the ingredients are moistened.

Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal or line with parchment paper.

Turn out on a floured surface and knead gently for 2 minutes. Roll or pat the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 2 1/2 inch floured biscuit cutter. (Scraps can be gently kneaded together and rolled and cut.) Dip each biscuit into the melted butter and place 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk -- about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: About 40 biscuits.

1 comment:

Vincenzo said...

Wow :-O~ looks like it'll be the perfect dinner. I love carrot cake (w/ cream cheese frosting). Yum.