Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter, Fellow Humans

It is Easter and we are living away from family, but there's always somebody who wants to be treated as family, especially on holidays when so many are unavailable because they are busy with their blood families.  We've not really done any entertaining since we moved to this small condo, but we decided to resurrect our hospitality skills just for today. We're sharing the spotlight with our next door neighbor couple; she from Venezuela and he a good old American man.

The plan is that they will provide bread, beverages, and dessert. They are also providing a table big enough to seat six people.We're making smoked salmon stuffed eggs (After all, what is Easter without boiled eggs?), on an "Easter grass" bed of lettuce presented in the bowl I made in pottery class. This will be accompanied by a second appetizer of Brie baked with our homemade chutney made from pears that we got from my Mountain Mama's son's pear trees. The crackers will be displayed on another of my pottery pieces, and the salad course will simply be fresh asparagus tossed with Greek dressing and Feta cheese crumbles. i'm displaying this on the only piece of our china to survive Hurricane Katrina.

For our entree, which will also be displayed on a pottery piece I made, Beef Wellington will be served. Alongside the beef will be new potatoes, prepared in a way that our dear friend, Mary Jane from Coker Creek, generously shared on Facebook, just in time for our holiday feast. Those tiny little green beans that the French call haricot verte will be tossed in butter to complete the picture perfect presentation.

Here's the thing. All of us sharing this day have given up on organized religion, feeling that how we share our hearts is how we share our sacred spirits. All four of the men attending put their lives on the line in one of our wars. I am honored to be able to help make a holiday special for one man from each branch of our country's armed services.

I owe much appreciation to Kelly Landrum, my pottery teacher for making a dream come true for me.  I've never been considered artistically talented. I couldn't even color inside the lines, and my penmanship grades were abominable. I had always dreamed of being able to craft in clay, but was afraid to try. Kelly introduced me to a whole new world of creativity, something very akin to cooking, but that will last past the meal that sets on it.

I owe my neighbor, Maite, for miraculously believing that I was the person to tutor her in English, and my neighbor Daniel for insisting that he needed me to cook for him. I owe my long-time photographer friend Sheik for always sharing his enthusiasm for all things New Orleans and all of humanity with me through his fabulous photographs. But most of all, I am blessed beyond belief by the generosity of my husband. Without his sacred soul reaching out to me (with much prompting by my friend Queenie), I'd have nothing and nobody now.

Happy Easter. May you always have humans in your life resurrecting parts of your own Sacred Spirit.