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Monday, April 17, 2023

Making the Best of a Delayed Holiday Celebration

Hi friends!
I hope you all had a lovely Easter followed by a good week. And if your week wasn't a good one, I hope this week is off to a better start.

Our Easter didn't go as planned. (Does anything, anymore, go as planned?) My daughter was very sick on Easter. So about 6 AM we made the call to postpone our Easter celebration with our son and daughter-in-law until the next Sunday (Orthodox Easter, yesterday). I'm glad we pushed the date back a week and am grateful the whole family could be on board.

Meal prep for Easter did become slightly more complicated, however. Before we canceled our Easter Day plans, I had baked a ham, roasted a turkey, baked a lemon meringue pie, and made an onion and crumb topping for green bean casserole. I had also bought fresh asparagus and fresh strawberries to add to our Easter meal. (I had other side dishes planned for the meal, but hadn't begun to assemble any of them.) 

But I had the meats, a whole pie, fresh produce, and crumb topping that had to be dealt with posthaste. So the day after actual Easter, I sliced the ham and turkey and froze it. I made a stock with the turkey neck and carcass, freezing the resulting stock in smaller containers for making gravy later. I roasted the ham bone and made ham stock, which I froze for soups later. I froze the onion and crumb topping to use in a week. The asparagus wouldn't keep for another week fresh, so I blanched it all and froze it to use on our delayed-Easter. That left the strawberries and pie to contend with. Strawberries wouldn't keep and I didn't want to freeze them, so we ate them over the next couple of days. I wasn't sure about freezing the pie, so we decided to just eat it during the week, and I'd bake a second pie for our delayed celebration. I was able to thaw, reheat, use to finish recipes or serve, as is, all of the frozen items. And for the most part, quality didn't suffer too much with the freezing (exception being the asparagus -- it would have had better texture if cooked fresh).

The late Easter meal all worked out okay. I bought another container of fresh strawberries and made a second pie. With the extra week, I even found time to make a refrigerator dough to make dinner rolls. This is what our complete Easter meal menu looked like:
  • ham
  • turkey with gravy
  • mashed potatoes
  • green bean casserole
  • honey-mustard carrots
  • asparagus with lemon butter
  • fresh strawberries
  • crescent rolls
  • date and coconut rolls (a fruit candy)
  • lemon meringue pie
  • Jordan almonds
  • mint, lemon balm, rose petal herb tea
  • sparkling water
Everyone enjoyed the meal. It was colorful, varied in flavor and texture, and filling. We ate this as a combined lunch and dinner, so that too-stuffed feeling had plenty of time to diminish before bedtime. 

There were enough leftovers of everything to send some home with my son and daughter-in-law and for our dinner on Monday (tonight). I have some roll dough, turkey stock, and both meats left in the fridge for making a simple dinner on Tuesday of turkey/ham soup and rolls. Plus there are several containers of ham and turkey meat and stock frozen for future meals.

The downside to this delayed celebration include: my daughter was very sick and felt miserable for a few days; the asparagus wasn't as crisp and fresh if it had been cooked on the day of the meal; I had to spend extra money to buy more strawberries; I had to bake a second pie; we all had to wait a week to gather together.

The upside to the delayed celebration included: we got to eat a second container of strawberries; we got to eat a second pie; I added dinner rolls to the menu; everyone was well by the time we all got together; I had extra time to put together the side dishes, as the meats were baked/roasted already at this point.

All in all, a lovely Easter celebration, even if late, spending time with my whole family.


  1. Sometimes, the most interrupted and/or inconvenienced gatherings make for the best. That extra bit of planning to postpone matched with the added week of longing is beautiful.

    1. Thank you for your perspective. I agree, sometimes a change in plans leads to a better outcome.

  2. Many times, there are things that make any well made plans go haywire. Our daughter had a birthday the day before Easter so we took her and our son, brother and his lady friend and our two remaining parents out for dinner on Saturday evening. So Sunday, daughter did not come home for Easter, son had to work and so we had only the 2 parents. Both kids missed Easter dinner so I packed up meals to go and put them in the freezer for them to get a future date. I still made ham broth and froze that and we had leftover baked chicken that we ate during the week. I had made a 9 x 13 lemon dessert but that was easy to eat all week. We had a family gathering but it was a birthday one this year. FYI, this daughter was a Maundy Thursday baby 30 years ago!

    1. Hi Alice,
      I'm glad you were all able to gather over the holiday weekend. And how nice for your father and mother-in-law to join you and your husband for an Easter dinner. I'm sure that meant a lot to both of them.
      A Maundy Thursday baby -- I'm guessing in all of these 30 years there's been at least one year when her birthday fell on Easter Sunday. My birthday is April 16 and I can recall 3 years where it fell on Easter. Happy belated birthday to your dear daughter!

    2. 2007 and 2012 and next time will be 2090 so only twice in her lifetime. --Alice

  3. You did a great job of adapting to your daughter's illness. Sounds like you had quite a feast. I'm glad she's feeling better and hoping you have some noneventful days in the week ahead.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      We did what we had to do. And I'm glad she's better now. Yes -- a few non eventful days would be really, really nice right now.

  4. You made lemonade out of lemons! You seem to be going through a season of challenges. I hope life becomes smoother for you.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you. I hope the near future is drama-less, too. I do like lemonade much more than lemons!

  5. My first thought was how sorry I felt for you as a mom in the midst of all this. I am glad your daughter is better and able to enjoy an Easter celebration with the family. My second thought was this is the kind of extra effort, going through hoops and the extra mile, that impresses your loved ones with fond memories of what you had done for them.

    1. Enjoy your day,

    2. Hi Laura,
      Thank you for your very kind words. I know it's foolish to rely too heavily on plans of our own devices. But I would like a plan or two to work out just as I'd hoped sometime soon. Despite my own angst, I know my entire family really enjoyed our delayed Easter, maybe even more than if it had all worked out as planned.

      I hope you had a beautiful day today, Laura!

    3. Happy Belated Birthday, Lili!!

      I've been having stomach issues for a week. I suspect it may have been foods thar were borderline unsafe to eat (bargain nectarines that were firm but a dull color and brown on the inside) and some takeout that was too oily. I was going to throw the bag away but I googled the question and read it was OK. Just not palatable but if you are starving and poor was the way the article put it. I'm sure I'll survive but I've learned my lesson. From now on, when in doubt don't buy it just because I could save a little. Sometimes frugal me gets the better of myself.


    4. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been having some stomach issues, Laura. I've done that, too, eaten something that was probably no longer okay to eat. I hope you're feeling better very soon.
      Thank you for the birthday wishes!


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