I really love Easter, it’s such a fun holiday, and I enjoy the celebration of life, resurrection, and spring! Every year I host an Easter Lunch. With finishing prep as soon as I get home from Church, it’s important that things run smoothly! Here’s the top 4 things I do to make sure my meal goes as planned.
1. Don’t overload your oven or stovetop – You want all your food done at the same time. If you have to rotate items this won’t happen. I have two casseroles and a ham that are standard to Easter Dinner, but, guess what. This fills my oven. This year, my husband suggested a chocolate pudding cake for dessert, which is an awesome dessert but has to be whipped up and baked at the last minute. If I want to make this, I have two options, bake it after all the other food is out of the oven or put less in my oven.
I’m thinking that I’ll probably end up using my roaster for the ham and that will free up that oven space for rolls and dessert. The dessert is best hot so if it’s baking while we eat lunch that’ll work out great.
2. Minimize last minute prep – You don’t want to be chopping a salad, whipping up a gravy, making deviled eggs, and prepping an hors d’oeuvre all when guests walk in. As a rule, I try to only have one last minute item. If I decide to do deviled eggs I’ll make them up the night before. Also, any hors d’oeuvres will have to be made the night before.
I’m already mixing up a dessert and putting the final touches on my salad. So, nothing else can be last minute. You don’t want your guests coming in and seeing you running around like crazy trying to get stuff done.
Also, I usually set the table the night before. It’s tough keeping the kids away from all the pretty dishes so I’m not convinced that this saves me any time, but it seems like it should.
3. Make a list – I love lists! I have a list of items I’m making, a list of ingredients I need to buy, and a list of baking times so I know what to start making when. On the day, I’ll have a list of food that I’m serving so I don’t forget anything. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of your meal and realizing that your salad is still in the refrigerator!
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Feeling overwhelmed? Ask guests to each bring a dish. Salads, casseroles, and snacks all transfer well.
Just check with your guests and find out if they’re planning to use your oven or stove. I asked a guest to bring biscuits once – she makes great biscuits and I was envisioning baked biscuits in a basket covered with a towel. Nope, she brought the ingredients and mixed them up on my nice clean counter (that was all set up for food as soon as it came out of my oven). Then she needed my full oven to bake them!