It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Easter!

With Easter right around the corner, this Farmer could hardly resist paring some grocery grandeur with garden glam and set this table. I had a writer for of our local newspapers coming for a lunch interview, so I wanted to set a springy tableaux – it can’t get much springier than Easter! 


What is so amazing about Easter for my corner of Dixie is this: for me, and many a farmer and gardener alike, the very essence of spring is this benchmark planting date – Easter weekend. It is now safe to plant tomatoes – all veggies for that matter. I always sow my first zinnia seeds on Good Friday.  Geraniums can now cascade down the porch steps. Ferns may regain their lofty airs hanging from porches. This is the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox – translated into “winter is gone and it is safe to plant.” A time to plant… if you will… a time for renewal, growth and new life.


I use Easter as my safety net for all my spring planting. Nature’s cadence churns its rhythm, designating this time of year as winter’s last call and spring’s major crescendo. With an Easter theme chiming, I thought about a spring picnic, but did not want to force my reporter friend into a pollen clad garden. I chose to bring the garden in – have a picnic luncheon al fresc… al indoors-o. And you know, the mosquitoes and gnats were not a problem at all inside! (Mind you they have emerged here in my Middle/South Georgia neck of the woods – no real winter to speak of, thus we’ll be hauled away by the bugs come summertime.)


Red check linens – quintessential picnic. Well, not exactly red – more raspberry – or as Mama says, “Carl,” yes, like a man’s name. Others know the color as coral, but my deep corally red/pink runner was just ready to contrast against my kitchen table and serve as the cornerstone for my tableaux.  “Carl” it is in our family. When the interview commenced, I had to tell the reporter first off about the table, for I have the kitchen table that we grew up with.


It is an antique Jacobean, dark English oak ordeal with thick barley twist legs and chairs that weigh at least a ton each. Trust me, I move them daily and have nearly all my life, setting another place setting, etc. I had to tell the newspaper writer that this is where we had big weekend breakfasts, did our homework, where our lunches were lined up in brown paper sacks, made sugar cube igloos for fifth grade projects – this is where my sisters, my parents, and I ate. The dark ring is from a prize begonia I overwintered one year. Ya’ll know how vital a kitchen table is. It is the true heart of the home. I wanted to start the interview with this table, at this table – thus giving provenance to my story and in turn, the story she was writing.

For this picnic, I served one of this Farmer’s staple luncheons – a salmon Nicoise platter – and akin to picnic food since everything served cold. I love this platter. Cold potato salad, the firmness of the cool salmon, the snappy textures of the asparagus, snow peas, cucumbers and baby corn – and the divine capered dill sour cream dolloped on it all. The colors too are springy and fresh and I just adore serving this dish.


Aunt Kathy’s heirloom pressed glass strawberry goblets for the tea set the tone for the dessert – a strawberry shortcake.  Her lavender dinnerware juxtaposed with the “carl” checks is just too fun. Pops of yellow tulips cut short in bubbled glass tumblers gave sunny tones to this tablescape and ruffled edged leaves of huechera or coral bells daintily laced the bouquets. The contrast of the chartreuse and the plum leaves is yummy! This spring-time fare is fine enough, but I was ready for some true Easter delights! 


Shades of grapey plum, turquoisey aqua, jaded green, salmon hued orange, and rose tinted red eggs set in lavender bowls served as the understory elements to the tulip sprays. I must confess: I truly relish in dying Easter eggs. I love it! Yet, I found these at Publix. Yes, in the grocery store! Besides being gorgeous right out of the carton, they are hardboiled! Egg salad anyone? Yessirree! There is something so luxurious about convenience and these eggs proved that mantra true.


So my table is set for Easter – a tad early but set and ready. I can only pray that my heart is set for Easter. Nature’s often bizarre tempo is unfathomable and baffling, yet it always gets jam up and jelly tight for Easter. That is my sincere Easter wish – in the midst of the seasons’ sway and life’s as well, may we be geared up, lined up, and set for Easter. It is beginning to look a lot like Easter and that makes one very happy Farmer!