usually around this time of year i'm beginning to dream of easter morning, waking up in my little twin bed (or the sofa that's since usurped its position as primary piece of furniture) in my little room in my parents house, bending over the side and reaching for the green plastic-weaved basket that will have invariably been set there at some obscure hour of the night/morning. or i'm dreaming of easter brunch/dinner/dessert, when my 40 day-long chocolate/coffee/cheese (this year's choice) fast will finally reach an end.
this year was a bit different. yes, i am still anxiously awaiting a cheddar omelet, or baked brie, or pasta with parmesan generously sprinkled on top, but a new tradition has been recently added to my early-spring repertoire. and although i am in no way jewish, i'd like to think i made my fictional yiddish grandmother proud with the feast i helped to create for 15-16 of my and my roommate's nearest and dearest, and mostly christian friends. there was apple kugel, charoset, a (quite delicious) brisket, roasted vegetables, homemade hummus (courtesy of heidi's phenomenal recipe - just the right amount of spice, and perfect with crudites), a flourless chocolate cake with a density index of about 100%, and ina garten's perfect little raspberry gratins. top it all off with a case and a half of two buck chuck, and i say it was a success!
on our many excursions to prepare for passover, my roommate and i found these cute and extremely versatile individual gratin dishes at fishs eddy - they worked perfectly for the dessert and as containers for the hummus and aioli dip we served to begin.
we also picked up 3 of their 1 liter carafs, which made the table look incredibly beautiful - a nice and simple touch to transform any dinner party into something just a little more special.
and finally, the first glance of my own illustrations - i was tasked with designing the place cards for everyone ('tasked' isn't quite the right word - jumped up and down, waving my arm like an overeager second grader is more like it). here are the two designs that i came up with - the second ended up winning out, with the brooklyn skyline serving as a banner at the top and each person's name handwritten below it.
i think this passover thing might just become an adopted tradition... just so long as the easter bunny still drops off some robin's eggs by my couchside.