Passover Inspired Easter
I have been thinking a lot about the holidays, my children, and what kind of message I am relaying when we celebrate. So this year, before I displayed my cute bunnies and colorful eggs, I did a little research and a little planning. I decided to create a table with a purpose and a story. I carefully chose the colors I wanted to use to reflect the crucifixion of Christ. I also created an Easter dinner inspired by the seder plate used during Passover. I shared this story on the show yesterday. I was a little nervous about the feedback I would receive. We taped the show live at the Roanoke Business Expo and I kept my table up all day at our business booth. I am pleased to say, I received very positive feedback. I even had a few viewers come to visit me just from watching the show that afternoon. Very humbling and I sincerely appreciate their kind words and the time they took out of their day to visit with me.
Here is the clip.
Here is a description of my color choices.
Yellow: Symbolizes the Glory of God, divine nature, holiness, resurrection.
Red: symbolizes blood atonement, sacrifice of Christ’s blood, covenant of grace, death and life, love, redemption, sacrifice, the person of Jesus, the cross.
Green: Praise, eternal life, vigor, prosperity, mercy, restoration, health, healing, new beginning, freshness, God’s holy seed, harvest, sowing and reaping, immortality, new life, joy in hope.
As part of the place setting, each guest will also have a passage from scripture to tell the story leading to the crucifixion. Starting in the old testament and leading into the new testament.
Center piece with foliage and three crosses…spring flowers. I made this centerpiece from supplies I purchased at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store. The steps on how to make it are here http://184.108.40.206/easter-centerpiece/
Just a side not about decorating, mixing different textures and styles creates a unique table and somehow gives it balance. I used heavily jeweled chargers, with a rustic centerpiece. I tied the napkins with twine and forsythia on top of a basic white plate. My table cloth is traditionally patterned and came from Israel. I set out my best flatware and used brilliant green glass goblets. This has been my favorite tablescape so far. I love the meaning and the variety.
Again, I created our meal out of inspiration of the seder plate.
On a traditional Seder plate, three matzot are placed on top of each other on a plate or napkin, and then covered. (Some also have the custom to separate the matzot from each other with interleaved plates or napkins.)
The matzot are symbolic of the three castes of Jews: Priests, Levites, and Israelites. They also commemorate the three measures of fine flour that Abraham told Sarah to bake into matzah when they were visited by the three angels (Genesis 18:6).
On a cloth or plate placed above the three matzot, you typically find the following items:
The Bitter Herbs
The Mixture (Charoset)
The Bitter Herbs (Lettuce)
The Shankbone -A piece of roasted meat represents the lamb that was the special Paschal sacrifice on the eve of the exodus from Egypt, and annually, on the afternoon before Passover, in the Holy Temple.
The Egg- A hard-boiled egg represents the holiday offering brought in the days of the Holy Temple. The meat of this animal constituted the main part of the Passover meal.
The Mixture- A mixture of apples, nuts and wine which resembles the mortar and brick made by the Jews when they toiled for Pharaoh.
The Vegetable- Often lettuce. The lettuce symbolizes the bitter enslavement of their fathers in Egypt. The leaves of romaine lettuce are not bitter, but the stem, when left to grow in the ground, turns hard and bitter.
The Herb-Bitter herbs (maror) remind us of the bitterness of the slavery of their forefathers in Egypt. Fresh grated horseradish, romaine lettuce, and endive are the most common choices.
Starter: Matzo Ball Soup
Lamb ( for the shank bone)
Pickled Eggs (The Egg)
Romaine Salad with Roasted beets and Horse Radish Dressing (The Vegetable and Bitter Herbs)
Unleavened bread- Pita Bread. When the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise (leaven). In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called “The Festival of the Unleavened Bread”. Also, in the Christian faith, during the last supper Jesus took the bread and the wine and asked his Father to bless it. He broke the bread into pieces, giving it to his disciples and said, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Dessert. Cored apple stuffed with spices, nuts, dried fruits (The Mixture) with vanilla ice-cream or heavy whipping cream. Served with a cinnamon spiced “Resurrection Bread.” To symbolize the resurrection and the empty tomb.
Matzo Ball Soup Recipe-http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/passover-matzoh-ball-soup
Romaine Salad with Roasted Beets and Horseradish Dressing –http://www.food.com/recipe/roasted-beet-salad-with-horseradish-cream-dressing-167868
Dessert- I basically core enough apples for my guests and set aside. I sautee walnuts (or pecans) in a skillet with butter and cinnamon. I add the dried fruits (apricots, raisins, cranberries, etc.) and make it saucy with red wine and brown sugar. Bake in a pre-heated oven @375 for about 3o minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipping cream and for Easter, the resurrection bread.
*note-I actually like Rhodes brand bread. The ingredients are very simple and it is basically homemade dough that is frozen. It tastes like homemade and doesn’t have preservatives like a canned bread dough. I personally think canned dough tastes pretty awful and never use it. This recipe is easy and tastes good too!
Let me know what you think of this Easter table idea and if you incorporate any of these suggestions into your table this year. I appreciate the feedback!