Sharing Easter Joy

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As Easter approaches in South Alabama, I can’t wait to see the hot pink azaleas burst into frilly blooms. To catch glimmers of snow-white dogwoods amid the pale greens of spring. To celebrate with my family and friends. In fact, Easter is the most profound season of the year to me. A time to reflect on the renewal of nature all around me and, most important, the renewal of my soul within.

Hostess and cook that I am, however, my inward reflections usually translate outwardly into some kind of celebration or family gathering. I just love inviting people to my home and thinking up little ways to make the holiday special for people I love.

Making it simple, but special
Small, but special gestures make standard holiday traditions memorable. One year, I grew actual ryegrass in the bottom of my children’s Easter baskets. No crinkled, plastic strands for them that year! It took just about two weeks for the seeds to germinate and sprout into soft grass, where I tucked the colored eggs and candy.

Creating an easy centerpiece
For any of my Easter decorations, I try to add a touch of the outdoors. One simple—and edible!—centerpiece I’ve created before combines my homemade bread with spring flowers and Easter eggs that the kids have helped dye.

I just pop some tulips from the garden into a vase and set it in the center of a round platter. Then I surround it with two kinds of warm, homemade-tasting bread: Sister Schubert’s® Parker House Style Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls, which guests can pull off and eat.

Up and down the table, I add cut hyacinths, daffodils, and tulips arranged in small, silver mint julep cups. Of course, we also use the eggs that the children have helped to dye and lots of chocolate, foil-covered eggs. The children just beam showing off their contribution to the centerpiece!

For more details on creating this centerpiece yourself, follow the how-to instructions at the end of this post.

 Sharing at Easter
Whether you invite someone to join your dinner table or to join you for Sunday service, you can spread a little Easter joy by making an adult basket and playing Easter bunny. I’ve found that three pans of Sister Schubert’s® rolls stack neatly inside a straw basket. I tie the handle with pastel ribbons and deliver the baskets to people during Easter week, just to see them smile.

At my house this time of year, we also celebrate the anniversary of welcoming our fifth child into the family. It was at Eastertime when he joined our clan, after I had met him at a Ukrainian orphanage while doing work there through our family’s charitable foundation.

I often talk about sharing warmth and giving to others, but sharing our Easter table and opening our family to him may be one of the most special ways I’ve ever experienced what that really means. It was another kind of new beginning. Another new life to celebrate during springtime.

How-To Instructions: Sister’s Edible Easter Centerpiece

Step 1
Gather these elements:
-Round platter
-Medium-sized vase
-6 silver mint julep cups or vases of varying heights
-A bunch of tulips and other spring favorites
-One or two pans each of Sister Schubert’s® Parker House Style Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls, available in your grocer’s frozen food section. (Choose the number of pans based on how many guests you plan to serve.)
-Assortment of dyed Easter eggs and chocolate, foil-covered eggs

Step 2
Arrange the bunch of tulips in the medium-sized vase and the other assorted cut flowers in the smaller vases. Place the medium vase in the center of the platter and set a group of three smaller vases on one side of the platter and three on the other side.

Step 3
Bake the rolls, following package directions. Spread the icing onto the Cinnamon Rolls and keep both kinds of bread warm until it’s time to finish the centerpiece and serve your Easter lunch or brunch.

Step 4
Pull rolls apart and arrange them in a ring around the base of the vase, mixing the two kinds in informal mounds. Set the dyed eggs here and there on the platter to add color and Easter fun.

Step 5
Sprinkle more dyed eggs and the chocolate, foil-covered eggs amid the other vases.

Step 6
Tell guests to pull off their favorite type of roll, or some of each, to complete their Easter dinner plates.

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