Some families who do not entertain during Lent like to have a dinner party on Easter Sunday. Whether dinner is served in the early afternoon or in the evening, the traditional spring lamb roast or baked Easter ham is usually the featured dish. Tiny new potatoes, at least one green vegetable such as peas or asparagus, and some special dessert, possibly the current favorite of the college youngsters home for vacation, are traditional in such dinners.
Decoration and color scheme for this family event usually develop almost without a special plan on the part of the hostess. In the country or suburbs in many parts of the land forsythia is in bloom, and the first garden flowers such as tulips are ready to cut and arrange on the table and throughout the house. City hosts have no such resources, but they may receive a box of Easter flowers from a florist sent by some relative invited to the dinner, or they buy flowers from the corner stands and flower shops.
A corsage worn to church that morning might be re-arranged in a silver or glass goblet or mug as a small centerpiece and flanked at sides and ends with small dishes of yellow and white mints and toasted almonds and filberts.
Another fitting decoration for this table is made with colorful Easter eggs arranged high in a pair of tall, stemmed bowls, placed at ends of the table. The center area can be crowded with chocolate rabbits and fluffy chicks as favors.
Menu might begin with a wedge of chilled honeydew melon with a section of fresh lime, or with a broiled half grapefruit, or sliced fresh nectarines with chilled orange juice poured over them. Fresh mint sauce accompanies the roast lamb, and a delicate mustard sauce is served with the ham. The tiny new potatoes may be pan browned with the roast or fried in deep fat. New peas have special flavor if cooked French style: three or four lettuce leaves, butter and salt and pepper are put into the saucepan with the peas with a little water. The peas should be cooked to tenderness. Another delicate spring flavor in this dinner is a salad of water cress with finely chopped capers and sliced radishes.
The Easter cake can be baked in a lamb-shaped cake pan and frosted with white icing and thickly sprinkled with shredded coconut; add raisins for the lamb’s eyes and nose.
Another dessert is a large coconut angel cake, brought to the table with a few fresh freesia blossoms or other small spring flowers on top. Or, bake a chiffon cake and serve it with sweetened whipped cream and crushed red raspberries or strawberries.