Such a lovely Easter Sunday breakfast. The sky was still leaden and dark with the occasional misty sprinkle of rain. But in our kitchen, all was golden and warm and fragrant.
I just LOVE setting the Easter table. I wake up early, turn on the lamps, make a pot of tea, heat the coffee machine, and set to work. First, I spread out the 1940s yellow damask tablecloth. On top, I add Nanny Dougall’s square linen cloth – it has dear little blue and pink flowers embroidered across it and a delicate crocheted lace edging. I should add here – I NEVER iron the tableclothes :-) I smooth them out and know that by the time the rest of the table is set, no one will notice a single crease! I know, lazy huh! Then I set out the Easter plates I painted years and years ago at a little “paint-your-own-china-shop” in Brisbane. The Easter bowls and mugs are next.
Then comes the really fun bit …. I arrange the wee china rabbits, colourful expresso cups with tea lights, prettily coloured beads, little paper thin, painted eggs that Aunty Anne gave me, a pair of sweet felt chicks in their eggs, and of course, the Easter Tree with its cloth pompoms.
I do so love these pompoms – I started making them a week before Easter on Mum’s back porch in Brisbane when we lived with her. All week I made pompoms – in the car whilst waiting to collect Abby from school and cello, in bed at night before going to sleep, at the breakfast table with a cup of tea each morning, and eventually, on Good Friday with Carolann and Peter at Rainbow Bay. It was a terribly dreary, wet day – not that the children noticed – and Carolann and I sat on the sofa looking out at the magnificent Pacific Ocean whilst the children decorated paper dolls. Each year when I take them out, I think of all these moments and the people that shared them with me and truly, it warms my heart.
This year, the Easter Tree itself is a different one. The white painted mangrove branch that we brought home after it washed up on the beach at Wellington Point broke – completely snapped off from its plastered home in the galvanised bucket. It sort of got left in the garden after that. Hmmm … So this year – thanks to some fierce north easterlies – I used a branch from our back garden oak. And it was good.
A new addition this year – the felted eggs and a pair of wooden bunnies that Julian and I had a marvellous time making in the shed on Easter Saturday. I drew them and cut them out of pine. Julian dremelled their edges and added some engraved details. I stained them and added the wee felt eggs in their baskets. The only detail we didn’t get to was adding the felted carrots that were supposed to hang from their paws – next year.
Finally, bowls and mugs are filled with bunnies and chocolate eggs are scattered across the table. Whilst all of this is happening, the hot cross bun dough is magically rising in the corner. By the time the table is finished, the dough is ready to pull apart and shape into buns. I let them rise 15 minutes longer, then whilst they bake in the oven, I sip my umpteenth cup of tea and the family begin to rise and sleepily wander out.
It’s my favourite part of our Easter weekend.