You’re Invited: Celebrate Spring Feast

Despite New York’s tame winter weather, I was counting down the days to March 20th. Not only did it mean that Mad Men Season Five was less than a week away (the wait is finally over!), but more importantly equally as important I finally tucked my winter coats under my bed and opened all my windows. And while March 20th was the official start to spring, I’m holding out for the first week in April for the real celebration. This year Easter and Passover overlap in what I’m hoping is a marvelous sunny weekend. Regardless of whether you celebrate with lamb or brisket, make sure to take the time to gather your friends for a feast to welcome in the new season.

**The Details**

What: Celebrate Spring Feast! Feel free to add in Passover or Easter traditions as both take advantage of all the season has to offer.

For: 10-15 people

When: Early April, when the weather gets warm, but before finals bog you down.

What to Eat: Spring is a transitional season with fresh produce and flavors that arrive just as heavy stews no longer seem appealing. While I’ve found some Passover Seder and Easter dinner dishes to be a little much, their indulgent nature is welcome! Think about filling the table with all those green vegetables you missed dearly during the cold months, like simple lemon asparagus, crunchy green beans, or a grand salad. Go big or go home when it comes to the main attractions. I’m talking about beautiful brisket, tender lamb, or a good old roast chicken. Add some depth to the meal with sides like bright pasta salads, creamy deviled eggs, classic potatoes. And dessert. If you’ve got some time, strawberries and cream tart is a perfect way to round out the feast. Crowd-pleasing macaroons and raspberry brownies fit the occasion, and meet the chocolate requirement.

What to Drink: A few simple bottles of rosé or white wine will go a long way with any combination of dishes. If plain wine won’t cut it, doll it up with some fruit for sangria. Or ditch the wine, and go for the stronger, more tangy spiked lemonade. And like any good celebration, there should be some bubbly to go around. Toast to the season and all it has to offer—sunshine, fresh produce, good company.

How to Set the Scene: GO OUTSIDE. While the menu may not be totally picnic friendly, take advantage of outdoor space like porches and roofs. If going outside is not an option, open all the windows! Splurge on colorful napkins, plates, and flowers to set a bright and inviting table. Make a playlist with upbeat classics that everyone can sing along to and enjoy. Doesn’t matter how old you are, decorating eggs is a blast! Let everyone show off their creative side and display the finished products as the table’s centerpiece!

Attire: Simply put—wear your Sunday best. Pastels and florals encouraged—bonus points for both.

Juliana Barton is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, who avoided the dining hall by playing lunch lady in her own kitchen. She is patiently waiting for the right time to break out her floral dresses. Read more…

Originally posted on Friday, March 30th, 2012

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