Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Celebration: April 4, 2010

Easter is an intensely special and intimate holiday for me. It is foremost a religious holiday framed by springtime. The spring flowers, the sun breaking through rain clouds, the almost instantaneous appearance of blossoms on the tree all signal the end of cold, drizzly and dark.  It enlivens me and reminds me of what is of foremost importance. The sacred songs of Easter augment the beauty of springtime, and touch me deeply. I am reminded of my potential, renewed in my hope and dedication, invigorated and mostly humbled as I contemplate my indebtedness to my Savior. 

This is of course a food blog not a religious blog, but Easter is the one meal that can't be separated for me. Our tradition is meld the two in a symbolic meal - a Christian Seder if you will. Each dish is inspired by a sacred text or song. The theme, dishes and text change every year. This year, scripture and song encapsulated the pleadings of men and Christ captured my heart. So here we submit our Easter meal with the inspiring verse. Should you wonder why any particular course was inspired by the text, leave a comment and we are happy to elaborate.

Easter Celebration

--Pleadings with and of the Lord--

Easter Egg Hunt

Hard Boiled Egg with Whipped Chevre Yolks, Pea Shoots and Five Mystery Spices

O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.

And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O aye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.

O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.
3 Ne. 10: 4-6

Asperges en Vinaigrette et Oeufs Mimosa
Asparagus two ways, radish and egg mimosa

Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
Enos 3-5

Chicken Noodle Soup

Consomme with Smoked Chicken, Parsnip "Noodles," Butternut Gel
Cranberry Rosemary Reduction

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
How Firm a Foundation, K

Roasted Cauliflower Espuma with Beet Chips
 . . . [T]he king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

 And . . . the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:

O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.
Alma 22: 15, 17-18

The Shepherd's Offering

Lamb Three Ways with Jus, Sauteed Beet Greens with Garlic Confit, Wild Mushroom Risotto

|:  Ah! Turn me not away, Receive me tho' unworthy :|
Hear Thou my cry, Behold, Lord, my distress!  Answer me from thy throne.
Haste Thee, Lord, to mine aid, Thy pity show in my deep anguish!
Let not the sword of vengeance smite me, Though righteous thine anger, O Lord!
Shield me in danger, O regard me!  On Thee, Lord, alone will I call.

|:   O Divine Redeemer! O Divine Redeemer!
I pray Thee, grant me pardon, And remember not, remember not my sins! :|
O Divine Redeemer, Gounod

Saint Agur, Smoked Nuts, and Asian Pear Chutney


. . . [M]y heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
2 Nephi 4 17-18, 26-28

 Coeur √Čternel

Mousse au Chocolat, Rosemary Caramel Cremeaux, Sour Cherry Gelee, Hazelnut Biscuit
Balsamic Morello Cherries, Olive Oil Praline Soil, White Chocolate Crunch
Chocolate Enrobed Cherries

Take my heart, o take and seal it.  Seal it to thy courts above
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robinson

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Milk and Cereal Cookies

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

(Pictures and recipe coming soon!)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for one of the best meals I've ever had. I loved the spiritual connections in the entire menu.

    I loved the easter egg hunt.

    The Chicken Noodle Soup was probably my favorite. The spiritual connection of the clear consomme clarified with eggs. At the same time a classic chicken and root vegetable combination with a contemporary twist of Butternut Gel. A truly refined dish.

    The Shephard's Offering dish with the 3 different cuts of lamb prepared a different way provided 3 different textures of perfectly cooked delicious lamb and the Wild Mushroom Risotto was out of this world.

    The cheese dish with the combination Saint Agur, Smoked nuts, and Asian Pears had such a rich flavor. The best way to enjoy this is to cut straight down vertically to let all the flavors reach every corner of the palet. The smoked salted nuts provided an earthy crunch and seasoning for the soft blue cheese and it finishes off with the sweet asian pears. It's like a miniature meal in every bite.

    The chocolate mousse was a hit. I enjoyed the combination of chocolate and cherries with the Rosemary Caramel.

    I can't believe I'm having this level of dining in someone's home. They should give out Michelin Stars to home chefs!