A very happy Spring/Easter/Passover Holiday from everyone here at Potterton Hill. We know that these are difficult times and hope that our little blog brings some joy to those stuck inside their homes.
Easter was celebrated with just my mother and myself this year since we are social distancing as required. My brother is in Vermont with his family, and they are able to get out and fly kites and ride bikes since he has property and are enjoying mild weather. My sister and her family are not too far north of us and will get out for a nice walk, but it’s seriously cold here today.
We enjoyed putting together this tablescape with last-minute items we already had since we're home bound, which means my mom hasn't been able to shop for weeks now and it is driving her crazy. She is our Potterton Hill super shopper, and will spend hours in one place just to find a single treasure.
We went with silver, shades of whites, and gray for this Easter setting. The gray-and-white polka dot napkins, by Potterton Hill, were fun to mix with white lace cotton napkins and a tablecloth by Shabby Chic. The rabbit napkin rings were a great find, and the pewter nicely complements the grays.
I was adamant this year about not using the traditional pastels, though I do like a bit of color. These adorable plates offered just the right touch of color and whimsy. The second plate was previously featured as part of set in this Winter Tablescape post. We are still on the hunt to find more.
The late afternoon light filtered in and wreaked havoc on the photos, but I did not mind. I have always preferred natural light, whether from sunlight, firelight, or candles. I do not think the bunnies mind either. The bunny plates are from Pier 1. The silver chargers were picked up at TJ Maxx a couple of years back.
The rose lilies were are a real treat. This is the first time we've used this species in an arrangement, and I will be looking for a variety of the rose lilies to plant now. Rose lilies do not posses the strong fragrance one normally associates with the lovely flower. It is far more subtle and has a nice, fresh scent. They also do not produce the messy pollen. Mixed with alstroemeria, another type of lily, daisies, moss, and woven carrots, this arrangement made for a lovely centerpiece.
Up close with the lace napkins we mixed with the polka dot. Lace makes for a lovely and complementary pattern to many designs. The trick, we have always found, is to not overdo.
The meal was a wonderful experiment. Mom requested Monte Cristo sandwiches and she found what turned out to be the perfect recipe. We always make our pancake mix from scratch and share it with the family, and we discovered the mix can be used for the Monte Cristo sandwiches. One of our favorite cookbooks, and quite useful especially during this time, is Make-A-Mix. We have a well-used copy of the original edition from 1995 that we refuse to give up. The authors spent a lot of time creating homemade mixes from scratch accompanied by delicious recipes. The pre-made mixes make the prep time so much easier.
The tale of the Monte Cristo sandwiches, at least for our family, began at the Blue Bayou restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. I remember the restaurant, though I always ordered the ribs, with cannon’s going off in the background, and delightful swamp-creature sounds, lights low, and always so much fun. It was a true Disney experience, which is still available today.
It’s been over 35 years since we have been in the restaurant and she really wanted these for Easter dinner this year, and I was ready to give in and try them. We served them with dollops of raspberry jam, and accompanied them with a side of coleslaw and fruit, and of course our favorite mini cheesecakes, this time topped with fresh blueberries.
I can only remark that I should not have waited so long to try a Monte Cristo sandwich. They were delightful treats for my taste buds, and the combination of flavors was unexpected and delicious. These were cooked in cast-iron, and next time we'll try them in the air fryer.
We used the exact recipe from the Make-A-Mix cookbook, and the only reason we are posting it here is because the print version of the book appears to only be available used, and not easily found. It is available in e-book. We truly hope they release another print edition. We highly recommend trying their version, but don't be afraid to experiment once you've mastered the basic recipe.