Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter with the Soule’s


It was Lady’s immediate family (my father's brother's family) who were in town this weekend for Easter.  Most of you know my cousin Lady, she is the head designer for Tracy Reese and has one of those effortlessly fabulous apartments in Williamsburg on McCarren park that is chic, homey, and comfortable all at the same time.  Lady has the best sense of style of anyone I have ever met.  She’s a good friend and I’m glad she lives near by.  (Also, Lady’s birthday is Wednesday, April 27, Happy Birthday!!!)


Lady’s brother, Matt, his wife Seretta, and their two children Mikayla and Evie, plus their mom Jeannie were in town.  Lots of people and personalities—but this group is one of the most fun!  Everything is really relaxed, usually no schedule, just doing what feels good.  I love my cousins, they are so much fun, and we just have the ability to laugh and carry on.  I am thankful that we are all so close, we don’t get to see each other a lot, but when we get together, it's like I just saw them yesterday, no one misses a beat.  I almost forgot how much I love being with my family, and it reminds me that I don’t see them as much as I should. 

Around 2pm on Easter, I pile myself onto the L train and head to Williamsburg .  For some insane reason, I decide to wear a coat.  I don’t know, in my vortex of Bushwick it felt cooler, but when I get to Lady’s, I realize its like 80 degrees outside and just as hot in her apt!  Don’t get me wrong, happy for spring and the heat, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I get there and Lady’s mother (Jeannie) and Evie were the only two ones around.  Jeannie and I catch up and try and figure out how Lady’s oven works.  We can’t seem to get it above 100 degrees.  Then we realize it’s because the oven is not closed!  Eek! After that disaster is adverted, the whole crew gets home and we pull together a big Easter dinner.  Aunt Jeannie and Seretta proved themselves to be quite the kitchen masters! 

Easter Dinner:
Roast turkey
Ham with Maple Glaze
Mashed potatoes
Asparagus
Green beans with toast walnuts
Salad
Chicken gravy.

For dessert we had Key Lime pie from the pie place in Red Hook (best key lime pie EVER!) and a frutti di bosco torte.  Key Lime pie is my favorite, so for those of you who can’t make it to Red Hook, here it is for you to try in your own kitchen.

Total Time: 8 ½ hours
30 min baking, 8 hours chill
For crust
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For filling
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (if using bottled, preferably Manhattan brand)
 For topping
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
 Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.  Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add lime juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping:
Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.  Jon will do this by hand in a large, ice cold metal bowl with a metal whisk.  It takes him about 5-10 min, but I have to say it comes out more delicate and fluffy.  So if you want to give your biceps a work out, do it old school.

This Easter was full of old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years, friends starting new beginnings, and family.  It really couldn’t get any better!  (Except for Monday morning, I was up WAY to late Sunday and was seriously dehydrated from the heat—I guess the wine I had too did not help either!)

I was struck by one thing in particular comment Matt made to me, he told me that this was Seretta’s first trip to the East Coast and my response to Matt was that I had never been the West coast.  It sounds surprising, but true for a lot of people.  I think it's easy to forget how big this country is and all the amazing things it has to offer.  Jon reminds me of this constantly, it’s no secret I have my love affair with Europe and have really spent all my travels there, and my knowledge of the American landscape is limited.  My goal now, is to get around the US a little more.  So, here is an alert the Soule’s living in Seattle, I’m a coming—it’ll be fun, exciting, and of course, delicious.

Mikayla
Seretta with turkey!



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