Easter is a lovely time of the year, heralding spring and brighter days ahead. With the winter we’ve had, this year we need it more than ever! Most of us have some family time planned over the Easter break, whether it’s a big family meal on Easter Sunday (1st April 2018), or keeping the children entertained over school holidays. We’ve put together our favourite home ideas to make this Easter a cracking one.
1. Traditional Easter egg hunt
The only way to spend Easter Sunday – ideal for both adults and children! You can go as simple or as complicated as you like with this. If you’d like to avoid your whole family going crazy with a sugar high, hide little plastic eggs and exchange them for a single chocolate egg once a certain number have been retrieved.
2. Bespoke Easter egg hunt
You’re never too old for an Easter egg hunt. If your Easter Sunday party doesn’t include any young guests, that’s no reason to miss out! Hold your hunt after dark with torches for an extra dimension of difficulty. Equip your guests with torches, and hide good quality dark chocolate eggs or miniatures of chocolate liqueur. Depending on how many people you’re organising for, you could also consider leaving out a Marie Curie donation box and issuing everyone with daffodil badges.
3. Cheat with your Easter cake
The traditional Easter cake is a simnel cake – a rich fruit cake, decorated with a ring of marzipan and twelve marzipan balls to represent the twelve apostles.
If you’re tight for time, buy the cake itself, but make your own marzipan – it’s much nicer and will help you pass the whole creation off as your own! (Don’t worry, we won’t tell).
All you need is 35g caster sugar, 140g icing sugar plus a little extra for rolling out, 250g ground almonds, one egg yolk and up to half a tablespoon of lemon juice. You’ll also need a spoonful of apricot jam for construction purposes.
Mix all the dry ingredients and add the egg yolk, mixing to form a stiff batter. Add the lemon juice a little at a time until the mixture ‘eases’ up and becomes workable (don’t go mad or it goes too sticky. You can recover this with a little extra icing sugar.)
Cut the quantity in half and roll one half into a fat sausage shape, long enough to around the top of the cake. Warm the jam in the microwave for ten seconds, and brush it onto the outer edge of the top of the cake. Press the sausage into place, forming a ring around the cake top and leaving the centre clear. Press it down with your fingers, and press the tines of a fork into it to flatten and decorate.
Then, form the remaining paste into twelve balls (we’ve been quite generous with the quantities so there’ll probably be a bit left over for tasting purposes!), and ‘glue’ them into place at intervals around the top of the cake with jam. If you like, you can fill the hole in the middle with glace icing and decorations such as Easter chicks.
5. Decorate the house
The nice thing about Easter is that it’s very simple to get your house looking seasonal – simply get some cheerful, brightly coloured jugs, vases or mugs and fill them with daffodils, which are now cheaply and easily available from supermarkets.
Daffodils only really stay looking good for four or five days once they’re open, so if you do have to buy them earlier then leave them in a cold, frost free place such as a garage until you’re ready for them.
It’s also nice to make an Easter wreath for your door. You’ll need a plain wicker ring (available online and from florists). Then, grab your scissors or secateurs and head outside! Pussy willow is just starting to emerge and works really well in a wreath as it’s flexible. Cut off a few long twigs and weave them in and out of the willow ring, letting the tips stick out. Work in some yellow ribbon or feathers to finish it off.
Alternatively, if you can’t get hold of a wicker ring, why not simply hang some small egg decorations on branches in a large vase? It looks just as effective and is really quick to put together.
How are you celebrating Easter? Do you have any decorating tips or special traditions to share?
(Images courtesy of Pixabay)