Alright kids, this is the final Florida post from my recent Marco Island adventure. 

I know, I know. Sad day.

But look on the bright side! Now we get to move on to happy spring things like farmer’s markets and asparagus and sunshine! Okay, we might have to take a “rain check” on the sunshine ~ it is April in Washington after all. (Get it? Rain check? Ha! I kill me). I digress. Back to the beach we go…

P.S. props go to my padre for the stellar post title!

So, my last day of sun-soaked goodness happened to also be Easter Sunday. And what better way to celebrate than a crazy huge, food coma inducing meal! Okay, yeah I guess you could go to church (and don’t worry I did ~ on the beach even). But for now, let’s just stick to food. 

And so I present to you an Easter feast, courtesy of my loud and proud extended Italian family. 

Now, two things happened when I heard I’d be eating Easter dinner at my Aunt Laura’s this year.  

First, I did a little happy dance because I’ve eaten Sunday supper at the casa de Frisone before and it is, in a word, phenomenal.   

But then I experienced this strange thud in my stomach… the kind you get when suddenly faced with a huge and seemingly impossible undertaking…as I realized that I’d be eating not one, not two, no not even three, but FOUR humongous Italian meals all in one little day.   

(Gulp) I was done for. And I couldn’t have been happier about it.

You see, Italians don’t just eat ~ they savor; turning a simple dinner into a marathon event beginning at 2 p.m. and ending sometime around dawn the next day. From the first bite of antipasti to the final sip of espresso, it’s all about the food, family and friends. Can you think of a better combination?   

I hear people all the time saying how much they adore Italian food. But what I think they really mean is that they love how Italians eat food. When you really eat Italian, you slow down ~ enjoying the company of those around you and taking in each and every bite as if it were a gift.   

Why rush? You have all the time in the world. And the food? It isn’t going anywhere. In fact, there’s plenty more on the way. So go ahead and relax ~ it’s going to be a long and lovely, bella notte

An Authentic Italian Easter Hoedown ~ Prepared by Aunt Laura

To give you a taste of what can be expected at a real Italian soiree, here’s a peak at our Easter menu. I’ll have some family recipes up soon so check back!

 First Course ~ Antipasti
Homemade roasted red peppers
Fresh provolone cheese

Italian sausage and pepperoni
A selection of olives
Crusty Italian bread
A whole lot of wine
   

This could have been our entire Easter meal and I would have jumped for joy. I’m a sucker for finger foods, especially those with names like “pepperoni” and “sausage.” Add olives to the mix and I may even give you a hug. 

See that bowl of luscious red bits? Yeah that one. Those are my Aunt’s homemade roasted peppers and they are so much better than anything I’ve ever eaten out of a jar. Smoky and juicy and just a little sweet. Oh and that cute little hand down there belongs to my cousin’s daughter, Gianna. Sneaky little bugger!   

Second Course ~ Pasta
Grandma Lulu’s eggplant parmesan
Aunt Laura’s lasagna
Fresh tomato sauce with meatballs and beef
   

Oh Nelly. This is where things get good. We’re talking platter upon platter of homemade lasagna, bowls of steaming sauce with humongo meatballs swimming about in their rich, tomato bath and glorious eggplant parmesan made with lots of Italian love by my Grandma Lulu. Sorry kids, that recipe is a no go this time around. And believe me, I tried. Grandma makes her eggplant from memory, which means no sauce splattered recipe card for me.  However, I’m quite a stubborn little thing and when I want something I eventually get it, recipes and all! You may have won this round Grandma…but watch out, cause I’m coming back in July!   

   

 Third Course ~ Easter Fixins
Ham
Turkey
Mom’s cheesy potatoes
Green bean casserole
Mashed potatoes
Green beans
   

At this point, both myself and my camera were stuffed to the point of no return. Therefore, the only evidence I have of Round 3 is a shot of my mom’s famous cheesy potatoes I took sometime between my third plate of antipasti and that extra helping of meatballs I so shouldn’t have indulged in. These guys (the potatoes, not the meatballs) get cooked up for every single holiday in my house. We were a bit worried that the Italians wouldn’t go for potato chip-topped taters…but how could they say no when my little 5 ft short mamacita hovered over their plates with a quivering dollop of cheese drenched potatoes and those big brown eyes? Yeah…when my mom asks if you want food, it’s best to just say yes… 

 Fourth Course ~ Dolce
Rice pudding
Grandma Lulu’s icebox cake
Aunt Laura’s Italian jam cookie bars
Italian cheesecake
Pignoli cookies
Easter bread
Cannoli dip
Banana bread
   

As you can see by the half-dozen or so photos that follow, this was my favorite part of the meal. Maybe it was the table laden with Italian treats or perhaps the gallon or so of coffee I forced myself to drink, but something broke me out of my food coma long enough to devour a much too big for such a little girl plate of sugar splendor. Soak it up kids, this part is heavenly! 

    

   

  

 

   

And that, friends, was Easter dinner. Tune in this July for more Marco Island adventures!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled TSLOK programming…

~Brittni

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