15 Apr This Easter is Going to Bee Extra Special
This Easter we can finally enjoy having friends, relatives, and neighbours gathered around a generous spread, sharing stories over a table overflowing with soul-nourishing foods. The smell of freshly baked hot cross buns wafting through the home, and in the faint distance, the gleeful squeals of little ones scurrying around the garden, hunting for hidden chocolate treasures.
Easter has always been a time for family, but this year is going to be an even more special one. After being cooped up indoors and isolated from our loved ones for almost two years, we are finally free to live, laugh, embrace, and share food and memories with our nearest and dearest.
Grace Stevens, award-winning TV chef, confectionery connoisseur, honeybee lover, nature enthusiast, and all-time Easter expert shares her top tips to ensure your Easter is quite literally buzzing with delicious food and happy family time (as well as plenty of speckled eggs and chocolate bunnies of course).
Relax and make fond memories
Stressing out in the kitchen or spending hours in the supermarket aisle is not what Easter is about. This instead, is a welcome opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones that we didn’t get to see last year. To maximise family time, Grace suggests starting the Easter preparations as early as possible to avoid a late-night rush on the eve of the long weekend. Most biscuits and treats can be made ahead of time, and parts of the main meal can also be made a few days before and frozen.
I love Easter, not only because it is the most significant time in the Christian calendar, but because the evenings are colder, there is more rain, and we are leaving summer behind. I love hot cross buns and speckled eggs and the excitement that my kids show when we start to prepare for Easter Sunday.
A fabulous way to get the family excited and involved in the celebrations is to do a craft workshop, where you can learn a new technique for Easter decor and use what you make to decorate your table or home.
Embrace the mystery of a new season
After spending so much time living, working, and socialising indoors, Grace suggests it is perhaps natural for us to look outside of our homes for ideas and motivation.
Nature has always stimulated my creativity, and this year the great outdoors forms the foundation of my Easter celebration.
Over the last few weeks, I have especially been drawn to the intricacies and exquisiteness of the humble honeybee, which has given me so much inspiration this Easter. I am also showcasing delicate floral daisies as I just adore how simple they are, and how happy they make me feel.
Mycolour palette this year is slightly bolder, with rich tones of sunny yellows and warm oranges as we cling to the final trickles of summer but also embrace the start of autumn and winter. My artwork also draws inspiration from fashion and home décor items. Structured polka dots are seen extensively in this year’s design – their whimsical nature conjuring up memories of outdoor picnics and beach holidays.
Easter is for all – young and old
Making your own Easter eggs to decorate the table and gift to family and friends is a great activity to do with kids. The religious significance of Easter eggs refers to the story of when Mary went to look for Jesus but found an empty tomb instead. This is why Easter eggs are hollow.
Most baking shops carry chocolate moulds in an assortment of shapes and sizes. Simply melt your chocolate for 10 seconds at a time in the microwave and then fill your moulds and refrigerate.
The easter egg hunt is another childhood tradition that I have continued with my own children, and I love hiding the eggs for them to find around the house and garden. If your kids are a bit older like my adult son, then why not make your egg hunt more exciting by hiding clues in the garden?
This is not only a wonderful way of upgrading an Easter egg hunt, but it also keeps them stimulated and active and outdoors, and away from technology. The final clue can lead them to a huge stash of speckled eggs, smarties, and chocolate bunny ears. No one can be annoyed after seeing that!
For more delicious Easter tips, recipes and more, follow Grace on Instagram @grace_stevenschef, visit her website for some yummy recipes www.gracestevens.co.za.