A Table for Easter

Josephine, our wonderful housekeeper, firmly believes in God. She has a beautifully decorated altar in her room with pictures of Mary and Jesus where she lights candles and incense and prays every evening. I , however, fluctuate between being theist to agnostic. I mean I do have a small shrine in our bedroom with beautiful little statues of Krishna and Radha. I am uncertain about their role but, as conditioned reflex, I pray there once in a while– usually in times of difficulty and in the hope that I am teaching something good to my children!But I do love a celebration- any kind .At Easter, some years ago, I had happily greeted Josephine with a ‘Happy Easter’ on Good Friday. She told me, with a glint in her eye, that I could say that only on Sunday when Jesus is reborn. And not on Friday- the day that he died ! These days I, superiorly, go round correcting people who make the same mistake.
Josephine fasts all day on Good Friday and cooks a simple Tamil Christian meal for the evening- kanjee which is a rice, lentil and coconut milk khichdi (like a watery(liquidy?) risotto), hot lentil chutney and a fabulous paayasam- a dessert made out of roasted moong daal( a kind of lentil), jaggery and coconut milk.In Dublin, she attends an evening service at the nearby Foxrock church, and gets back to share her meal with us.This time I am celebrating Easter with friends. My table is set for lunch . I did the setting yesterday so I can share it with you —

I had some exquisitely painted eggs from Romania. For a table for Easter, Josephine reminded me, they had to be brought out from our bedroom.

I wish I had chicks or even hens since they are closely associated with eggs– but for now my three wooden painted cocks would have to do.  I had bought them in Ottawa for one dollar each at a Dollar Shop. They have traveled the world with me and I am very fond of them. So I elevated their position from a kitchen shelf to the dining table – and put them with the eggs.

Some creative people in Dar es Salaam have been dismantling traditional wooden boats called Dhows and making fabulous furniture and accessories . I have two of their beautiful candle holders . Because the cocks would need to sit on something- I used one of them.

For a base, this great piece of burlap from a package did well- rough and beautifully textured.
Huge ,old pine trees, sadly, had to be cut down from the garden of the residence. I wanted memories of those trees so I had the loggers cut me many slices that I now use around the house, in the garden and on my table. Here they are- pine wood table mats – so organic and beautiful !

And , of course, the gorgeous painted eggs !   Normal white and brown eggs would have also worked beautifully. Just that I had these ones so I used them. And two Spathiphyllum plants. One of the first things I do on arriving in a new place is get Spathiphyllum plants -small and large-for the house. They require very little maintenance and , I firmly believe, enliven any corner or table.

The one dollar cock and the eggs at close quarters-

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Oh- just to add- since a few of you have asked, Josephine’s recipe for paayasam will follow very soon ..Before Josephine, I, for one, did not know much about Tamil food beyond the idli or dosa . To me, it has also been educational.  I think this food is different, simple and delicious.

You can see how one can use the wood slices( in the pictures above )in a different way by clicking here

Today is Sunday- Easter Sunday- so I can safely say- Happy Easter !  May you all, dear friends, have a life that renews itself- with happiness-everyday !

For the Paayasam recipe (which I have now posted) click here

Photos- Debashish
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About Adity

Hello ! You are either already a friend or will become one--through this medium! I am an artist and jewellery maker, a wife and mother to two lovely children. Beautiful homes, food, nature and wonderful things happening around me make me ecstatic. That is why I started to write this blog-- to share with you all of these things. After all what good is any experience if not shared !
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4 Responses to A Table for Easter

  1. I love the wood slices!

  2. Thanks, Valerie. They would be great to eat off as well-but I would have to sand them down first,I suppose.

  3. chetna says:

    unusual and artistic table setting

  4. Thank you, Chetna- I hope I can carry these pine slices back to India since it is getting increasingly difficult to cut trees everywhere-thank God!

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