We are in our post-Easter mode this week -- living on carrots and celery.
Last week was filled with cooking. One day I spent over an hour grinding up 5 pounds of ham in my old-fashioned grinder to make our traditional Easter hamloaf. This is when I really miss Rodhe's IGA, which made the most wonderful hamloaf in the world. No one ever heard of hamloaf in South Carolina, let alone makes it.
The next day I mixed up the ingredients for the annual cheesy potato dish. I made a double batch since there would be 12 of us for the meal and there are some hardy appetites in the crowd. I make it in a foil roaster pan that can be thrown away since it's a mess to wash.
Another day I made the dessert -- chocolate chocolate chip cake. I had already made a fresh apple cake for another event earlier in the week and had saved half of it for Easter also.
The day before Easter I set the table -- just to make sure I had everything necessary to seat 12. We had to add a narrow folding table to the end of the dining room table so we could accommodate 10 people. The other two could sit at the island. The biggest problem was finding a tablecloth that fit.
I hauled out my little basket of plastic colored eggs for the centerpiece. The grandchildren's favorite table decoration is the assortment of pastel M & M's and tiny Reese's peanut butter eggs that are strewn all over the center of the table. To them that is like the appetizer.
Sunday morning is always busy. Our church has a breakfast instead of Sunday School and people take food for that. I had cleverly offered to take two gallons of orange juice, which I took out and put in the church's refrigerator a few days early as there was no room in ours.
Before leaving for church the most important thing was putting the hamloaf and cheesy potatoes in the oven and setting it on timed bake. It is always somewhat anxiety producing when in the middle of the sermon my mind turns to wondering if I had set the oven timer right. There would be nothing worse than having 10 people descend on your house at the appointed hour only to find a cold, raw meal in the oven.
As it turned out, the meal was perfect. All the guests were very appreciative of every dish and a good time was had by all right up until most of the crowd had eaten their dessert.
That's when one of the granddaughters happened to notice that their Grandma Strong was slumped over in her chair and looked like she had passed out. Robyn rallied around her mother-in-law and asked her all the questions you would to test if a person was having a stroke. That did not seem to be the problem.
The emergency squad was called. Getting a group of volunteers together on Easter Sunday afternoon did not happen quickly, but they finally showed up. This is a sure way to attract a crowd on our street when everyone comes out of their houses to see what is happening and to whom.
The patient was taken to the closest hospital where it was discovered she had a urinary tract infection and was terribly dehydrated. It certainly broke the party up early as all the guests suddenly departed, leaving us with the dirty dishes.