Step back in time for your Easter dinner

Comfort food and family always work well

So, you’ve decided to have the family over for Easter dinner. You did it, even arranged the transportation for your aging parents who don’t get out very much and will now be the guests of honour. Forget the popular ham or turkey and make the old-fashioned family favourites to surprise everyone. Now let’s get to work.

So, your dad’s favourite meal has always been meat loaf. Make a meat loaf. Your mom has trouble chewing certain foods and loves pasta. Make a lasagna – it will go a long way if you have a crowd. Pick simple vegetables such as peas and carrots, mixed vegetables or maybe even Brussel sprouts in a cheese sauce to round out your meal. Top it off with some hot-cross buns or homemade biscuits.

You could choose a simple dessert like pudding or add some gourmet flavor with a Crème Brule. Have no fear, this dish is easy to make. Just buy a couple of Crème Brule mixes in the pudding/jello section of your grocery store and follow the easy directions on the package.

Have some old-fashioned ice cream on hand. Praline and Cream is an excellent neutral choice. Cookies and Cream or Neapolitan is another option. Add a favorite family topping such as chocolate, caramel or strawberry syrup.

If you have time, colour some hard-boiled eggs to use as table decorations and offer these to your guests to take home.

If you are ambitious and feel like decorating, the local dollar store is your best bet. They always stock beautiful home décor for your table or walls and some pretty Easter napkins. For that final touch you might want to buy an Easter lily, daffodils or tulips.

A dinner like this (chalked full of memories) will far outweigh any gourmet steak and lobster or expensive roast. Comfort food always works best and much of it can be made the day ahead.

When your company has arrived, you will just have to heat the main course and make the vegetables. Now you can sit down to enjoy your family.

Just one more tip – think back to how the family spent their evenings together when you were growing up. You might want to have a deck of cards, a favourite board game, an old movie or some old photo albums ready to go.

It’s true that ‘the only thing constant in this world today is change’, but there’s a lot to be said about tradition.

Karla Reinhard lives in Qualicum Beach, where she explores seniors’ issues and personalities in the area. For story tips or questions, she can be reached at

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