From Bunting Making to Blowing Eggs, we get you ready for Easter with our top five seasonal tricks!
It’s Easter, and Spring is really taking hold, so we’ve decided to round up some seasonal Easter tips to soothe your chocolate cravings and indulge in some Easter Cake. It’s with a hop, skip and jump, like the Easter bunny, that we bring you our seasonal tricks we can impart in preparation for Easter, which is falling this year on April 4th.
Here are our top five seasonal tricks to help you get ready for the Chocolate season!
1. Make a Simnel Cake
This is a light fruit cake with a layer of marzipan running through the middle, and topped with marzipan, before decorating with eleven balls of marzipan. These balls represent Christ and the apostles, minus Judas who was the bad betrayer! He’s not allowed on top of this seasonal cake! Simnel Cake is a Victorian England invention.
Sometimes decorated with fluffy chicks and eggs, as well as the marzipan balls. So, if you’re making one, stock up with your dried fruit and candied peel from the speciality food shops within the Good Food Ireland® Collection.
Our Approved Member, Ballymaloe House, Co. Cork have a splendid Simnel Cake recipe, why not give it a go?View Simnel Cake Recipe
2. Blow a few Eggs to Paint and Decorate
Blowing Eggs involves using a clean skewer to carefully make two small holes at the rounded ends of a fresh egg. Next, insert the skewer into the egg through one hole, so as not to break the shell. Twist it around gently, to break up the yolk. This will make the egg easier to remove from the shell. Holding the egg over a bowl, blow hard into one hole to remove the contents. Keep blowing till you’re sure you have all the egg removed. Save the fresh egg to make scrambled eggs or an omelette. Repeat with as many eggs as you have the breath for!!
Wash the empty shells, allowing the water through and drain out the other side. Drain empty eggshells and allow to dry thoroughly. Paint with pastel colour artist’s paints and decorate with different coloured stripes, dots, ribbons round the middle, sequins or whatever takes your fancy. Glue on some coloured ribbon or craft string to make a loop for hanging. Use to decorate branches which you’ve snipped from the garden, as a lovely seasonal touch in the house. Pussy willow looks great with painted eggs hanging from it. Good Food Ireland® Approved member Ballymaloe House, Co. Cork have a wonderful Simnel Cake recipe for you to try:
3. Order your Easter Sunday Lamb from the Butcher
Easter falls early this year, so new season spring lamb may well be heavily in demand. Order yours now to make sure you have some on the day! Try out our wonderful selection of lamb recipes from the Kitchens of Good Food Ireland®.View Lamb Recipes
4. Make some Easter Bunting
This is one for those who like sewing! Find some pretty material remnants which have spring like patterns on them. We especially like pale pink, baby blues and lemon colours, and particularly if they are decorated with a vintage/Easter/ foodie themed print like cupcakes, tarts, wedges of gateau, buns, kitchenware, little chicks, eggs, spots or deckchair stripes. You may very well have some lying around home.
You want double sided bunting. So, fold a strip of material in half and using a template, cut pointy bunting triangles with two equal long sides and one short side.
When you have your triangles cut, to make one piece of bunting, turn two pieces of material wrong side out and sew together along the long sides, leaving the short side unsewn. You now have a triangle of bunting which is inside out. Repeat till you have all the triangles sewn, then turn them right side out and iron them nice and flat.
Then you need to attach your bunting to some cotton wide bias tape with a double-fold. Cut the length of tape you want, making sure you leave some spare at the ends for tying on to where you are going to hang it.
Leaving about a foot at each end of the tape, start to attach the bunting triangles by opening the fold in the tape, inserting the short unsewn side of one triangle into the fold, then folding the tape back down to cover the edge of material and sewing. Place the next triangle immediately next to the first one and repeat. Do this all the way along your tape.
Voila! There you have your own home-made Easter bunting decoration to drape around the house!
5. Invest in chocolate!
Last and, most importantly, not least! Buy some good quality Chocolate from Irish artisan Chocolatiers and give to your friends and relations on Easter Sunday. A lovely touch for a homemade little gift could be as simple as placing four perfect handmade truffles in a little tissue lined box and wrapping it with a ribbon.
Or you could choose a large flamboyant egg, or anything in between. Look out for our Good Food Ireland® Chocolate Makers. You won’t beat the quality and taste they offerView Chocolate Makers