Monday, April 14, 2014


Around Easter, we are always bombarded with parties, egg hunts, gallery openings and more.  The change of season has everyone out and about.  With all the rushing around, it's not so easy to whip together a dish to bring to a party.  For instance, last night I went to a gallery opening, this morning I jumped from the nail salon, hair salon straight to an Easter egg hunt at a friends house.  For me, no matter how much I love to cook and bake, it isn't always as realistic as it seems.  With that said, improvising becomes my next best friend and it should be yours, too.

Today, I realized at the last minute that I needed a brunch item or dessert for my girlfriends Easter egg hunt.  I had nothing, but knew no matter what I brought, I could transform it into an eye catching conversation piece.  As I raced to the gourmet grocer, I went through a list of serving trays in my head, I had in my pantry that I could turn into the inspiration for my contribution.  I pictured a tray lined with beautiful colorful popping jelly beans.  (Notice though, I didn't make my inspiration the main food item!)  For that, I knew I needed something pre-made and sweet to go along with my already sweet toothed theme.  I headed straight for the bakery department.

I chose my all time favorite enormous vintage wooden board (possibly a pizza board) which meant I had a lot of space that needed coverage.  A single pie would be to small and get lost in the sea of jelly beans.  Cookies would never hold a candle to the tray and a cake too would look microscopic on this tray.  What I needed to find balance, was a few things that were medium sized and placed sporadically around the round board.  As soon as I approached the bakery, I spotted a variety of freshly baked fruit pies, such as apple, rhubarb, peach, blueberry and raspberry, I grabbed one of each, grabbed some jelly beans and made a quick break for the register.

As for the pies, I knew one should take center stage and the others should flank it.  I poured two large containers of jelly beans into the open spaces that surrounded my desserts, and dug into my container of food picks and found some jellybean colored flag pics.  PERFECTO!  I covered it with plastic wrap and ushered my family to the car.

Upon our arrival we were fashionably late, go figure!  But my motto, it's okay to be late but you better make it great and I always say, "go big or go home," so big I went!  Happy Easter!!

Jamie Gottschall

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