Our Easter dinner
April 8, 2013
by Jenni Sebora

Our family enjoyed a wonderful Easter dinner together, with a small group of our extended family members. Our family hosted the dinner; it was just not me who did the work. It was a family effort.

My husband peeled, boiled, and mashed the potatoes, along with cleaning the bathrooms and mopping the floors.

My twin brother treated us by bringing the main course, prime rib, from the local meat market. And was it prime. It was fantastic. A meal in and of itself. The meat market had seasoned and scored it, and all we had to do was cook it.

My brother brought the big slab of prime rib over Saturday with some au jus sauce, and my husband cooked it perfectly. It came out of the oven picture-perfect.

My brother cut each piece to each dinner guests’ preference. I added the juice from the meat to the au jus sauce, and this provided the perfect dipping for each bite of prime rib.

Because we had a smaller guest list for this dinner, my children and I set the table for an intimate family gathering. My mom’s green, crocheted tablecloth provided the backdrop for the meal settings.

We used our wedding china, as well as other pieces of mixed dinnerware, such as the gravy boat and water pitcher that were handed down from my grandmothers, mother, and my sister.

The candelabras that adorned the table were given to my husband and me by my sister, Kathy, for our wedding reception head table. This meant a lot, as this was our first holiday dinner shared without my sister’s presence.

As we set the table, I shared with my family where each piece came from. I had such fun with my children, gathering each piece and placing it on the table. It provided such an opportunity for us to share family history and heritage.

With the table set elegantly, the candles lit, the food placed in each special family heirloom, and a perfect prime rib, the pièce de résistance was the gathering of our family at the table.

The confirmed young adults, who were my sophomore son and my brother’s freshman daughter, led us in prayer. We passed the cornbread, biscuits, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, butter, (no steak sauce needed), and all of the wonderful edible blessings around the table. Manners and etiquette were shared. Napkin on lap. Please pass the green beans.

We were all admiring the fine prime rib and the creamy mashed potatoes, and quiet settled in as we enjoyed the scrumptious bites. Quiet is good, too. Food and family. Take it all in.

Conversation was shared between the morsels. Remember Grandpa Walter sitting in that chair enjoying the sunshine in his face? Ah, yes. Family history and memories. Health care. Township business. Who will the Gophers hire as their next mens’ basketball coach? What is Tim Pawlenty doing now? Our children’s activities. These were all topics of our discussions, during dinner and afterwards with pie and ice cream.

Conversation continued well after dinner, and then it was game time. Bible trivia. Adults and the youngest children versus the junior high and high school kids. Our kids are attentive in church, Sunday school, and Bible study. This was such a delight. All of the kids discussed the question presented. Teamwork.

There is a reason why family dinners are so important. Conversation, bonding, and reflection of family memories are shared. Sharing family history creates family connectedness. Feelings of belonging, security, and love are fostered. Manners are modeled. Responsibilities and good food are shared.

I hope that your family was able to enjoy the same experience this Easter, as well as throughout the week and year (maybe not prime rib each week – I know that for sure).

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