Easter Meal during Quarantine

Easter looks a lot different this year.

There aren’t gonna be big gatherings of friends and family. We aren’t gonna crowd around the dinner table with 20 or 30 people. But that doesn’t mean that Easter is cancelled. Let me say that again, EASTER IS NOT CANCELLED.

We can still celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We can still shout for joy that our savior has defeated sin and death. We can still eat all the ham, scalloped potatoes, and carrot cake. It’s just gonna look a little different this year.

So if you are feeding a small crowd this year, this post is for you. Here are some tips for creating an Easter feast for a small gathering. And honestly since getting married, I’ve come to master the art of cooking for two.

Green Beans via Cooking Light
Easter Ham via My Kitchen Love
Mac & Cheese via the Chunky Chef
Heavenly Dinner Rolls via Lil’ Luna
Sweet Potato Casserole via Paleo Running Momma

1. Create a Menu

Every gathering should start with a menu, even if it’s only two of you gathering. Create a game plan of what you want. You may want to have quiches and salad for brunch or ham and fixings for dinner. Talk with your spouse, SO, or whoever you’re sharing this meal with and layout what you want.

2. Only Cook What You Love

Every year at Easter or Thanksgiving, there are always a couple of dishes that a select few love while the majority hates. But we continue making that creamy jello salad or oyster pie to appease those 2 or 3 people. However this year, all bets are off! You can make whatever you want and not feel the pressure to cook dishes that you don’t absolutely love. This meal is for you, your roommates, your spouse, and your kids. You get to cook YOUR favorite sides and desserts, because you’re making the menu this year. Revel in the joy of being choosy and only cooking what you love!

3. Make 2-3 Side Dishes

There is no need for you to recreate the Easter feast of years past. You do not need 12 different casseroles and side dishes to feed the masses. You need two to three side dishes that you love. Limit yourself so you don’t overdo it. If Easter isn’t Easter without green bean casserole, macaroni & cheese, and sweet potato casserole, then make those sides. This is not the year to prove it to yourself that you can make 24 sides in 24 hours. This is the year to prove it to yourself that Easter can still happen without a feast of food. And while we’re at, don’t cook massive portions unless you know you’ll eat it. Use your resources wisely. Waste not, want not!

4. Prep Things Ahead of Time

If you are going to make a couple of casseroles for you and your family, you probably don’t need to do it all on Easter morning. Sometimes you just need to savor the moments of the day rather than slave away in the kitchen. By prepping and preparing some things ahead of time, that will afford you more time to worship and celebrate with your family. Also, most desserts can be baked the day before. Prep judiciously.

5. Let Go of Expectations

This Easter is not going to be the same as last year. You have to let that expectation go. Many of you are probably already feeling the weight of the changes that this year holds. Whether you’re in ministry or experiencing a loss of physical community, this season has been tough. We are all walking through hardships of various kinds. But don’t expect this year to look and feel the same as before. Accept your circumstances for what they are and embrace the change with joy.

6. When All Else Fails, Order Takeout

Local restaurants are hurting right now. They are looking for every opportunity to create revenue and stay afloat. Because of COVID-19, many of them are now offering Easter dinner packages to-go. This would be a great chance for us to support local businesses while also taking the stress out of cooking a feast. Even grocery stores, like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, have created to-go menus for a simplified Easter meal. Don’t see it as a cop-out, see it as a chance to help preserve your local community amidst these unforeseen circumstances.

Vegan Key Lime Pies via the Minimalist Baker
Carrot Cake Cupcakes via Paleo Running Momma

This year, I think my husband and I are going to do an Easter brunch, since we both have to work later that day. It’s not exactly ideal or what I truly want, but it’s the time we’ve been given. I would much rather create an Easter dinner feast with sides-a-plenty, but maybe this is just the Lord telling me to slow down and not make a production out of everything. At the heart of Easter is an empty tomb, not the food, family, or fellowship. So together, let’s aim to keep the important things the important things. Don’t lose sight of the eternal significance of what this day means to us as followers of Christ. This Easter we are being called to let go of our lofty expectations and let God’s presence and person be enough. May God bless you and keep you this Easter weekend.

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