Great Easter Backdrops

With Shrove Tuesday and its pancakes having come and gone, we are now in Lent and whether you are observing this spiritually, by simply giving up a sweet treat or not at all, the fact is that the countdown to Easter is underway.

This year’s Easter is later than usual, with Good Friday being April 15th. While that means there won’t be many daffodils left around, it will still be spring and hopefully the warmer part of the year will be upon us.

If you are picturing food, there will be some very obvious things to include. Chocolate eggs (or decorated real ones), hot cross buns and the less common simnel cake are all part of the British Easter tradition.

However, you may want to consider some of the other traditions from different countries around the world, either as a cosmopolitan theme or to emphasise some of those foods as alternatives to the traditional treats in the UK.

Many countries have an Easter cake of some sort, with the Greek version containing oranges and almonds. Rather different taste buds are tantalised in Italy by salty pretzels, or in Ethiopia by sour dough.

Having Easter foods from other lands may be one way of creating a bit of novelty and avoiding British stereotypes, but so too might be the idea of adding a few other food items.

After all, you aren’t going to spend the entire Easter break eating nothing but hit cross buns and chocolate eggs - even if many kids would love to. That means something like a Sunday roast with sizzling veg and lots of colourful condiments might make a great centrepiece, with the traditional offerings of the holiday spaced around the periphery.

Even when it comes to the sweets, there is much to consider beside eggs. As the BBC Good Food Guide notes, there are many puddings to be made with Easter themes, such as Easter egg brownies or a cheesecake topped with mini eggs.

A key question is how you are going to present your Easter foods, bearing in mind that there will often be significant differences in emphasis between how people celebrate Easter, ranging from those from whom this is a central occasion on the Christian calendar to people emphasising a bit of fun with fluffy bunnies, chicks and a long weekend of leisure.

This means you may want to consider having your display carry biblical themes such as crosses and palm leaves. Obviously in such a setting garish colours on a foil chocolate egg wrapper and Easter bunnies would not be the right thing. Any painted eggs may come with messages of peace, hope and promise, rather than anything frivolous.

Alternatively, if the focus is on the joys of spring with chicks, bunnies and spring lambs, all of these and a bit of sunshine should be included.

Whatever theme you do, the key is to bring plenty of colour and visual impact. Whether it is simply a fun weekend or something more profound, it should be a positive and joyful backdrop to a tasty-looking feast.

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