Mom promised everyone that I would keep you all updated on the whole Easter dinner preparation extravaganza. And so, here is the complete and total exhaustive list of what I have accomplished so far:
Yes. I have peeled off some lemon peels and they are steeping in a mason jar full of vodka. Things, to date, have not been all that labor intensive. However, I’m expecting them to hot up shortly . . . because a package of fabric is scheduled to arrive any moment . . . and the second it shows up I have to crank out three Easter dresses. Then this Thursday is Jemima’s 10th birthday – and as you may or may not have noticed, that puts her birthday as being on April Fools Day. (Not my fault – I did my best. I was in labor all day on March 31, but she refused to be born until 7 minutes after midnight. Oh well. April is a nicer month than March anyway.) What this means however, is that I’m taking a consignment of cupcakes into her 4th grade class, and she would like them to be April Fools cupcakes. Hhhmmm. Luckily, Lizzie just happens to have, amongst her 9,312 cookbooks, a cookbook that has a special section devoted to April Fools cupcakes. So I’m going to have to borrow that sometime in the next short bit here. And then of course there’s the birthday party, and then Easter dinner preparation.
About the only thing that I could do this far in advance was the limoncello. I’ve made it for Easter a few times, and it’s a great aperitif option if you’re doing hors d’oeuvres. You know, while the kids are having the egg hunt and chowing through the jelly beans it’s nice to have something for the adults. So anyway, the limoncello is fun. In case anyone cares, here’s the recipe:
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.
Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.
1 (750-ml) bottle limoncello liqueur, chilled
1 cup sparkling water, chilled
1 cup fresh blueberries
5 fresh mint sprigs, lightly crushed, plus extra for garnish
In a pitcher, combine the limoncello, sparkling water, blueberries, and mint sprigs. Fill glasses halfway with crushed ice. Pour about 1/2 cup of the limoncello mixture over the ice in each glass.
Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.