Happy Easter 2014

I really like Easter, and today was a perfect one.

It's been a great weekend all around really. On Saturday, I was hoping to drag the family to see baby lambs at either Merck Forest & Farm Center or Billings Farm, but I didn't realize one of us had a conflict at 4pm. We couldn't possibly make an hour-plus drive each way and also prep for Easter brunch, clean the house, and buy groceries for the week, all by 4 o'clock. So we decided to go to a petting farm in our town... but when we got there we learned they didn't open until Memorial Day. So we went to a real farm nearby. It turned out to be WAY better than any of the above would have been.

We went to Wild Carrot Farm on Upper Dummerston Road, one of just a handful of working farms in the town of Brattleboro, Vermont. They are known for their working Suffolk Punch horses (who are gorgeous!) and they also have a local CSA and, we found, are super-friendly to random drop-in visitors. Some charming children dirt-biking around the yard paused to give us a tour, and then we met one of the farmers who took over and told us all about the livestock that live there.

We got to see the baby lambs we were hoping for.

There were also 7 extremely cute goat kids. This mama was nursing two-at-a-time, as were two other goat mothers. We were charmed.

We have a farm video at home that includes a manure spreader scene, so we spent some time checking this one out.

A corner of homespun yarn in the farm store. So adorably rustic! We bought a half gallon of raw cow milk to chip in--it is delicious! Please check out Wild Carrot Farm (hay rides too).

I rearranged my Easter brunch menu to make time for a long run on Sunday morning instead of prep work. Basically I replaced my usual baked mini crabcakes with some delicious cold smoked trout and crackers. This switch helped me pull off a fairly satisying 12-miler.

All before 8am! That 8:12 pace is just my attempt at a final kick, NOT my usual long run pace...

I got home around 8, popped the rising sourdough in the oven, and assembled the Easter table. (I figured out that my usual sourdough recipe can be refrigerated after the last knead. My lovely mother-in-law affirmed this, calling it a "cold rise." I set the alarm for 4am to take it out of the fridge so it could finish rising, then at 5:45 I formed it into two baguettes before my run. It really worked.)

Here's what I planned for Easter brunch. The relative simplicity of this menu worked well.
  • fresh-baked sourdough bread
  • salted butter, left out for at least a day to soften for spreading
  • ham, glazed the night before with Fire in the Mountains "Sweet Pepper Jelly" made by Catamount Specialties of Vermont (thanks Mom for ham glazing tips!)
  • Mustard, an extremely tangy French dijon that was a Christmas gift and is almost gone
  • Smoked Trout, Ducktrap brand from Maine
  • Crackers
  • Coffee
  • Sour Cream Coffee Cake (mentioned in this Easter 2009 post)
  • Orange juice, lots
  • Prosecco
  • A billion hard-boiled eggs

I assembled a little plan-o-gram on Friday evening to help me remember everything.

Here's the actual table... Pretty similar!?

I tacked a bunny mobile above the table...


Happy Easter to you, or whatever spring-welcoming rite you choose to practice!

It just seems like a happy, hopeful time of year.

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