One of the biggest hurdles is that it is hard to get family members together, as each sibling and cousin gets married and has their own family. The holidays are for families. My one cousin got very creative several years ago, and came up with Easter Eve as a way to get everyone together and the crowd seems to get bigger every year. While everyone has their own plans for Easter with their respected family, I think we all look forward to this night to have fun and forget about all the preparations and work involved with an Easter dinner. I have no idea how she does it, but she does and there are people in clusters in all of the rooms, with plenty of laughing and merriment. She opened the doors at 4:30 and we got there about twenty minutes later and the street was already filled with parked cars and there were crowds already milling about.
My cousin is so sweet and she was just having a great time getting all of the Armenian dishes out just for appetizers. I mean I could have made a meal just on all of the different dishes that she was putting out, and I was not the only one that felt that way. Thankfully she has very well built tables, because they would have been groaning from all of the plates of food that she was piling up in all of the different rooms. I am sure that everyone was thinking to themselves that they must show some restraint, and leave room for the main dinner, not to mention the desserts afterwards. Some people have better self control than I do, but the appetizers were so delicious. Her husband went out on the upper deck off of the kitchen and was cooking one of the main dishes on the barbeque; he had to cook a hundred lamb chops, no small feat in itself. There was so much more food to try and to enjoy. Somehow everyone still was not sated as they all left some room to enjoy all of the desserts after the main dinner dishes were cleared and a new banquet was arranged. One thing I have noticed over the years is that when everyone is having fun and enjoying themselves, their appetites expand from all of the great conversations and merriment, so the food never becomes a chore, except for the cooks.
The beverages were flowing as well. There was a large ice tub with assorted beers and wines that needed chilling. There was a well stocked liquor collection waiting to be consumed and then there was a selection of wines to choose from as well. I will only mention two of the wines that evening as they were quite different from each other. I started off by trying a glass of Rose wine from France, Miraval Cotes de Provence 2013. This wine has gotten a lot of press, I think more for the principals then for the wine itself. It was a decent enough Rose from the Cotes de Provence made from Cinsault and Grenache varietals, but it wasn’t as crisp as some of other wines that I have had from this famed area known for. The principals are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and family, and they seemed to have followed other celebrities in becoming wine makers, at least in the financial end. The other wine that I will mention was a California red blend, Sola Meritage 2008. It was a pleasant red wine that worked very well with the lamb chops, but I was surprised that it was a “California Meritage” instead of a more specific area. This wine was a blend of Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot; and with two of my favorite varietals I guess I found it more than pleasant, even without a better pedigree. All in all it was a great way to spend an evening with family and friends and a chance to not think of all the work that was waiting for us the next morning.