Easter afternoon tea

My family got together for afternoon tea on Easter weekend. In addition to Easter treats, meat played its usual leading role.

Dimples and smiles all around, hooray for Easter treats!

My younger sister Juji made scotch eggs following chef Heston Blumenthal’s as method as shown on his latest TV show How to Cook Like Heston (get his scotch egg recipe here). She apologised for egg yolks – she’d aimed to get them perfectly soft and gooey in the middle but took a shower while the eggs were finishing off in the oven, resulting in some yolks being overcooked. We didn’t mind – we’re big scotch eggs fans and they tasted great. The kids loved them too.

Heston Blumenthal’s scotch eggs made by Juji

We had hot cross buns baked by my sister-in-law Angela with the help of my nieces Ruby and Zoe, who both love to cook. The buns had a sweet sticky glaze and were full of dried fruit. Better than store-bought and beautiful spread with butter.

Angela's hot cross buns

Angela’s hot cross buns

Jac and I brought a trio of sausages – spicy Mexican beef and plain beef chipolatas (pictured below) and curry sausages. The curry sausages were my favourite – they were quite fatty, oozed yellow juice and tasted and smelled like they’d been flavoured with Keen’s curry powder. The girls liked the plain beef ones the best, and the Mexican beef sausages were the surprise hit with just about everyone else. One-year-old Caleb was happy to eat whatever was offered to him, including Ruby and Zoe’s rejected curry sausages.

Mexican beef and plain beef sausages

Mexican beef and plain beef sausages with tomato sauce

My eldest sister CW made guacamole, which she served with a big bowl of corn chips. CW’s guacamole is always creamy and delicious, with chunks of fresh tomato and red onion.

Guacamole and corn crackers

CW’s guacamole and corn crackers

Easter eggs, Mexican beef, plain beef and curry sausages, guacamole and corn chips

Easter eggs, Mexican beef, plain beef and curry sausages, guacamole and corn chips

We enjoyed little puff pastry squares and filled with instant vanilla pudding. My mum makes up the pudding mixture using less milk than according to instructions, so it’s thicker and more suitable as a pastry filling. It’s very easy to bake frozen pastry squares and add your choice of filling – vanilla pudding mix; whipped cream and jam; custard and cooked apples (like apple pie); whatever goes with pastry, really. Dust the squares with icing sugar and you’re done. It’s a handy cheat’s dessert.

Pastry squares filled with vanilla pudding

My mum, the kids’ Mah-Mah, had a special gift for them – Easter-themed ceramic egg cups, with bunnies for the girls and a chubby-cheeked yellow duckling for Caleb. Ruby insisted on testing them out with Easter eggs to make sure they really ‘worked’.

Ruby and the new egg cups

Ruby testing out the new egg cups

My younger sister Juji brought a pack of Cadbury Spoon ‘n’ Eggs for the kids. The milk chocolate eggs are wrapped in Cadbury royal purple foil and come in a cute mini egg carton. They have a milky mousse centre and come with little purple spoons for scooping/eating. I thought they were a fun product for the kids at Easter but for me, nothing tops Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Did you eat lots of chocolate at Easter? I barely ate any Easter choccies this year – just a tiny milk chocolate egg I received from a work colleague and not a single Creme Egg. I also ate a Freddo on Easter weekend but that’s not really Easter chocolate is it?

Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon

Cadbury Egg ‘n’ Spoon

Ruby wasted no time in switching the plain old chocolate egg in her new egg cup for an Egg ‘n’ Spoon one, ripping away the foil, lifting the Egg’s ‘lid’ and digging in with the Spoon.

Ruby eating Egg 'n' Spoon

Ruby eating Egg ‘n’ Spoon

Zoe took her time to examine her new egg cup and was soon the picture of concentration as she carefully spooned mousse from the centre of her Egg.

Scrutiny and concentration from Zoe

The Egg ‘n’ Spoon spoons are small and made from very soft plastic, not so safe for a one-year-old. Caleb munched on contentedly, no spoon necessary.

Caleb doesn't need the Spoon

Caleb enjoys a milk chocolate egg

While the rest of us weary workers are thankful for long weekends (and the crankier among us complain they’re never long enough – yours truly included) it’s always lovely to see my young nieces and nephew so enthusiastically enjoying life’s pleasures. There’s so much to learn, remember and appreciate from being with little people.

Competition winners

Congratulations to the winners of my recent competitions:

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