Happy Easter

12:47 PM









While we observe the solemnity of  Holy Week, this week also tends to be when my husband and I observe major spring cleaning duties in the garden!  Our kids visit Easter weekend and it being California, we will spend a lot of time outdoors and want it to look pretty.  While the sun was shining brightly all week, my husband and I weeded, dug, plowed, and planted.  I scrubbed the greenhouse inside and out.  We also scrubbed every bit of outdoor furniture (he did) and washed every single window inside and out (I did).  It's the first big clean up of the year and it's nice to have it behind us.  The wisteria is in full bloom and the roses are just beginning.  It's green every where, and, while we just heard that we'll be hit with a 25% water restriction...it's not bad at all and totally doable.  We will plant a much smaller veg garden and just a sprinkling of annual flowers and I imagine spend more money at the Farmer's Market. Oh, and when we were at the garden center I bought two new pairs of gardening gloves.  They're called Wonder Grip and they are fantastic. They have several styles and are sized s-xl.  I have these and love them.  I think that they're meant for carpentry but are perfect for the gardener too.  They're not so clunky that you can't "feel" what you are doing, but they are still super protective.  Here's our work in progress:






Below are some pictures I've taken of the house from the back.  It's so hard to get a good picture because it's one of those long California ranches.  The dear house is 72 years old and we are the second owners.  The people who built it lived here for 40 years and with any luck we'll live here for 40 years.  It's such a sunny, easy house to live in.  We love it so much.  The first picture below is our family room and kitchen.  In the middle is the dining room and living room.  On the right is the master bedroom.  Facing the front of the house are 3 other small bedrooms, now my sewing room and two guest rooms that were once children's rooms.  Also at the front of the house is a gallery hall that goes from the entry way to our bedroom.




This is a fruitless mullberry that the squirrels love when it's budding in spring, so we put up this metal barrier. It works a little bit at best.

When the family is here we will have a few meals out and a few in.  I have an easy dinner planned with my husband grilling a large piece of meat, plus local asparagus that will be roasted perfectly crunchy with a lemon parmesan topping and also some kind of potato dish.  Maybe one that uses dill and chives as I have a lot of that popping up.  This time of year I love fresh dill in almost everything.  When family visits I always like to have this chicken salad in the fridge for quick lunches.  I've got chicken chili in the crock pot.  It's so easy and so good.  One day I'll have to write the recipe down (4 ingredients!) and share it.  For Easter brunch I'll make this egg casserole, which is hugely popular around here and they've asked for it yet again.  I bought a good ricotta cheese and have nasturtium blossoms in the garden so I can't resist having these pretty things on the Easter brunch buffet too.  I think they will get an eye roll or two, but they do taste good!  I'll also serve a big bowl of berries and of course, fresh orange juice!  I made sugar cookies, this crowd-pleasing shortbread and these pretty coconut cupcakes for dessert snacking.  I also made deviled eggs and brought in sodas, nuts, chips and dips; all that yummy kind of food families seem to want to eat when they are together.  I imagine we'll all be stuffed!










My Easter decorations are so pretty this year.  It's the same ornaments I put out every year, but arranged a little differently.  I glue-gunned teensy chicks to some bare branches, placed my pearly pink trees in the dining room and filled the house with fresh roses.  It smells like heaven!  For the gardeners who want to know the varieties, right now my bloomers are Peace, Pink Peace, First Prize, Joseph's Coat, Knock Out and an unnamed David Austin.  I also have quite a lot of Red Simplicity in bloom.


These wooden figures above and below are made by Wendt and Kuhn.  Their web site is charming.  My favorite shop in California is in Solvang.



 I hope the Easter bunny is good to you and leaves you with something sweet in your basket!
xo Kristen


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11 comments

  1. Thank you for turning me onto those gloves. They are just what I need for my yard this year and keeping the nails good! I am a fan of chicken salad so I am definitely going to try it. Have a nice weekend with family.

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    1. Thank you Penny. I hope your Easter was lovely too, especially since you have a little egg hunter in your family!

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  2. Your house and garden look beautiful. Happy Easter to you and your family.

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  3. Happy Easter! Everything looks fabulous!

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  4. Happy Easter to you! Your garden is lovely. Here in Massachusetts there is still some snow on the ground and everything is brown.

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  5. Beautiful Wisteria - I love your sense of style and your part of the world. Have a great Easter:)

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  6. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I didn't get to it until today - Easter! - so it was perfectly timed. The wisteria is just gorgeous. My husband just saw it (at my urgent behest) and immediately said "the Hanging Gardens of Babylon". The egg casserole will come in so handy. I am always looking for The One. I lost my favorite recipe awhile back and this one is even easier. Glad the 25% water reduction will not restrict you too much. Not being a gardener myself I would personally be secretly gleeful that I now had a good excuse not to get down on my hands and knees; however, having had a gardening-loving grandma I can relate. Have a rest-of-the-day beautiful Easter! Chloe

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    1. I do hope you try the egg casserole! We love it and I'd love to hear what you think of it. I hope your Easter was exceptional!

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  7. The roses are beautiful! And is there a place to get the adorable wooden toys? Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Susie. I will amend my post to include the makers of the little wooden figures. I have a collection for Easter and another for Christmas. They are made in Germany by Wendt and Kuhn and as far as I know can be purchased in just about any state. There is a shop in Solvang in central CA that has a nice selection and I like to visit them once a year or so.

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  8. Kristen, I so enjoyed reading your Easter post and drooling over all the gorgeous pictures you included! Weather here in New England has been nasty - rain, cold and even more snow! Your post made my day! Looking forward to your chicken chili recipe and seeing how the linen poncho turns out. Where do you get all your energy? Happy Spring and happy knitting!

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