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Easter

Information about Easter including future dates for Easter Sunday, Easter foods, Easter recipes and a complete Easter menu

Jump to:   Future dates  |  Foods Associated with Easter  | Easter Teatime Recipes Easter Lunch or Dinner Menu

Easter is a holy day in the Christian faith which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.  However, in many Christian countries such as the UK, it is a public holiday and has therefore come to symbolise a time of rebirth to non-Christians. To others, it is just a welcome spring holiday, often coupled with Good Friday thus making a long weekend.

When is Easter?

Future dates for Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday falls the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon (PFM) date and is therefore a moveable date i.e. it is not on the same date each year, unlike Christmas or New Year. The reason for this is.....too complicated to go into here. For ease of reference, and without having to do all the workings, below are the dates for Easter until 2030.

 

Easter Day Future Dates

12 April 2009
 4 April 2010
24 April 2011
 8 April 2012
31 March 2013
20 April 2014
 5 April 2015
27 March 2016
16 April 2017
 1 April 2018
21 April 2019

12 April 2020
 4 April 2021
17 April 2022
 9 April 2023   
31 March 2024
20 April 2025
 5 April 2026
28 March 2027
16 April 2028
 1 April 2029
21 April 2030 

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Easter Foods and foods associated with Easter

There are many foods associated with Easter - some with direct associations and others which simply signify the time of year, some of which were celebratory foods thousands of years ago. Below are just a few.

 

Easter Eggs

 

Eggs signify new life. The giving of chocolate Easter Eggs in the UK has become a widespread tradition although in truth the tradition has its roots much further back in history and was originally a pagan ritual celebrating the advent of spring.

 

By the 18th century, the first chocolate Easter eggs appeared in France and Germany and soon spread to the rest of Europe and elsewhere. Certainly in the UK, the giving of chocolate eggs isn't restricted to children and many an adult is disappointed if they don't get at least one! 

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Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit is another food closely associated with Easter, the reason being that the plant was given itís name by Christian missionaries who used the flower to symbolise the ďPassion of ChristĒ i.e. his suffering at the crucifixion, to the indigenous natives in South America.

When you look at the flower, itís easy to see why. The double row of coloured filaments (the corona) represented either the crown of thorns and a halo; The ten sepals and petals represented the disciples (apart from Judas and Peter, who both distanced themselves from Christ prior to the crucifixion; The five anthers were the five wounds on his body;  The three stigmas the nails;  The leaves represent the spear that the Roman soldiers used to pierce his side or in some cases the clutching hands of the soldiers;  The tendrils (which you canít actually see in this picture) the whips which were used to scourge him.

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Easter Simnel cake


Easter is preceded by Lent which is a period of 40 days which signifies Christ's time in the wilderness.  It is traditionally a period of fasting  which ends at Easter with a feast consisting of the rich foods which couldn't be eaten.  The making of Simnel cake was a tradition in the 17th century, when servant girls would take one home to their mothers as a gift.  It is decorated with 11 marzipan balls signifying the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ.

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Easter Hot cross buns


Once again, the eating of hot cross buns stemmed from the Saxon pagan practice of eating as buns marked with a cross in honour of the goddess Eostre. It is believed that the bun signified the moon and the cross the moon's quarters.  In Christianity, the cross symbolises Christ's death on the cross - the crucifixion.

 

 

Easter Teatime Recipes

 

Coconut and Passionfruit Layer Cake

Apricot and Pecan Simnel Cake

Easter Bunny Biscuits

Hot Cross Buns

Cherry Walnut Hot Cross Buns

See how to make scrumptious Chocolate Easter Cupcakes or zingy Lemon Easter Whoopie Pies

For the full sized video and written recipe click here.
 

For the full sized video and written recipe click here.

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Also check out our Roast Turkey menu with countdown

Easter Menu

This menu has been designed "to take the heat" out of cooking a celebratory three course meal at Easter. A fully timed count-down follows the menu. Just scroll down to see how easy it's all going to be.

We've included check boxes so once you've printed it off, you can tick the boxes once you've  completed each stage.

Don't forget to print off the recipes too! There are direct links to them in the countdown.

 

The Menu

A British affair - Serves 4

 

Apple & Wensleydale Pate

served on a bed of mixed salad leaves

and drizzled with Walnut oil

 

* * *

 

Roast Ham in Stout

 

with

Colcannon

Lemon Glazed Carrots

Baked Parsnips

 

* * *

 

Spiced Pear Trifle

 

 

 

Here are just a few other Easter Main Course recipes, For a complete list, go to the search page and type in  EASTER

Chestnut Loaf   (V)

Cranberry & Cashew Croquettes  (V)

Roast Goose with Hazelnut Stuffing

Cider Braised Duck with Cranberry

Orange Glazed Roast Venison

The Countdown

Tick the check boxes when you've done the step.

 

 

6 hours before serving

 

£  Make the Apple and Wensleydale Pate,  wrap loosely in greaseproof or parchment paper and refrigerate.

 

£  Make the Spiced Pear Trifle to stage 6, but don't decorate with the almonds. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate.

 

Have a sit down and a cup of coffee

 

 

2 hours before serving

£  Turn the oven on to 200C, 400F Gas mark 4 and leave to warm  for 15 minutes.

 

£  Prepare  the Roast Ham in Stout and place in the preheated oven as per step 2 of the recipe.

       

 

1/2  hours before serving the starter

 

£  Turn the bacon and baste.

 

You can use the time between each stage to lay the table, tidy up or whatever. DON'T FORGET THE SERVING CUTLERY AND CRUET SET. You won't have much time after this so it's probably your last opportunity to spruce yourself up for your guests.

 

 

50  minutes before serving the starter

 

£  Turn the bacon and baste.

 

£  Prepare the vegetables as in step 1 for the Colcannon and set aside.

 

£  Prepare the carrots and lemon zest as in step 1 for the Lemon Glazed Carrots and set aside.

£  Scrub or peel the parsnips allowing 2 small or 1  large per person. If using large ones, cut in half lengthways. Place in a pan of very lightly salted water, bring to the boil then continue to cook for 5 minutes. Drain well then place in a shall oiled baking dish and place in the oven.

£  Wash the salad leaves for the Apple and Wensleydale Pate, dry well and arrange between 4 small plates. Leave in a cool place.

£  If you haven't laid the table, do it now.

 

30  minutes before serving the starter

£  Drizzle the parsnips with a little olive oil and place in the hottest part of the  oven.

 

25  minutes before serving the starter

£  Prepare steps  2, 3 and 4 of the Colcannon recipe.

£  Complete steps 3 and 4 of the Roast Ham in Stout recipe.

£  Prepare steps 2 and 3 of the Lemon Glazed Carrots recipe.

£  Complete steps 5 and 6 of the Roast Ham in Stout recipe. Cover and leave over a VERY LOW heat to keep warm.

£  Place the main course plates and serving dishes to warm if desired.

£   Baste the Parsnips

£  Complete step  5 of the Colcannon  recipe

£  Make sure the carrots  are cooking over a VERY LOW heat, giving the pan a gentle shake.

£ Drizzle the pate with a little walnut oil (step 6 of the recipe).

SERVE THE STARTER

£  Clear the table of the used plates and cutlery.

£  Check the carrots, and if there is too much liquid, raise the heat to evaporate it.

£  Complete step 4 of the Lemon Glazed Carrots recipe.

£  Transfer the parsnips and ham to a large carving platter,  pouring a little of the stout sauce over the meat as in step 7 of the  Roast Ham in Stout recipe and the transferring remaining sauce to a sauce boat.

£  Transfer all the dishes/platters and warmed plates to the dining table. 

SERVE THE MAIN COURSE

Carve the meat once your diners are at the table, allowing them to help themselves to the vegetables.

 

£   Serve the Dessert at your leisure after decorating with the almonds Spiced Pear Trifle recipe.

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