First you will need a guest list or head count so you know how many mouths you are feeding. Call and confirm with all those invited and make your list, including any special instructions. For instance, find out if you have a vegetarian or someone with food allergies or small children with special food needs or requests.
After you know how many people will be coming, begin planning your meal and come up with the menu for the dinner. You will need a main dish – perhaps ham, turkey or lamb – a salad, bread, potatoes, other side dishes of vegetables like carrots and desserts. Incorporate any family traditions or guest's favorite desserts.
Check your recipes and make your grocery list. To figure out how much meat you need, allow about one pound per person for turkey, ham or lamb. Once you have your list, head to the store at least three or four days before Easter. Avoid going to early because food spoils and avoid waiting too late because of crowds and being rushed.
Take inventory of your dishes, serving platters, silver, china, glassware and anything you plan on using for dinner. Clean and prepare any silver, tablecloths or linens a few days before.
If you are coloring eggs, begin the eggs a couple days before Easter. Have your kids dye the eggs and decorate with the names of your guests. During Easter dinner, the eggs can be set up at each place setting as place cards.
Order any flowers in advance or buy your own flowers and make the centerpiece the day before. Set the table with linens, cloth napkins and china or pretty spring colors and flower motif dishes. Add your centerpiece of Easter Lilies or other fresh spring flowers the day of the dinner.
Start cooking early in the morning to allow plenty of time. For a wonderful dinner of lamb and desserts of lemon meringue pie and strawberry rhubarb crisp, try these wonderful recipes.
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