Photos by Christen Jones
As we enter April, it’s hard to believe that spring holidays are right around the corner! Coincidentally, the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter holidays fall on the same weekend this year, each reflecting a season of renewal and rebirth, drawing in elements of the season to inspire the themes and metaphorical symbols of the holidays.
The Passover holiday, for those who do not celebrate, is rooted in a gathering around the table. We embark in a Seder, a storytelling experience of the Exodus, while symbolic foods and songs and readings are shared.
One food symbol discussed during the Passover Seder (and obvi the central decorating symbol Easter, too) is an egg! My dad (a rabbi) teaches that we make hard-boiled eggs as a metaphor for the will of our slave ancestors in Egypt — the longer you can cook an egg, the firmer it becomes, just as the harder you oppress slaves, the stronger their will becomes to reach freedom. Any spring vegetable or even a pasta noodle — think about it — becomes soft when it’s cooked. Something to think about, eh?
What’s so fitting about this place setting, then, is that the egg makes natural sense for both celebrations! For Easter, the grey linen napkin (on sale now!) is meticulously tied with kitchen twine to represent bunny ears, tucked with a few spring flower buds and greenery. When the napkin is flipped upside down, we joke it reminisces baby Moses in the basket to begin the Passover story!
Side note: At our Passover Seder, we play a hilarious “Egg Off” game that gives guests an easy way to break and peel their personal hard boiled egg at their place. Essentially, each person in the room finds a partner to face off; on the count of three, each person hits the tips of his/her egg directly to the other’s — and only one will crack! If yours cracks, you’re out. At a gathering of 50, our Seder’s Egg Off gets super animated. It’s almost a bigger deal than finding the hidden matzah (a children’s game of Afikomen where, if you find the piece of matzah, you win a prize. Similar to the Easter egg hunt!).
To ground the table, I’m love the look of moss this season; and a gorgeous fresh moss mound (this one filled by Millstone Market) is such a breath of fresh air! Minimalist yet eye-catching, these centerpieces will spring table guests into the holiday spirit. And as I recently posted on Instagram, I’m a big believer in ingredients carrying the party’s color palette! Isn’t this spring vegetable medley stunning? I stuck these carrots, radishes, asparagus and green onions on the grill until slightly charred but bright as can be. Presented on a platter to anchor one end of your holiday platter, this side dish screams spring!