Social isolation forced by COVID-19 has disrupted a lot of our patterns. One of our treasured family traditions is going out for Easter dinner. This year, well, that just wasn’t in the cards. It’s always a disappointment to have your plans changed by forces outside of your control. But while social distancing is forcing some uncomfortable changes, it can also help us discover new an exciting traditions. Keep reading or scroll to the bottom if you’re just here for the recipe!
This Easter, our family decided to try something new. In the spirit of change and adaptability, creativity and interest, we decided to have a vegan dinner served on the beautiful Potters’ Workshop dishware I have been accumulating over the years from Zawadi. Potters’ Warehouse creates beautiful handcrafted ceramic dish and serving ware in their factory in South Africa, with extraordinary pops of color and signature beaded patterns. Inspired by indigenous art and entirely sculpted and paint by hand, each dish produced in studio is by itself an incredible collector’s piece, but also is perfect for everyday use.
Our host put together a delightful chef’s tasting menu of Collard Greens with tomatoes and spices, mushroom confit on toast, and slow cooked lentils. My favorite dish was the coconut plantain soup, sweeter than I had thought it would be; so delicious and so perfect against the deep orange of the bowl (recipe below). To complete the scene, we also lit a candle from Bright Black. While we love all of the company’s fragrances, having lived in Ethiopia’s capital city, the Addis Ababa scent is my personal favorite.
If these are the days that try our souls, they can also be the days that recharge our souls. We can pull out the beautiful dishes and be creative in the kitchen. We can embrace the spirit of discovery in our own kitchens and use them as art, trying different table settings and new recipes. We’ve been thinking about the legacy of our beloved B. Smith’s and exploring the comforting recipes from B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style and exploring Marcus Samuelson’s adventurous flavors in The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa.
We’ll always remember living through this moment in history. We’re happy that we were able to create a moment within a moment, one that our family will look back on fondly for years.
Now the part you’ve all been waiting for, the recipe!