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Easter Feast Part 2 : Eating virtually

Last Easter Sunday we feasted under the trees in my brother's garden in the dappled autumn sunshine. Four generations of family were there from my 85 year old mother to the latest little one born. The table was laden with the bounty of a family of great cooks, the wine flowed generously and the conversation rose and twisted through the long afternoon.


This year, we're trapped in our houses so we attempt to create the same sense of being together but it sits a little cold and false leaving us with an unsatisfied emptiness. We linked up by video with our children who both live in Melbourne and we set up a video chat between my mum and my brother and sisters. It was lovely to see all their faces but it didn't replace the memories of last year.


At the suggestion of our dear friend Nicki, we decided to create a virtual Easter dinner. It was a brilliant idea because it gave us all an excuse to cook up big and share food with good company. If only we had smello-vision and were able to pass tasty morsels to each other through the screens!


Three tables, three meals, six people. Nicky and Chris are Greek and so for them it was Palm Sunday and still Lent. Greek Easter is next Sunday. Their meal started with home preserved olives, home made anchovies, pitta bread and fetta followed by fish soup made with vegetables and fresh stock and then a dish of halva topped with figs.

We started with raw fennel and radish dipped in olive oil, then a traditional Puglian Easter soup, roast lamb Roman style and finally late season peaches in red wine with Roman biscuits made with wine and oil.

Angas and Anne took things to another level and raided the fish market returning with oysters and a huge crayfish which thanks to the collapse of the Japanese and Chinese export markets is now more affordable for us locals. They ate their oysters with parsley and lemon, made pasta with crayfish, then ate the remaining meat of the crayfish with salad, ending their meal with a dense chocolate cake.


The wine we collectively chose was of top quality - Watervale Reisling from the Clare Valley, Nero D'Avola from Sicily and Primitivo from Copertino in the Salento, Italy.


It was a grand success of an evening. We talked about the food we had made, sharing close up photos on messenger and as we settled in and the wine flowed, the screens seemed to dissolve away and the conversation became less stilted. As with any dinner party, we discussed and solved the problems of the world, shared stories of our families and reminisced about the past when we could travel the world.

We recreated the joy of shared company and good food.... virtually.









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