This is a classic menu that comes together with very little effort. Baked ham, coated with a sweet yet tart citrus glaze, takes center stage. Roasted asparagus and scalloped potatoes round out the meal with their creamy textures and earthy flavors. Artichokes can be steamed and chilled in advance and served with tarragon-flecked mayonnaise as a simple starter. A lemon cake makes an ideal finish, especially when accompanied by bunny-shaped sugar cookies, a subtle nod to both the holiday and the season.
6 russet potatoes
6 to 8 artichokes
4 to 5 lemons and 1 navel orange
2 pounds slender asparagus and 2 leeks
Fresh tarragon and mint
1 jar orange marmalade
8 ounces Gruyere cheese
8 ounces each heavy cream and sour cream
Madeira or dry sherry
1 smoked bone-in ham (10 pounds)
Vodka, seltzer, and tonic (for cocktails)
White wine, preferably Riesling
Borage or other edible flowers, for cake
Granulated and confectioners' sugars
6 large eggs
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt, table salt, and pepper
Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
The Day Before
Assemble scalloped potatoes, but do not bake; cover and refrigerate. Bake cake. Set table. Chill beverages.
2 Hours Ahead
Cook ham. Steam artichokes, and refrigerate.
1 1/2 Hours Ahead
Put potatoes in oven. Make glaze. Score ham, brush with glaze, and add orange slices; continue to bake.
30 Minutes Ahead
Make tarragon mayonnaise and refrigerate. Let ham rest. Roast asparagus.
Just Before Dinner
Garnish cake. Slice ham. Pour wine and water.