My Custom Easter

I was not raised religious - a fact my parents blush at, but the truth nonetheless. I was raised with love, faith, and a sense of spirituality, just not within the confines of a Church. Easter therefore, is the holiday of eternal candy - not a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. I bet I'm not alone in this admission. Walk up to most kids these days and ask them what they think of when they hear 'Easter' - I guarantee it has more to do with gelatinous, tooth decaying candy than the miracle of Christ. My point is not the disappearance of religion - I'll leave that topic to someone more educated on the subject - it's that I still think of the holiday in this childish way. So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm on level with a 5yr. old - fudge.

The only thing that sets me apart from the toothless, candy loving crowd is that I'd rather eat lamb chops with a mint roumalade than a carton of Peeps. And I'll trade a chocolate bunny for the bunny baguette from Amy's Bread anyday. But it's not that I'm suddenly too mature for candy - I've always been this way. When I was a child I'd trade my jelly beans to my brother for the promise of fewer public ass whoopings (it was a good trade). Then I'd hide my chocolate bunny from it's grisly death, to be discovered months later by my Mother who would find it by smell, behind the curtains in the living room, next to the radiator. I changed locations annually, creating an annual Easter egg hunt in November when my parents turned the heat on. This also happened after Halloween. It was a real knee slapper.

I simply do not have a sweet tooth - a fact that made Easter drop below Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of a July on the holiday scale. Regardless, any excuse for family and food excites me. And by excites me, I mean occupies every corner of my brain - coming up with multiple, varied, and sometimes faux menus for the day. If it were up to me, I'd be cooking an Easter feast for 30+ of varying ages and tastes - with a house, kitchen and staff equipped for such a task. Instead I will likely be cooking for one in a kitchen the size of an outhouse. I therefore have provided two menus with recipes from some of my favorite blogs, forums and shows:

My Big Fat Fake Easter:

Sweet Pea Crostini I love pretty much everything Giada De Laurentis does. Even if I don't love peas.
Ham & Dill Deviled Eggs Deviled eggs made with the dyed eggs from the morning hunt yields a rainbow of colored egg whites with creepy colored yolks and it freaks enough people out to leave them for me!
Shaved Artichoke Salad Combine two of my favorite foods, artichokes and Parmesan, and call it a salad.
Peas with Olive Oil and Mint Simple, fresh and the perfect accompaniment for lamb.
Leek and Potato Gratin A grown up version of a childhood classic.
Fig and Orange Glazed Honey Ham Laughably easy and great leftover (midnight snack).
Slow Cooked Rack of Lamb Try a mint sauce like this one instead of the cloyingly sweet mint jelly.
Rhubarb Roasted with Wine and Vanilla: Wine and dessert in one - killing two birds with one dish.

Easter for a Girl and her "Little" Lamb:

Fresh Ricotta and a drizzle of honey on the floury little bum of my Bunny Baguette. Love me some rump.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic, Fresh Thyme, and Grilled Lemons I will cut down this recipe for one and use a stovetop grill pan - a good option when living in a propane-less city.
Steamed Artichokes with Herb-Caper Mayonnaise: I like to eat my artichokes and my mayo alone, without judgement.
Sweet Potato Gratin with Creme Fraiche, Chives and Bacon: Listen, I don't eat dessert, okay?
Glass (bottle) of Bordeaux for me and the leftover bone for my little lamb (with supervision of course)!

Have a Sweet Easter!
- The Heat


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