April 05, 2015

Easter dinner musings

Everyone's gone after the evening and I'm thinking about how much story is in our wonderful family dinner. For years, since the kids were little we had a simple Easter dinner with Honeybaked Ham, my sisters potato salad, a caesar and Easter candy. A few years ago my niece, not a ham fan, asked why the menu never changes. So we changed. Last year it was salmon.

This year as I was musing about the menu, Ina Garten's Provencal Lamb roast jumped into my experience and became the centerpiece for the day.

My Grandma Edith used to cook a leg of lamb for Sunday dinner every few months. She'd prep the lamb, stud it with onion slices and roast it perfectly. (Edith Mary loved the kitchen.) She'd make a proper mint sauce, not jelly, our roots are from England. So lamb is a very comfortable part of my repertoire. Ours for Easter was roasted with a Provencal taste -- tomatoes and onions, balsamic vinegar, honey and dijon mustard​, thyme and garlic.

We had roasted potatoes the way Maureen Feldman​ serves them, cubed and cooked with a bit of fresh rosemary and butter. My friend Julie Prendiville Roux​ introduced me to 400 degree roasted carrots about fifteen years ago and I make them very often. Laurie O'Toole​ gave me the recipe just yesterday for asparagas bundles wrapped with bacon and lemon peel and roasted, and we enjoyed purple and white roasted cauliflower with credit to Sheri Litherland​ and Mary Arranaga Landis​. Margaret Gill​ brought her new recipe for Irish Soda Bread and her in-demand potato salad which is a must have when Grama brings ham, which she did. We finished, much later, with macerated strawberries and a little vanilla ice cream. A dish that graced the Sunday dinner table a throughout summer when I was a kid.

I love it. Not all from a recipe book or a magazine, but a little map of our history spread about the aqua linen tablecloth, bedecked with the multi colored foil of See's chocolate eggs and sprinkled with both the light of the candle and the love of a family's shared history.

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