Am I looking forward to Easter? Yep! We’ll have a staycation this year and I’ve planned on enjoying some traditional Easter fare.
What makes me see red about Easter is that we’ve been looking at hot cross buns since Boxing Day! Why, oh why can’t we keep some semblance of holding on to traditions, thus ensuring the anticipation of special events, of the seasons, and of learning to wait for things, not expecting everything to be a mere nano second away? Anyway, enough of my red-faced rant.
Traditions at Easter in regard to recipes often feature lamb, as part of the religious symbolism. Especially in Central and Eastern European countries, lamb represents Jesus and relates to his death – and rising – Christians refer to Jesus as the ‘Lamb of God”. The symbolism of the cross on sweet fruit buns is another tradition. As per my opening lines, I certainly hope you have boycotted the supermarkets by not buying hot cross buns until the Thursday before Good Friday?
Lamb was eaten with unleavened bread or matzoh and yet another tradition is to serve the bread within the folds of a napkin, as a reminder of the hasty fleeing of the Israelites to Egypt, leaving no time for the bread to prove or rise.
Traditional Easter bread – tsoureki – is baked, often plaited, and eggs are dyed red, a symbol of the colour of life, the egg in itself being a symbol of renewed life, and dyed the colour of blood (of Christ) and the victory over death.
A roast leg will be on our menu – I plan on serving a butterflied leg of lamb that has been marinated in one of my favourite marinades. This cut of lamb cooks really well on the barbeque; the edges of the meat become slightly charred from the sweetness of the marinade. I’ll be barbequing ours over the grill section of the barbecue.
Following on from my recent ‘cheats’ ideas, I’ve been experimenting with using the grilled, frozen vegetables that are available from the supermarket. Whilst I hasten to add fresh (and home-grown) is undoubtedly best, sometimes to simply save time, or while camping, shortcuts can’t hurt?
We camp-travel a bit, and given restrictions of fruit-fly areas, availability etc I have found the frozen option has some merit. It’s kind of like a free kick for the cook I reckon!
So serving the lamb with a medley of vegetables, or a simple salad, is just fine in my humble opinion.
I imagine many of us will be enjoying the Easter break, with its laidback vibe, perhaps camping by the coast or in the bush, relaxing at home, hunting for eggs, and being mindful of life – savouring it and being thankful!