Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hippity, Hoppity, Pavlova's On Its Way

Today started with Jen in the kitchen preparing a traditional Easter food. Well, traditional for her. I hadn't actually had this food until I met her and we happened to spend an Easter together.

Hot Cross Buns

That food is hot cross buns. My parents came by and joined us for just in time for this traditional Easter food. They'd never had hot cross buns until today so I had them beat by about eight or nine years. I'm not exactly sure why we never had them. According to Wikipedia there are a number of superstitions surrounding the hot cross buns. These include the following:

  • Buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or become mouldy during the subsequent year.
  • They should be kept for medicinal purposes.
  • A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.
    Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time.
  • Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten.
  • If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.
I can neither confirm nor deny the validity of any of these claims.
Pavlova Mix
Jen spent the afternoon getting to work on her dessert for tonight: berry pavlova. This included beating some egg whites to a glossy firm peak while hiding behind the bowl for safety from my aggressive picture taking.
Yogurt Marinated Lamb
While she was working on her dessert I was working on flipping the leg of lamb in the yogurt marinade I made with some yogurt, olive oil, white wine, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Easter Cheese Plate
It started raining just in time for me to get the grill going which seems to be a common theme early into this year's grilling season. Another theme: me not giving a damn and grilling anyway. While I grilled I came in and out of the house to enjoy this cheese plate made with Fromage D'Affinois, Ascutney Mountain from Jasper Hill Farm, and Sottocenere al tartufo. The theme tying all these cheeses together is, of course, that they're all produced in the Northern Hemisphere. That's my new rule for making cheese plates. The cheeses must be all from the same hemisphere. You have can't just throw any old cheeses together. You need a theme!
Roasted Easter Vegetables
While the lamb from Pine Hill Farm in the Genesee Valley was on the grill I worked on roasted spring onions, celery, fennel, carrots, and radishes with some garlic and fresh rosemary.
Grilled Yogurt-Marinated Leg of Lamb
After searing the marinated lamb on the grill I threw it to one side and allowed it to roast for a bit. I had pierced the skin and inserted rosemary and garlic cloves before marinating it for most of the day in the yogurt. The result was pretty good though I wish I'd had an automated spit for more even roasting. Yeah, I don't have a spit. Don't complain to me about the trials in your life. I have real problems.
Scalloped Potatoes
My mother brought some scalloped potatoes that she'd made following the America's Test Kitchen guidelines. This meant that they were swimming in heavy cream and, therefore, delicious.
For drink Jen and Mom finished up the Decoy Cabernet from the other night while me and Dad had this Gnomegang from Ommegang. While my parents had brought me a six pack sampler of Belgian ales (because they are the best parents) I thought the Gnomegang would be more Easter appropriate. Why? Well, a Gnome is an imaginary creature (unless you are that guy on YouTube that has personal relationships with gnomes and elves) just like the Easter bunny! Oh no. I've said too much.
Berry Pavlova
After baking her pavlova shells (if that's what you call them) Jen made this pavlova sandwich (if you can call it that) with some whipped cream, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
Berry Lemon Curd Pavlova
She made another with only lemon curd, blueberries, and blackberries. There was much debate over which one was more delicious.
Easter Family Pictures

Overall this was a fantastic Easter dinner. Aside from the pouring rain and the fact that maybe a cat may have fallen into the creek by our house I'd say this may be the best Easter ever.

Next year I'm going to dive in and save the cat. That would be the only way to top today.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Dinner was delicious beyond words, but was topped by spending a wonderful day with our terrific "kids."