I thought it appropriate to celebrate the beginning of Spring with some thoughts and a couple of recipes, I hope you agree!
I have always adored celebrating special Holidays and this April has two special ones…Passover and Easter. Tradition rules in both who doesn’t like to dye and decorate eggs, make a favorite ham or brisket or make a great kugel…and celebrate with food!
I’ve shared many of my family Easter traditions in past years but I don’t think I’ve talked about my “lambie” cake experiences…forgive me if I’m repeating myself!!!! Let me first state I abhor them….now don’t send gobs of comments criticizing my opinion….let me explain…it’s a journey into my childhood!
My grandparents were deceased before I was born but I was blessed with the most wonderful substitute for a Gran…my beloved Great Aunt Rose, Daddy’s Aunt. She lived in a bungalow on Chicago’s Southwest Side and visited us in Rogers Park and then in Evanston most Sundays. She would drive her Ford to us (we never had a car…so that was special!) and we often drove to a restaurant in the country for an early special spit roasted chicken dinner, came back home spend time together and then have a light supper before she drove home. She was always with us for special occasions as well…Easter was one of those days. Each year she would bring a lamb cake and each year I would hope she wouldn’t…why you ask, I can’t stand dried coconut! To me it tastes like sawdust…plus her chosen bakery cake was quite ugly. Mom, of course, had baked many goodies so the gifted cake was put on display and, thank heaven, never eaten! Now, there are many luscious Easter cakes to purchase or make yourself…here are some along with an Easter Bunny cake or two…you can find the molds on line
Recipe…8 ounces wide egg noodles cooked in salted water
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 stick butter
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup canned condensed milk
Beat eggs and add all ingredients except butter…melt butter in casserole add all ingredients bake at 350 for 35 minutes! Enjoy
Then, of course, the star of the Easter table….baked ham
FROM JEFFREY BANKS…BOURBON MAPLE GLAZED BAKED HAM (YOU CAN DOUBLE THE GLAZE ON SALMON FOR PASSOVER)
INGREDIENTS (Serves 8-9)
Fully cooked spiral ham
1 cup pure Maple Syrup
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup good Bourbon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in a large roasting pan. Fill pan with a depth of 1/2 inch with water. Cover pan and ham with aluminum foil. Bake in oven until internal temperature registers 120 degrees F.about two hours, basting ham every 30 minutes or so with accumulated juices.
Meanwhile stir together maple syrup, brown sugar, Bourbon, mustard and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan at medium high temperature and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened about 6 minutes. Keep warm and set aside.
Remove ham from oven and discard foil. With a very sharp knife score the fat of the ham every 1″1/2 diagonally in both directions.Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Insert cloves quickly in the intersections of squares.Using a pastry brush, glaze ham with ⅓ cup maple mixture; set aside remaining glaze. Return ham to oven, and bake at 400°F until top is lightly caramelized a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat registers 145°F, about 30 minutes, brushing with remaining glaze every 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer ham to a platter; let rest 15 minutes. Serve.
However you celebrate….enjoy the tradition with family and friends. Happy Spring!