Monday, April 13, 2015



As a kid, Easter was always a sunny, joyous holiday to me, even if it rainedMy grandmother would make me a new Easter dress with matching coat or sometimes a new Easter suit...  once in a while she even made a matching outfit for my younger brother.  

Mom would take me shopping for new "dress" shoes (usually patent leather Mary Janes) and a new Easter bonnet and we'd all go to church which would be decorated with a zillion pretty white Easter lilies decorating the altar and beautiful white satin pulpit and altar cloths. A ritual played out for many families across the country. 

Before church, my brother and I would rush downstairs to see what the Easter bunny left us and hunt for the eggs we had colored that week and that our parents had hidden around the living room and sun room.  One year instead of Easter baskets our mom bought us fun, painted wastepaper baskets for our rooms  (well, they weren't really "baskets" as they were made of metal) which she filled with colorful "straw" then topped with Easter candy.  My wastebasket had bright pink flowers to go with my pink and green room, Robert's had sports pendant flags all over it.  We thought the Easter bunny was very clever choosing these.  

After church, our grandparents would arrive from Brooklyn, and we all had Easter dinner.  Sometimes it was ham and homemade mac & cheese and fresh veggies.  Sometimes it was Long Island duck (well, we did live on Long Island, after all) with an orange sauce, roasted potatoes and veggies, but more often, Easter dinner was leg of lamb, again with roast potatoes and veggies, with mint jelly on the side.   I wrote about my mom's lamb in an earlier blog when Richard roasted his very first leg of lamb...

... but he hadn't made one since... until this Easter.

I don't get a new Easter outfit anymore, and I don't go to church, but this year I was feeling nostalgic.  I wanted an Easter leg of lamb dinner like I had as a child (when you age you begin to regress back to childhood more and more, but I digress). Richard had just read food writer Russ Parsons' article in the LA Times (April 4, 2015) and decided it was time to roast his second leg of lamb; and besides, lamb was on sale at our gourmet market.  Parsons gave seven choices for preparing the lamb.  We picked "roast leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic and anchovies" (yeh, we like anchovies, tho I've still haven't tried them on pizza).

Here are his directions:

Cut thin slits all over the surface of a bone-in leg.  Insert a thin slice of garlic, a tuft of rosemary and a smidge of salted anchovy in each slit.  Rub with olive oil and roast.

everyone needs a close-up - even lamb
 But before roasting, Richard added a larger sprig of rosemary, cut-up onion and potatoes...

... and a bit of red wine

Then put it in a pre-heated oven to roast. 450 degrees for the first 20 minutes, then turned the temperature down to 350.

You know your oven, but for basic roasting instructions check out my "not-my-moms-leg-of-lamb" blog above.

When we sat down to dinner, I was back "home."  


Andrea R said...

Lovely, Lonie! But did you have mint jelly? To me, roast lamb is never complete without a large daub of glistening green mint jelly. Making my mouth water right now!

Anonymous said...

This was a fun read Ilona. I remember one Easter when my mother made my sister and me matching blue linen suits and she and a friend threw a big party for lots of their military friends. It was during World War II and we were living near a big air base in Ohio where my father was an engineer. Not sure there was leg of lamb then, but I do remember it as one of my mother's great meals.


ilona saari said...

We did put out the mint jelly, Andrea. My mother would yell at me from heaven if I didn't.

ilona saari said...

Am so happy this piece brought back a lovely memory, Susan. I hope it does for others who read it.