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Old 03-11-2002, 01:30 PM   #1
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Easter Dinner - Ham, Lamb or ?

Since Easter is just around the courner, I am curious as to what will grace your Easter Table: The usual is Ham or Lamb. Other spring time favorites are roast kid and of course spring chicken.

I understand lamb, kid and chicken, all served with spring vegetables, but I don't understand how ham became equated with a springtime celebration.

So, what will you all be placing on the ancesteral china on Easter?

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Old 03-11-2002, 05:31 PM   #2
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LEG OF LAMB WITH ROSEMARY/MUSTARD PESTO

This is our all-time favorite. My SIL insists that we have ham with potato salad and other "picnic-type springy" things. When it's at my house we have lamb - which I guess is why she won't have Easter at my house anymore!!!:D Last year we had this wonderful array of hamburgers and hotdogs and something in a casserole dish that had so much grease on top of it . It's not that I don't like those things it's just not Easter! And when I do dinner at my house we use my mother's china, silver, etc. They HATE when I do that and when it's at their house they use paper plates. And I do fuss at my BIL who trys to lean on the back two legs on my antique, 120-year old French chairs!!! Yea, I yelled - then he tried to jerk the back of the chair forward to "fix" it - yea, I yelled again - .......or maybe THAT'S why they won't come back :D :p

LEG OF LAMB WITH ROSEMARY/MUSTARD PESTO (sort of)

5-6# leg of lamb
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1 TBS soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 branches of rosemary with leaves stripped off
fresh thyme with leaves stripped off (5-6 branches - depending on size)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or toasted walnuts or pecans

1. Toast pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans, in oven set on 375 F. or toast in dry skillet set on med-high and tossed until done.

2. In Cuisinart or blender add all of the ingredients except oil. Turn machine on and slowly drizzle in oil until everything is blended. You might not need to use all the oil, or you may need more, it just depends on how much rosemary you used, etc. You want it to be a little thick. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, rosemary, or garlic until it suits your taste. If it's a little strong that's OK because it will help flavor the lamb better.

Put lamb in shallow pan, cover with this mixture and bake. I bake mine at 325 until 140 as we like ours rare. Take your lamb out about 5 less than you like it and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Will continue cooking after you take out of oven and sitting will let the juices absorb back into the meat and not just run out.

Some roasted assorted vegetables, a nice light salad dressed in balsamic vinegar and a mixture of sour cream and brown sugar and green grapes for dessert!
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Old 03-12-2002, 10:42 AM   #3
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Relevance of Spring Favourites

The Ham or Lamb question is very interesting.
I had heard the Renewal and fertility relevances and, too, wondered about the ham; so i went looking.
I found a ham supplier, but they had no e-mail aspects connected with their contact us key. Going to their parent company gave me a viable route to place the question, and this is the reply I received.

Thank you for contacting us asking why ham is considered a traditional meat
at Easter.

According to one source, it is believed that ham became traditional because
in many cultures the pig is a symbol of prosperity. The custom of serving ham at
Easter goes back as far as William the Conquerer, who served ham along with
other foods such as gammon and tansy pudding.

I do not know of any references that ham or pork would have relating to the
Christian "renewal" aspects of the holiday.

We hope this is the insight you were seeking. We appreciation your
interest in our company.

Right or wrong, at least it's a theory that is realistic. My thoughts were somewhere along the lines of the ham having been the cured portion, hence that which could be stored the longest, and the "last of the beast" for consumption. But now winter is over, so it can be eaten and more food will be available shortly . . .
Finally,
David
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Old 03-12-2002, 12:38 PM   #4
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Dear K-elf,

I'm wioth you! A special occasion should be a special occasion!!! And part of special is taking the time to celebrate your guests with the best you can offer within your means. If you are too busy or find this a pain in the butt, then let someone else do it.

Too many people in this day and age have chosen to forget simple manners, like not leaning back in chairs, not flinging your full weight into furnature, closing doors by turning the handle and gently pulling, not slamming the thing with full force, thus putting stress on the hinges and damaging the latch plate - not sitting in my 16th century carved leather with dirty levies - not burrying your head in your plate and shoveling the food in -

Yes, I love to intertain - no inviting someone to dinner is not because I have an empasshioned desire to get food into people - it is because I desire the entire social experience and that includes good company. In my cantankerous old age, my guest list is getting shorter and shorter because I will no longer put up with a lot of the crapola that I use to.

Honey, I think you should have an exquisit lamb dinner on the good china with all four legs on the floor for those of you who appreciate it and let the frizby throwing, chair teatering hamburger guzzeling crowd do their own thing. I'm sure you can fine enough like minded people who will share your enthusium for nice things.

Wow!!! Sorry for the tirade...
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Old 03-12-2002, 12:45 PM   #5
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Dear David,

All that makes sence, and also perhaps this: Most of the cultures who do lamb or kid are medeterrarian, therefore by The end of march or early April, when Easter usually falls, it is lovely spring weather and of course lamb and kid would be available. However, in the Christian cultures of the north; Scandanavia, the British Isles, etc. it can still be bloody damn cold and the animinals may not have lamed or kidded yet, so a nice ham left from the autumn butchering would be a reasonable substitute. ???

Any thoughts on this surmise?
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Old 03-12-2002, 04:56 PM   #6
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let the frizby throwing, chair teatering hamburger guzzeling crowd do their own thing

geraldine - Will I owe you royalties if I cross-stitch this????:D
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Old 03-12-2002, 09:36 PM   #7
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Odd, my daughter and I were discussing the Easter menu just this evening. We'll be doing Ham, mainly because only two people in the family like Lamb, plus it's hard to find in Podunk. Scalloped potatoes, and spring veggies, homemade rolls, salad, fruit compote, and a variety of cakes. I'll do the linen table cloth and napkins, and the real silver, but I think I'll do Easter theme paper plates, since we have grandbabies, 1,2 and 3. The china was my husband's mothers, and I'd die if one of the babies broke any of it.
On special holidays, I do like to bring out the "nice stuff" as my kids call it....Xmas dishes, etc. Fourth of July, Memorial Day...it's strictly paper plates, although I do go with a color scheme even then. Just plain old paper plates, etc....to me has an air of not really appreciating the guests.
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Old 03-12-2002, 09:42 PM   #8
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LOL Norma - I will say that at least they use divided plates . Does that put them up a couple notches?????:p
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Old 03-12-2002, 10:18 PM   #9
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Were they storebrand or Dixie brand? THAT is the important issue! :D
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Old 03-13-2002, 12:35 PM   #10
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Dear Norma,

I handle the special occasion but there's going to be little ones problem by, (and it makes it easier if there are more than one of them) setting the wee ones at their own special little table. I have always had juvinial furnature in the house, so, first I lay down a spill proof or it doesn't matter, floor covering, then set a low table and small chairs around it. Set the table festivaly with small plates or festive paper plates and nice looking plastic glasses. I make their smaller version of the regular meal. A standard favorite was always a game hen, tiney new potatoes, peas and their own small loaf of home made bread. Flowers and a candle of course, and if the family is having champagane or white wine they get a bottle of sparkling cider, if we are having red wine, they get cranberry juice. They are happy to have their own very special thing, they are comfortable in smaller furnature, if they spill nothing will get ruined and the adults can have a wonderful adult meal, unencumbered.

If the weathr is good then the wee ones can scoot out to the back yard tio play and if it is ickey weather, put in a special vidio for them while the adults finish a relaxed dinner.

One of my grandaughters, now 20 and with a baby of her own, often tells me how very special and wonderful she thought those special children's dinners were. Sometimes, their table would be set up in front of the fireplace.
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