Cheap Easter Eggs
Cheap Easter eggs are quite good enough for kids. Children don’t really care how cheap their chocolate is. So go to Lidl or your local street market and pick up something inexpensive and possibly nearing its sell by date.
For this Easter I am also going to try boiled egg and soldiers on my kids. I’ve realised they have NEVER HAD THIS! It’s just a lack of organisation on my part, and a husband who doesn’t like Marmite (after all, you’ve got to have Marmite on your soldiers). I’m not even sure we’ve got any egg cups, but I am going to get it all sorted for Easter Saturday morning, probably.
The main event is Easter Sunday lunch. I am having 14 people including 5 kids so I will be staggering lunch. Kids at 12 noon and the adults will try to have a semblance of a civilised meal at about 12:30pm (kids eat quickly). We will shove them in front of the telly while we eat, in the spirit of all holiday family meals which we are just trying to get though without killing each other.
It will be lamb. A boned shoulder (or two, for that ,many people) which I will be stuffing with feta cheese, chopped olives and herbs, salt and pepper, plus garlic.
You could also use a bog-standard Paxo-type stuffing mix too, which would be fine once all the lamb juices have seeped into it. Add a knob of butter though. I usually do boiled potatoes when I have a large crowd, out of laziness. But otherwise par boil them and tip them around the lamb for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
Or into a separate tray with a bit of butter and olive oil to stop the butter burning. I may even try out my Marmite roast potatoes recipe (a small dessert spoon of Marmite added to a hot roasting tray of melted butter, swirled around and then tip your par-boiled potatoes in. I haven’t done it yet but I am told it is wonderful).
Veg will be good old carrot batons (everyone loves them) and a green veg (not broccoli because it is a bit boring) – maybe savoy cabbage shredded, boiled briefly and mixed with a tin of Campbells condensed cream of mushroom/cream of celery soup (my secret cheat, it turns into a lovely creamy sauce).
Plus another cheat – I tend not to buy mint jelly but instead to mix a good spoonful of concentrated mint sauce into a couple of spoonfuls of jam – apricot, plum or damson are good. You can then serve this as it is, or mix with creme fraiche, a crumbled chicken stock cube and possibly the meat juices from the lamb (if you are not using them to make a separate gravy). I did a variation of this on Sunday and snipped a whole pack of fresh mint leaves into it – it was lovely with my honey garlic chicken.
For 14 people, including kids and oldies, you can’t beat some sort of crumble (apple, rhubarb, pear) plus cream/instant custard/creme fraiche but I might also do a raspberry mousse-cake this year. Like a cheesecake with crushed digestives on the bottom (mixed with melted butter to make it stick together). Then I will concoct a topping with whipped cream, crushed raspberries, sugar and gelatine and maybe a few secret ingredients (crushed amaretti biscuits perhaps, folded through or sprinkled on the top).
You will see I have not really crystalised my Easter cuisine thoughts yet. But that is the way I cook. I ruminate on what I have in the fridge, what seems to be in season, what’s on offer at the supermarket, what I will have delivered in my organic veg box that week. And then I decide what I could make, always remembering to INCLUDE my leftovers, of course. I will ruminate further and let you know if I have any great ideas. Any more great ideas, I meant.