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Easter dinner and other springtime foods

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mmmm, I like serving springtime food at Easter. There is always a fun mix of stuff that has kept over the winter and new spring produce.
Here are some photos of our Easter foods.

The food above is called Osterbrötchen in German, and they are a yeast-raised bun with dried fruits. I serve them as a breakfast food about every other year, alternating with a German cake (which is not served for breakfast), Osterlamm. The cake is baked in a lamb-shaped mold. Here I am with last year's cake, which has homemade chocolate frosting for a black sheep.

At this year's Easter dinner, the first course was a deceptively "cream"-y soup (soymilk thickened with a little roux) filled with carrots, spinach and peas, accompanied by blanched asparagus with a faux bernaise sauce. I found another application in which Ener-G egg substitute is a terrible idea. The sauce texture was sticky and elastic, meaning that it acted a bit like melted cheese when we dipped asparagus in it. It had a lot of lemon juice, which tasted nice on the asparagus, so at least it was edible. Here's the table shot before we eat the soup and asparagus. Daffodils are from the backyard. The wine is Beaujolais.

And for the main course at Easter dinner, I had planned something that wasn't an Easter ham, but did have ham in it. I had some minced ham left over in the freezer after ham pie, and I wanted to add it to fried potatoes. I boiled sliced potatoes in salted water, then fried them, and although they tasted fully cooked and well-salted like I wanted them to, I had to adjust to a new textural reality from what I had in mind. The potato slices fell apart when I turned them in the pan, so now I had potato hash. No big problem. The hash tasted great with the ham bits and a generous sprinkling of fresh-ground black pepper.

Also wonderful in springtime are mangoes and the new crops of berries. Of course, none of these items grows anywhere near here in April, so they are an occasional indulgence until the local fruit appears in May or June. This week, Andrew mixed blackberries with the banana slices I had in the freezer for an impromptu fruit salad.


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