One thing about major feast days that really distracts me: preparing the feast! I enjoy cooking so much, there is a real risk of me losing track of the feast day itself. (See yesterday's post.) This year, we had a vegetarian guest for Easter, so we offered salmon in addition to the ham (generously provided by volunteer Bill). I prepared the salmon with capers, onions and rosemary (from Mom's garden, which I always raid when I am in New Orleans), and folded it into an "envelope" of parchment paper and foil. Baked at 400 for around 15 minutes; opened the envelope and baked it a bit longer, then slid it onto a bed of fresh rosemary.
As a side, I prepared mushroom-cheese filled "eggs" of puff pastry. This was a total experiment, but came out pretty successfully. (I don't usually abide by the rule that you avoid trying new things out for special occasions.)
The lamb cake was a bit more ambitious. The recipe I followed (I'm not a baker, so I dare not wing it) was for an old fashioned pound cake. It called for vanilla extract, almond extract and bourbon (we've been working on the same bottle of bourbon for three years now). You fold a meringue into the batter (which incorporated eight--8!--egg yolks), and pour that into a lamb cake mold.
More photos later!
|A sample of Sr Frances' artistry from our dining room.|