Easter is less than one week away, but it's been quite cold in the northeast. Around here, I haven't even seen a strand of light-up eggs, not even a King Kong size inflatable lawn bunny. In these parts (where lawn ornaments appear for even the smallest holiday) a thwart of tradition could signal mass winter blues. Nothing a traditional ham feast can’t help dispel.
Mom always roasted a leg of lamb on Easter, and remembering it brings a sweet memory of the aromas, brown gray and mashed potatoes, but I never thought about the ritual aspect of the meal until we first hosted Easter dinner with my husband’s family. I didn't recognize it at first, but I was subliminally prompted to prepare ham, along with specific side dishes.
After the dinner ended and everybody went home, my husband was proud. That was great, he said. Congratulations. You now have a holiday!
A what? I asked. A holiday, he said. I protested. Hey, I never said I wanted a holiday. Doesn’t matter, he said. It's yours now. (I think this might be like waking up in Vegas married to a stranger.)
The requirements of the holiday ownership sprang up with the crocus the following year. People asked questions, like Don Corleone in the Godfather, for which there was just one answer: “You're having ham... right?” That may sound like an inquiry, but the punctuation’s more like this: You're having ham. Right.
Still I didn't look a gift pig in the mouth. We loved being with family, and, heck, we’re cool with ham. Maybe this year we’ll share a memory of a past Easter feast. Maybe next year I'll serve that leg of lamb alongside the ham, but until then, the ham is center stage, along with white horseradish, red horseradish, coarse mustard, sweet potatoes, potato salad, and... well.. let me stop there. To anybody reading this, may you and yours be blessed this Easter and always.
To improvise for the lack of holiday decorations, you can enjoy Moonitude's proverbial front door any time (which contains all the depth of retail decorations). Just click the sweet potatoes to get there. Then keep your eye on the page while it cycles through and see if it brings you your heart's desire.