Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter with the Figs

So I'm a little behind on things in just getting my Easter post up, but as long as I get it in before the weekend, it's all good, right?

I delighted Husband by not having a big brunch and inviting everyone we know. He always enjoys these events but works himself into a big fuss beforehand. I had just finished taxes and am still working on our school auction and just lacked the energy to deal with either him or a big event. We had just a slightly fancier version of our regular Sunday dinner with the MIL, which I always enjoy.

We start off with appetizers and a fancy cocktail, a lemon drop martini this time—we've been working through a batch of my homemade limoncello and so have been drinking a lot of these on Sundays. Husband, Sophie, and the MIL play dominoes or cards at the kitchen table while I (who hates playing games) work on dinner.

I borrowed this clever idea with the radish from over here. If you ever need ideas or inspiration for table settings, this is the place to go.

We had roast rack of lamb, mint apple jelly, lemon roasted potatoes, and grilled asparagus, with rose geranium-white chocolate ice cream garnished with pine nut brittle for dessert.

These potatoes are a modification of an old Martha recipe. Her's are good; mine are better. They're very easy but take quite a lot of baking time, which can be a problem if you only have one oven. I always serve them with a main course that can be done on the grill.

8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into bite size
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine ingredients in roasting pan large enough to hold potatoes in a single layer.  Toss to coat potatoes and bake, uncovered for nearly an hour. Halfway through baking, slide a metal spatula beneath potatoes to loosen from bottom of pan and turn for even browning. Do this several more times before potatoes finish baking. 
And in case you're wondering if the Figs have gone and found religion on Easter, rest assured it's not true. We celebrate Easter as a turning of the season, where we move from skiing and root vegetables to hiking and fava beans. Sophie did accompany the MIL to church in the morning, but we had a little talk about this first. I told her the traditional Easter story, which for me is one of the most problematic parts of Christianity. A birthday of a good person we want to remember is something I can be down with. I'm fine with repressive governments and prostitutes—these things really exist. Bodies disappearing, dead people coming back to life, gods in the air—not so much. I warned her "You know all that stuff they will be talking about at church—it's not true. Just like things in some of your books. They may be fun to read about and imagine, but they didn't really happen." "Right!" "But Grandma thinks the Easter stuff did happen, which is fine. You don't need to make a big point of the fact that we don't believe these things. It might make her feel badly." "I will just smile." "Good. Sometimes that's the right thing to do." 

But it's not like we don't believe in anything. In fact, we spend a good deal of time talking about what we do believe in. It's mostly love. We believe in love. And you don't need a god for that. 


Purple Flowers said...

Great post.I love your table setting; so Spring and lovely looking.

carolyn said...

love, seasons, good food, family....I'm down with that!

Jen Yu said...

awesome, hon. we love you too. xxoo

p.s. we have 18 inches of snow on the ground now and we have another 18 inches predicted!

Kate said...

What a beautiful table! And such a gorgeous view from your dining room. I love that you like martinis on Sundays - I would get crocked and not be much use on Monday!

gandr said...

Very pretty. Wish I were there.

Cindy said...

I do too, Dad.

The Cape House said...

The table looks lovely, and your menu sounds great!