"Hippity-hoppity hop! Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the bunny trail. Hippity hoppin’ - Easter’s on its way..."
Cackle! Cackle! Cackle! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! That’s the Easter Bird armed/winged with a basket full of eggs.
Don’t panic! There is enough chocolate and lollies of all varieties to go around! Hey! There might even be some Easter eggs still hidden in the garden since last year...those not found during Easter 2019’s egg hunt.
Hold on! Don’t rush off to look just yet. I’ve not finished my ramblings!
Everyone is in such a hurry these days. Every action is panic-driven! Calm down! As you can see, I’m getting in a week early...Easter is still a week away as I write and post...but it isn’t panic that motivates me.
I’m fully aware Easter isn’t until the end of next week, but it is sensible to sensibly plan in advance, not leaving everything until the last minute. You might need to marinate a hunk of meat. If that is the case, it’s best to have some time up your sleeve...or on the clock.
I’ve never learned how to keep time up my sleeve, have you?
Clint, my chocolate Lindt bunny remains nestled in my fridge, which, as some of you may recall, has been his safe haven for the past few years. There he sits, untouched by human hands; nor has he been touched by pussy, hare or bunny paws (not even his own); nor will he be!
Clint Lindt’s future remains secure. This he knows. Forever grateful for his safe haven, he gives me a smile every time I open my refrigerator door.
Even though he is a chocolate bunny, I assure you, he is no bunny.
When I was a kid I loved Gene Autry’s song “Peter Cottontail”. To me, Gene Autry was king. I loved his singing and his movies. Autry was a magician of sorts. During his many fist fights, rolling in the dirt and down mountain sides, Gene never got dirty, and not once did he lose his hat. His trusty steed, Champion, the Wonder Horse stood loyally by his side all the while.
Not only am I showing my age, but I’m giving it away at the mention of Gene Autry!
Oh! Well! I’m generous that way.
One cannot run away from reality; nor hide from the passing years. Botox, plastic surgery etc., don’t hide the years...each draw more attention to them, in my opinion.
No trout mouth, pumped up boobs, medicine ball butt cheeks, taut brow, plastered on eyebrows for me, thank you very much! Take me as I am...or not at all. Nicking Popeye’s words: “I yam what I yam & that’s what I yam!”
Regardless of my love for Peter Cottontail’s song, in our household when my late brother and I were kids the Easter Bird was solely responsible for the delivery of our Easter eggs.
The Easter Bird was a chick, but over the Easter weekend she was Cock of the Walk.
My brother, Graham and I never had a shortage of Easter eggs. And, we never went on Easter egg hunts.
The nests we built in hats overflowed with the colourful, delicious goodies. The eggs were easy to find. They were always placed at the end our bed, easy for the Easter bird to find. She never needed directions. That fluffy chick was a pretty smart chick!
Who cared about overdosing on sugar? Not us! Being fairly normal kids always tearing around outdoors, we had energy to burn, sugar, or no sugar...all year through, not just while, and after, feasting on Easter eggs.
My Easter plan is to devour my supply of Cherry Ripes.
Before you accuse me...I’ve not panic-bought Cherry Ripes! The yummy chocolate bars are always part of my Easter fare – always have been.
Perhaps I’ll set a place across from me at the table for Clint...allowing him some freedom for a change. I might even open the unopened bottle of Dimple Haig that’s been sitting on a shelf for four years. As you can tell from the above statement very rarely nowadays does liquor pass these un-pure lips of mine .
Maybe it’s time to lift Prohibition...which is just another thought upon which I can ponder. Perhaps I should open the Scotch bottle, and put a dimple in it!
Golden-suited, brown tie Clint and I can clink glasses of good cheer...“might” being the operative word. It won’t happen. The idea is fun, though.
Clint’s a good listener. If he could talk he’d have lots to add to the conversation. He’s not one to interrupt me when I’m speaking, either. Over the years he’s witnessed many comings and goings in my fridge. Clint’s very cool....not a cool cat, but a cool bunny!
In case you’re thinking I’ve finally lost it...I haven’t. It’s around here somewhere.
I’ve many simple ways of amusing myself. This is just one of those ways.
Clint is chuffed every time he sees me remove a Cherry Ripe from the fridge.
My doing so gives him that extra feeling of confidence. However, I know he trusts me...that I will never reach for him.
There’s no cause for me to pause from my usual habits. So Cherry Ripes it is...not Cherry Wipes!
Pomegranate Marinated Lamb Roast with Gremolata: Puree 1/2c unsweetened pomegranate juice, 1/4c port or dry red wine, 3tbs x-virgin olive oil, ½ large onion, chopped, 4 garlic cloves, 1/2c chopped Italian parsley, salt and pepper. Place large, boned, netted or tied lamb leg in a zip-top plastic bag; add marinade. Seal bag; massage it lightly so marinade is distributed over roast. Place in a bowl; chill overnight. Next day remove lamb from fridge; let stand at room temp, 1hr. Preheat oven 218C. Remove lamb from marinade; wipe off excess liquid. Place meat, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan; roast, 25-30mins. Lower temp to 175C; continue to cook 20-30 mins for med-rare. Remove roast from oven; carefully turn it fat-side down to redistribute its juices. Let it rest 20mins. While lamb is resting, you don’t! Gremolata...in serving bowl, combine - ½ bunch Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped, 15-20 chopped mint leaves, 1 minced garlic clove and zest of 1 lemon. Serve gremolata alongside sliced lamb. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds if the fresh fruit is available.
Marinated Beef Roast: Combine in zip-lock bag or bowl, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1tbs Worcestershire sauce, 1tbs Dijon, 1/4c balsamic, 1/2c soy sauce, 1/4c olive oil, 1tbs white sugar, 2tsp onion powder, 1tsp black pepper, 2tsp dried thyme and 2tsp dried rosemary. Add 1.5-2kg piece of blade, topside or other economical beef cuts to marinade; seal securely; marinate 2 days; 3 days max. Remove beef from fridge 1hr prior to start of cooking. Preheat oven, 240C. Cut 4 spuds into 5cm chunks and 5 carrots into 4cm pieces. Toss vegies in marinade; spread out in baking tray; season; top with beef. Drizzle over 1tbs olive oil; roast 20mins. Reduce heat to 180C; roast 35-40mins for med-rare. Place beef on plate; cover loosely in foil; rest 20-30mins. Return vegies to oven to brown a bit if needed. Serve beef sliced, with veg, and pan juices; or rich gravy.
Cherry Ripe Muffins: Chop 2x52g Cherry Ripe Bars into 6 squares each. Finely chop another Cherry Ripe; set aside. Combine 125g chopped butter and 100g dark chocolate melts in a saucepan; gently heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Add 4 lightly beaten eggs, 1/3c caster sugar and 2tsp vanilla; stir to combine; then add 3/4c sifted plain flour and 1-1/3tsp baking powder; mix until just combined. Spoon two thirds of the mixture into 12 x 1/3 cup capacity paper-lined muffins pans. Top each with a square of Cherry Ripe then spoon over the remaining muffin mixture. Sprinkle with reserved chopped Cherry Ripe. Bake in a moderate oven 180C for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked when tested. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before turning out of pan to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until required.