Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Dinner

When my husband and I first married, we either spent Easter with his mother or she came to our house for Easter. My mother-in-law’s favorite thing to cook for Easter, believe it or not, was rabbit. “You eat the Easter bunny on Easter?” I whispered to my husband the first time I was confronted with this dish. He had never made the connection before.

When we hosted, we usually made leg of lamb, although MIL would also take hubby shopping for rabbit and cook it herself.

For the last decade or so, we’ve been traveling at Easter, since I always had a week and a day off. Thus it was that I found myself last week trying to remember what we usually make for Easter dinner.

Boiled bunny was out. Lamb was a possibility, but I decided what I really wanted was a ham steak. I found a great recipe, too, Country Ham Steak with Glazed Apples. There was just one little problem. My husband does not like to eat ham hot. He only likes it cold.

After 24 years of never cooking ham for dinner, I decided “too bad”. If he didn’t like it, he could fix himself a peanut butter sandwich. With the ham, I planned Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries, summer squash casserole, iceberg lettuce wedges, and crescent rolls. John was put in charge of salad dressing and dessert. 

I didn’t hear any loud screams as I picked out the ham steak at the store, or when I ran the whole menu by him.

From the point of prep work, this turned out to be an easy Sunday/company dinner. I was able to do several things in advance: core and slice the apples (and refrigerate them in lemon water so they wouldn't brown), peel and slice the potatoes, and put the squash casserole together ready for baking.  The potatoes take the longest to cook, and while they were cooking I had time to set the table, assemble the salads, put the rolls on a baking pan, then after I flipped the potatoes, cook the ham and apples. They take about fifteen minutes cook time. I used a mix of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg on the sweet potatoes. I also only used one teaspoon of salt, not the recommended tablespoon.

With the oven door open, the oven cooled down pretty quickly from the high temperature required by the potatoes to the lower temp needed for the rolls. I cooked the rolls while we ate the salads. If you have two ovens, the rolls and the squash casserole (which I cooked in the microwave) can cook at the same heat in one while the potatoes cook in the other. Or you can just do a stove top vegetable. The ham recipe and the potatoes made a great combo but a variety of vegetables would work.

And there were no peanut butter sandwiches. John ate the ham with no complaints. One might almost say, like a lamb.

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