Cy's birthday was yesterday, and we ate dinner at Ken's Artisan Pizza, which was recently named one of the ten best pizza places in the country. When we finally sat down to eat the food was well worth the hour long lines, and we left stuffed to the brim. We are still digesting today, because Mom has yet to go after the baskets of chocolate the Easter Bunny left behind (no, not bunny chocolate). Despite this Cy is cooking up a feast of epic proportions for Easter dinner.
He'll be feeding seven of us, Memaw and Bamp are in town, and has planned a proportionately large size. He's planned a spinach salad, deviled eggs, herb crusted rack of lamb, potatoes gratin, no-knead bread with a Spanish olive oil and lots of Easter chocolate for dessert. Mom has made the deviled eggs, and put them in the deviled egg plate that looks like Mom stole it off the set of Mad Men. The no-knead bread, which we have fallen in love with after we tried it during the Mark Bittman Sunday, has come out of the oven and a patch of sun in the sky has flitted from us.
Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, every single pale Portlander was out in the sun. A number of us were sun-burned. The warm weather tempted leaves and buds out of the trees and it felt like winter was over. But it wasn't and today dawned gray and cloudy.
Unlike many Sunday's, when we find ourselves eating an hour later than we had planned, we realized at a quarter to three that we were almost done cooking. With all the dishes except the lamb rustled up, and the lamb recipe saying it would only take half an hour, we stopped cooking and went for a walk. But now it's half past four and Dad and Cy are back in the kitchen. Some sort of bread crumb concoction is being put together and a mixture of parsley Dijon mustard and a few herbs are getting mixed up to be the herb crust of the herb encrusted rack of lamb. Having stacked the two racks against each other in the large pan usually only used for Thanksgiving dinner, Dad and Cy are, not so much rubbing as they are packing their herb "rub" on. Memaw suggested doing it, "Like you were making a mud pie".
The lamb is taking a little longer in the oven than the recipe predicted. In the extra time we Skyped with our cousins in Louisville, who say that the Ohio River is past flood-stage. They also told us that for the Triangle Art Festival next weekend they'll be selling three kinds of lemonade on their front lawn. Last year they sold chocolate chip cookies and made more than a hundred dollars. That year they donated they money to the Olmsted Foundation. The Olmsted brothers are known for designing Central Park in New York City, Cherokee Park in Louisville and the Park Blocks here in Portland. Their foundation now helps cities with upkeep of parks.
The lamb was excellent, it was The crust was amazing as well, though I found the crust on it's own a little overpowering. The spinach salad was good, the walnuts added a little crunch and the orange gave a citrus kick all their own. The potatoes gratin, well, they don't need describing, if you've ever had any sort of potatoes anna, (with or without thumb), potatoes gratin, or another creamy, fatty potato dish; you know what I'm talking about. For dessert the seven of us ate a bar of chile chocolate. While it tasted like chocolate at first, once you had swallowed your throat burned. My throat still is.