Tuesday, 14 April 2009

An Egg-cellent Easter

After weeks of anticipation and preparation, Easter Weekend finally arrived. I have always loved this time of year, but since moving to England and marrying a Catholic Pole, Easter has become an even more momentous occasion in my annual calender.

In Poland, Passover and Easter Sunday are celebrated to the same extent as Christmas and food plays a major role in this celebration. This year I wanted to incorporate some of the Polish traditions into our weekend, and prepare some of the traditional dishes. Boiled eggs, symbolising the Resurrection, are a main ingredient in many of these dishes and feature predominantly on the menu. Although I am not a great fan of boiled eggs, I have to say that they just taste different on Easter and that even I can eat my fair share of them. One of my favourite Polish dishes is a vegetable salad, which is usually served on special occasions. This is made by simply dicing equal amounts of boiled potatoes, carrots, parsnips and eggs, mixing this with a peeled and diced apple, a can of sweetcorn kernels, a cup of green peas and a few sliced pickled cucumbers and generously covering everything in a mayonnaise and mustard dressing. It's quite a bit of work to prepare, but is well worth the effort and it can be served during breakfast, lunch and dinner (and believe me, you can eat that much of it).

Easter Sunday is the main event, and we got the day started with a traditional breakfast of sliced cured meats, boiled eggs, horse radish and apple salad, slices of cheese and the vegetable salad. When we returned from Mass, I immediately went back to the kitchen to get the pot-roasted pork joint in the oven to slowly braise for a couple of hours. While I had some time on my hands waiting for the meat to cook, I got a bit carried away with decorating the table with brightly coloured, cheery flowers, both real and origami, all to brighten up the grey London day. When the meat was wonderfully tender and juicy, I got my boiled potato wedges into hot oil in the oven to roast, sliced and peeled the butternut squash to bake in lightly caramelised butter, spooned my home-made pickled beetroot into a bowl and put the crackling onto the top shelf to crisp up. To finish off this wonderful feast I had brought along a selection of the chocolate truffles and macaroons from my new job.

As with all good things in life, the weekend came to an end and the last of the leftovers were turned into sandwiches for lunch. But we all had a happy Easter and I hope you all had a good one too!

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