A little history first…. The first formal Easter celebration dates back to the 2nd century. But it is believed that Easter celebrations began earlier than that. The Christian holiday is to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion 2,000 years ago.
Bunny Rabbits and Easter Eggs
In the medieval era, Christians would decorate eggs and eat them on Easter to celebrate the end of the Lenten fast–eggs couldn’t be eaten during the Holy Week. The first instance of eggs being decorated dates to the 13th century. In Christian symbolism, eggs represent new life, paralleling the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Bunnies have been associated with Easter since around the 17th-18th century!
But that’s enough of history — let’s move on to the fun stuff!
Most American families start off with an Easter Egg hunt, that can be before or after church, if that is your tradition. Sometimes the fun filled egg hunt will take place at a park, or school ground, or church–where you will see lots of little munchkins running around like crazy, loving the excitement as much as their prized chocolates, I’m sure.
The Good Ol’ Days
I remember the good old days when my parents would take my sister and I to church in our pretty new dresses, and how proud I’d be. Years have gone by, but for me Easter holiday is a memory of hiding colorful blue, and pink Easter eggs, chocolates and bunnies and little surprises around the house for the children to discover. Not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or us, the parents. Those days are long gone too.
For grandmas like me, it’s become a wonderful family time, followed by a delicious brunch or Easter dinner. A spiral ham has become the traditional meat of choice, but also turkey or prime rib, better yet– my favorite roast or grilled lamb can make a delicious addition or a great substitute.
On that note — here is a recipe for a Butterflied Leg of Lamb.
Easter Butterflied Leg of Lamb
This recipe came from a great friend of mine and she is a wonderful cook. I’ve tried it several times, grilling not roasted, but it is so amazing!! I’m sure it’ll be perfect either way, but the timing will be important. My mouth waters just thinking about it! So easy, too:
- 1 5-lb leg of lamb, deboned and butterflied (weight after deboning).
- 12 oz bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce, a 5.5 oz bottle of mint sauce (Crosse & Blackwell), 1/2 cup oil
- Look for a leg of lamb that is mostly flat with the least fat. Pound it good so it’s about an inch or two thick and I suggest slicing off the extra fat.
- Combine chili sauce, mint sauce, and oil in a glass bowl. Pour over the lamb and marinate up to two days, turning the meat every 12 hours.
- When ready to cook, remove lamb from the sauce and grill over hot coals, basting often with the marinade. For medium rare, total cooking time is around 25 minutes. If you don’t own a grill, then place the lamb in a pre-heated oven set to 325* F for around 90-120 minutes.
- Carve the lamb into thin slices and choose your favorite sides. This is one of my easiest and best dinners ever!
Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about.
Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages.
She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience.
Her best selling books are the CANDY BAR series, SERENDIPITY FALLS series, and most recently PARADISE COVE and A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION series. She is a New York Times best selling author.