Only a few days to go until the long Easter weekend. Did you know that it is traditional to plant your seed potatoes on Good Friday? Actually, I think this is a historical event because it was one of the only days off that workers used to get so they would make the most of it and plant their potatoes. As it happens, I have planted all my potatoes already - I think I got carried away by the glorious weather we've just had but that's probably a good thing as the weather for the weekend isn't looking too great. Having said that, the garden is certainly in need of a good watering so rain is welcome (just not too keen on sleat and snow and I don't want my fruit blossom to get frosted!).
So what are your plans for your Easter feast? Will you go for the traditional roast lamb? How about a lovely garlic and rosemary lamb leg? Before you put the lamb in the oven, stab it several times with a sharp knife and poke slices of garlic and sprigs of rosemary into the holes. We still have some garlic left in store from last year, although it is starting to sprout now, and the rosemary plant is just putting out new growth and is soft and fresh. You could smear the joint all over with Garlic and Ale Mustard too. If you haven't got a jar of Jammy Cow mustard to hand then you can quickly whip up a similar mustard yourself. Mix a little mustard powder with a dash of real ale (I would recommend Concrete Cow Brewery ale, obviously!) instead of water to form a paste then stir in some crushed garlic. Of course, Jammy Cow mustard is matured for 6 weeks before going on sale to let the flavours develop but letting the mustard mixture stand for an hour before use does the world of good. Once cooked, allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before carving then serve with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables. At Easter that means purple sprouting broccoli, leeks and asparagus.
But what about dessert? After a big roast dinner I like to have something sweet to finish the meal but not so huge I feel bloated. Now, here's an idea that is stupidly simple to make and just great to do with your kids. Mini chocolate Easter cheesecakes. Ever since their first visit to Red Hot World Buffet my girls have loved diddy little desserts, where they can happily be allowed seconds (or thirds) so I bought some suitable containers and have invented a few dishes of my own. This one is probably the easiest yet, thanks to the take-over of Cadburys by Kraft Foods in 2010 which suddenly made the amalgamation of Cadburys chocolate and Philadelphia Cream Cheese a possibility!
Mini Chocolate Easter Cheesecakes
4 digestive biscuits
25g (1oz) melted butter
1 tub of Chocolate Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Cadburys Mini Eggs
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor to reduce to crumbs then mix with the melted butter. Divide the biscuit mix equally between 10 to 12 mini contains (foil tart cases or plastic shot glasses work well). Put these into the fridge to harden for a few minutes then dollop 2 teaspoons of chocolate cheese on top of the biscuit base and top with a Mini Egg. Serve chilled.