There is a retired couple that have become friends of mine through association with my work. He served on an advisory committee that I staffed. She opened a florist shop here on the island and helped me out with centerpieces for a Clerks' event that I was in charge of last summer. He has been battling cancer for a couple of years now. When I saw them at Gretchen's Christmas party, he looked pretty good - sitting down. When it was time to go, he could barely walk even with assistance. He was in hospice care until they sent him home a couple of weeks ago. When asked what we could do to help, she asked for dinners three nites a week. There's a great group of people on this island, and friends quickly jumped in to bring meals and handle other light duties. Last week I offered to bring Easter dinner, and she graciously accepted. Thursday he went back in to hospice. His daughter is here as well as other family members.
Last night I poured through cookbooks. Easter dinner for six. I don't eat ham or lamb and my preferred Easter dinner is salmon. In talking to a friend, I mentioned my deliberation over menus, and she said, "Ham. Just put a ham in the oven. It's easy and they can make sandwiches after." I labored over putting together a delicious, yet healthy menu around ham. Finally I sought the opinion of my daughter Lauren. "Mmmm. Lamb. with mint jelly. I've been craving lamb. We haven't had that in a long time. Make lamb. Make lamb for ME!"
This morning I went to the market and bought two 7 pound legs of lamb, 10 pounds of potatoes, 2 pounds of green beans, plenty of salad stuff, (including spinach and feta cheese), ..and mint jelly. There's a greek restaurant here on the beach that has delicious greek food. I worked there the first couple of years I lived on the beach. (that was in the early 1980's). Manny still owns it. He taught me how to make spanikopita (spinach pie) and baklava. So I called him last night and he told me how to make the lamb and potatoes. I will make full course dinner for my friends and deliver it to their home tomorrow. Lauren will have a leg of lamb (with mint jelly!) and a whole lot of potatoes to take back to school with her. I will also make some tzatziki sauce (Manny taught me that, too). I suggested making lemon rice, and Lauren quickly responded, "No. no rice. That's all I've been eating all week." (oh, the trials of the college kid...) I am having Easter dinner with my brother and his wife, and am bringing desert. I will make a Strawberry Cream Cake - it's very light and not too sweet with fresh strawberries. It'll be perfect.