A French Easter Feast
If you’re going to celebrate Easter, it’s especially fun to do it as we were able to yesterday, with friends who really care about the day, want to do it all right, exactly according to tradition. Witness Jacqueline’s gorgeous asparagus in a mustardy mousseline sauce. The essence of Spring and the promise of new life, it tasted as ethereal as it looked.
Alain has a fabulous cave, and for Easter dinner this is what came out of it. Drinking wines of Alain’s is always an education, as he opens bottles the likes of which I’d never taste otherwise. This Margaux was no exception, at 20 years old it was the height of elegance, perfectly balanced and a great pleasure to drink.
The French eat lamb for Easter, and this lamb from the Lozère, with its sides of flageolet beans and squash from the garden was everything you’d want on a rainy cool Easter Sunday. We all had seconds, and probably would have even had thirds, except that we knew that cheese and dessert would follow.
I made the dessert, a strawberry tart with a whisper-thin crust filled with Pierre Hermé’s lemon cream. I’ve been making this cream for years, but although it’s a French recipe, it was a first for our dinner companions. If you’ve never made this, try it as soon as possible. The recipe, with a good explanation of the process, is here. It’s not like any other lemon cream on Earth.
Macao didn’t get any special Easter treats, but he never gave up hope. Hope is, after all, what Easter is about. Whether you’re hoping that the Easter Bunny will hop your way, or, as French children do, hoping that the church bells will fly to Rome and return bearing chocolates, or even hoping for life eternal, it’s all about the hope. I hope your Easter was as lovely as ours was.