Monday, 1 April 2013


I decided to go perfectly nuts about Easter this year. I don't know why. I think maybe it's because this winter was so long and hard - as winter always is when you have small children. I remember asking next-eldest sister what the hell you do in winter with toddlers and she said "You pray for bedtime."

Anyway, so Easter to me has been a sort of beacon of sunshine. Everything would surely, I thought, have cheered up by the beginning of April. And then we had the coldest March since the the last ice age, or whatever. And people kept on saying "Three more weeks of blizzards, three more weeks of arctic winds" and I became more and more grimly determined that my Easter egg hunt and lunch, held today on Bank Holiday Monday, was going to be the Easteriest Easter celebration anyone had ever seen.

So I invited round eight people and three children, giving us 10 adults and four kids in total. Mad. MAD! Then I went on Amazon and Ocado and bought about £1,000 worth of decorations, saved packing straw for my quail's egg display, sent my husband on a scourge of North London for the last available branches of cherry blossom, painted eggs, mass-purchased daffodils and ordered legs of lamb the size of Caribbean non-extradition islands.

And it actually went okay. I mean, it was chaos and the mess and noise was quite, quite indescribable, but the lamb was nice. It was boned, butterflied, stuffed and rolled and I have included the recipe at the bottom, but you will have to wade through my smug series of photographs first. Ha ha!

Easter tree decoration

Quail's eggs with saved packing straw decoration and celery salt. You can make your own celery salt by baking celery leaves for 10 mins in a hot oven and then crushing the dry leaves with sea salt. Or you can just buy it.

The lamb - in the chaos I forgot to take a photo until it was mostly gone :(

I had millions of these foil windmills in the garden and they looked fucking brilliant

Ok guys so everything I find is mine and everything you find is mine and anything left unattended is also mine

For the lamb:

You need a boned and butterflied leg of lamb from a butcher. I got mine from Frank Godfrey in Highbury - don't even ASK me how much it fucking cost I'm still trying to get over it. Okay it was £50!!!!!

Our lamb was 2.5kg.

You also need some string to tie it up.

For the stuffing:

1 tbsp capers
3 garlic cloves
6 anchovies
1 bunch parsley
some olive oil
2 tsp mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 220

1 Chop all the stuffing ingredients together, loosen with some olive oil.

2 Spread the lamb with the mixture and then tie it up the best way you can see how.

3 Improvise some kind of roasting rack to lay the lamb on and then pour three large wineglasses of water into the tin. This does two things 1) stops the fat from burning in the pan and turning your kitchen in to a smokehouse and 2) makes a gravy, should you want one.

4 Put the lamb in the oven for 30 mins at 220 and then for 1 hr at 180. It rested for about 30 mins. My husband thinks that this was overdone, but I thought it was great.

To cut down as much as possible on stress, I made alongside this couscous and tzatziki, just so that it didn't really matter when things were ready, it could all hang about for 20 mins this side or that of eating. If you are doing a lot of veg with a roast, this isn't possible and it can all get quite panicky. Not that I didn't have, by the way, a massive freak-out at 9am anyway where I nearly screamed at my husband but managed not to.

So happy Easter! This is all of course no bloody use to you now as it's all over, but you can come back and have a look next year. 


  1. We had to do our egg hunt with snow on the ground for the first time ever!

  2. Love the photos of Kitty at the end. I also bought your book this weekend, possibly the best £1.99 I have ever spent.


  3. Thanks for a terrific lamb recipe although it is a bugger to find any decent butchers in this neck of the wood (Baltimiore, USA) but I will do my best.

  4. I've just had it with the cold. Up to here ^.

    We had our egg hunt indoors. 10 year old was in tears because I tried to do one of those hunts where you give cryptic clues (to make it more fun) but he just wanted chocolate NOW.
    2 year old had no idea what was going on so he found only one and left the rest.
    Husband just heckled me from the side lines.
    Next year I won't bother getting out of bed.

  5. Lol, I know you say it's cold but your pictures look so warm and springlike to me, with all the flowers and the coatless, hatless, mittenless child, not like late March at all. It snowed today in Toronto... Although Good Friday was so warm and sunny we were all outside without coats, for a pleasant surprise. OTOH that's all kind of just normal here for this time of year, so I don't find it surprising or depressing as someone who lives in a different climate might; it's actually really nice to see those first signs of early spring... I guess it's different when you're expecting something else and feel cheated.

  6. Hahahaha I really hope Kitty actually said that; she'd sound like a girl after my own heart!!
    Lamb sounds gorgeous, I still haven't cooked the one I bought for Easter Sunday after going to someone's EXTREMELY drunken birthday party on the Saturday and managing to spend the ENTIRE day deathly hungover as a result... Guess what's on the menu tonight!
    Easter party sounds gorgeous as well; kudos to you for carrying it off so amazingly! Sarah x

  7. I have spent the last two days reading your blog/book instead of writing my dissertation... Both of which are fab and I'm already a big fan but i might get a 2:2 because of it.

    1. I got a 2.2 and although it was shaming at the time, it never actually made any difference to my working life.

      Having said that, don't get a 2.2. Not that you will, it's quite hard to get a 2.2 these days. xxx

    2. Aha! Yes I hear this too, but I fear I might challenge that theory...(it also makes it all the more shaming..)

      Finished the book, so hopefully with be faced with marginally less distractions tomorrow!! X

  8. Discovered your blog last night and spent a very knackered day at work today because of it (to much reading and laughing)! And here I am agian reading late into the night...I might have to shake the cobwebs off the oven gloves and try my luck with a recipe or two!

  9. Elizabeth Medovnik2 April 2013 at 21:14

    That all looks lovely! I'm glad Kitty enjoyed it xx

  10. This all looks gorgeous. Well done you. Elaine xx