Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Easter Sunday Clerical Supper

I was pleased to have had a guest priest come to town to help with our Sacred Triduum in the Extraordinary Form. His presence allowed us to have a Solemn Triduum. It also allowed me to brush off my cooking utensils.  I hardly do any entertaining these days.

Priests should regularly have Suppers For The Promotion Of Clericalism (SFTPOC), for the building of priestly identity over large pieces of beef and bottles of wine, followed by cigars.

On Easter Sunday (after a nap) I made oven roasted potatoes, asparagus, bone-in rib-eye roast, Bearnaise sauce.

If you want your potatoes to turn out like you find in Rome, give them a good long soak in salt water.  I kept a rosemary plant alive all winter.  Not easy where I live, but life without rosemary is hardly to be imagined.

Behold, the Bearnaise.  I haven’t made it for many moons and it was perfect.

With the pan drippings.

It was spectacular.  Everything was exactly right.

And yet… I have to post this, too.

Last year one of you readers gave me a butter lamb mold.

I tried several times this year to get the butter lamb thing going, but…  I must admit that it has defeated me.

I tried different timings with the freezer.  I tried different butters.  I managed to turn out one that didn’t split in half or break into uneven pieces.  Here is the lone “lamb”, to use the word equivocally.

Alas, it looks a bit like something from Alien… no… better… Bp. Fatty McButterpant’s loathsome, somewhat deformed dog Chester over in the Diocese of Libville.  It once, wisely, bit Fatty’s old classmate, Bp. Antuninu “Dozer” Ruspa of Pie Town.

It’s the ones you hate that live forever.

Anyway, I am sincerely grateful for the gift and for the opportunity to experience greasy, ignominious defeat.  Better luck next year!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. G. Thomas Fitzpatrick says:

    Father, truly, it is a wonderful “Harbor Seal Of God”!

    Happy Easter!

  2. G. Thomas Fitzpatrick: Is that like an “Easter Seal”?

  3. G. Thomas Fitzpatrick says:

    At this time of the year, Father, I would say so!

  4. hwriggles4 says:

    Fr. Z:

    Happy Easter. I am sure you needed the nap since between Easter Vigil and the early Mass Sunday morning you probably were only allowed three hours of sleep.

    It’s good and healthy to have Fraternity, and share a meal together with a Brother priest. I remember a Catholic military chaplain saying that he welcomes an opportunity to share part of a day with another Catholic military chaplains, where not only can they share a meal and exchange good conversation and ideas, but also hear each other’s confessions.

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    He looks pretty lamby except for his eyes. Those are…large. But kudos for the effort, and the rest of your dinner, yum! I bet the lamb tastes great regardless.
    I make lamb cakes at Easter. I obtained vintage lamb molds at a church tag sale and I make them. This year’s was teased a bit for looking too much like my sister’s Bichon, but the joy is in the making, and he was adorable all covered with coconut. I researched recipes, still a work in progress. Sometimes you have to try a few times until you find the best combination of ingredients. Example, the cake mix has to be a bit heavy in order to hold the shape. Tastes good, but it’s really more about presentation. If I can I’ll send you a photo.
    I wonder where you got that awesome flag?

  6. Cafea Fruor says:

    Oh, no need to be sheepish about it, Fr. Z. The butter, well, whatever it is, doesn’t look so baaaad. ;-)

  7. yatzer says:

    Maybe line the mold with plastic wrap?

  8. acardnal says:

    I’m hungry.

  9. Norah says:

    The plastic wrap idea sounds like a goddie. I was going to suggest oiling the mould.

    Father is the red meat in the above picture before or after cooking?

  10. Mary Jane says:

    Norah, the picture should be after cooking! That is exactly how a prime rib should look. Wow my mouth is watering! Yum. Once I was putting a prime rib in the oven and my three year old asked, “Mom when is the chicken going to be done? I want some.” HaHA.

  11. Akita says:

    Don’t berate your lamb-casting abilities. I come from a family of Polish artisans and the wooden, made-in-the-Old-Country butter lamb molds get a thumbs down. It never works. Better to take a brick of butter and sculpt your own.

    [Ummm… that’s not going to happen.]

  12. Rich says:

    In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
    Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know.

    [First, you got the lyric wrong. And, next, … huh?]

  13. Imrahil says:

    What’s a butter lamp anyway? Is this a lamb consisting of butter?

    Normally you’d take a sandcake for this… which obviously countains a lot of butter.

    (I’m not sure whether it’s known what a sandcake is… it’s made out of butter, flour, sugar, some eggs and a bit of baking powder, which is made into a dough, put into some form, in this case a lamb, and baken.)

  14. Lirioroja says:

    A butter lamb is exactly what it sounds like – a lamb made from butter. It’s an Easter custom, particularly in Eastern European countries, to mold butter into the shape of a lamb. It’s included with the food in the Easter basket that the priest blesses on Holy Saturday. Butter used to be given up during Lent and still is amongst Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics so having it again is a big deal. Molding it into a lamb is a nice flourish and, at least in Slavic countries, generally expected.

  15. Elizabeth D says:

    I could sculpt you a nice lamb out of a 1 lb brick of butter. I am more likely to go to the trouble if you actually give up dairy etc and have a traditional Lent, so that the butter has a significance. There’s an easier way, though, I know in past years they sold pre-molded butter lambs at Metcalfe’s Market at Hilldale. I hope they still do that; it had appeared that they weren’t necessarily hot sellers.

    Even if you are making cookies, butter is never the same after you melt it. it loses its structural integrity somehow.

  16. Imrahil says:

    To explain why I asked: our more northern countrymen don’t eat sandcake but instead what they call “butter-cake”, which has a lot of butter as an ingredient but is not all butter. I was sincerely asking myself whether a butter lamb is made of butter, or of some cake dough obviously containing a lot of butter.

  17. Rich says:

    Ouch, you got me. Listened to it again. Yes, it sounds much more like ” to have known” than ” to know”.

    And, at first your showing us pictures of the Easter food reminded me of

    The barber showing photographs
    Of every head he’s had the pleasure to have known.

    But, at second glance, I take it back. It appears the food would be much more delicious than the freshly-clipped heads of all those bankers and firemen. Though, the stuff on the asparagus still recalls Mean Mr. Mustard.

    Happy Easter Thursday.

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