Easter - what a way for Lent to come to an end! Here, Leah Byrom talks about Easter traditions and what inspires her this holiday.
To those of us who have committed to giving up some of our favourite treats for Lent, it is nearly time to relish in a weekend of treats and delights.
I love the sweet treats associated with Easter and this month’s recipes all feature beautiful home baking, oozing with chocolate, sugar, butter and almonds.
My favourite parts of our holidays and travel are always to visit the local markets and identify the best places to eat and do it as the locals do.
Easter holds lots of different foodie traditions around the world and the most interesting I have witnessed is the Germans referring to Maundy Thursday as ‘Green Thursday’ and traditionally eating green foods that day.
Chervil soup is the most customary soup served up on this Thursday and somewhat more healthy than our hot cross buns and Simnel cake. Chervil, considered ‘gourmet’s parsley’ as it is from the same family, adds a very delicate flavour to soups, salads, omelettes and sauces and can be easily grown in a window trough or on your kitchen sill.
The soup makes a lovely light starter by simply softening some spring onions and the stalks from the chervil in a knob of butter, covering with good home-made chicken stock and bringing to the boil. Add a dash of cream, the chopped chervil leaves, saving some for decorating the soup when serving, an egg yolk or two and some salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Just make sure once the cream and the egg yolk have been added the soup does not come to the boil again or it will spoil.
My dad is always in charge of our Easter Sunday breakfast and we traditionally start with soft-boiled eggs served with a selection of coloured felt pens… and soft white buttered soldiers, crusts removed, of course.
It is our family challenge to draw the best and most distinctive character on the egg shell, but with my dad having a bald head he is normally who we choose to draw!
In my recipes this month there is a selection of ideas for you to enjoy eating with friends and family at home, and to make as gifts for your nearest and dearest.
I have included some child-friendly fun recipes for you to enjoy making during the school holidays with minimal cooking. So start collecting your eggs boxes from now on to use to present the mini Easter cupcakes, and invest in some cellophane which you can normally purchase from your local florist or get on a bouquet of flowers.
The krispie Easter eggs wrapped up in cellophane and tied with pretty spring-coloured ribbon will put any shop-bought egg well in its place.