We have stayed at home this year as Kate wanted to concentrate on revising for her A levels which she is doing with the assistance of her doggy companion.
She has trained him to sit on a chair beside her on the kitchen table, her preferred revision spot. Probably not a great idea as he might try the same trick when we are having dinner, though so far hasn't.
Easter weekend itself was wet and miserable as it was for the whole country. We had a visit on Saturday from my sister in law and her husband. It was originally planned for Sunday but we rescheduled because of the forecast for snow - they live in the Lake District and wanted to get home again. I can't remember a winter which has dragged on so long, though this morning is looking good with sun streaming through the window as I write and warmer temperatures forecast. So on Saturday for our visitors Paul cooked lamb and I made a sinmel cake using this recipe. It tastes quite good but doesn't really look as professional as the second one which was made by my sister a few years ago when we had Easter in Ballyronan. I'm not exactly Bake-off material. Now that marzipan isn't coloured bright yellow, it looks a bit insipid and my attempts at browning it under the grill as instructed made it look worse. I also didn't have any marzipan left to make the 11 balls which are supposed to go on top to represent the 11 apostles or something. So I used chocolate eggs but they started to melt as I didn't let it cool enough after grilling.
|My Sinmel cake|
|What it should look like!|
Easter Monday was pretty miserable here. Relentless rain and not much to do. It used to be my favourite day of the holiday when we were growing up as we had a family tradition of having what we called a sausage sizzle. Unless the weather was really wet we would go up the lane and light a camp fire in a field we called the 'Big Hill' (the Wee Hill was the one opposite). We'd learned how to do this at Brownies and Guides. Then we would cook sausages on the end of sticks and toast marshmallows. After that we would roll the hard boiled eggs we'd carefully decorated earlier in the day, down the hill and then eat them, not worrying too much about what they had rolled on when the shell smashed. We'd sit up there by our fire and look down over the village and the lough and the distant noise of the drumming match which took place every Easter Monday - another NI tradition associated with the Orange Lodge where there is a competition between men playing huge Lambeg drums. I think that is why we come up with our sausage sizzle tradition - to escape from the noise they made. I couldn't find a picture of a sausage sizzle but when looking I came across this one of Paul up the lane in Ballyronan in Easter 1987. The weather was good that year.
I don't hold much with the new tradition of the Easter Bunny, a sort of Santa Claus who comes at Easter these days and brings chocolate. This was invented when Kate was little and she now says she was confused and disappointed when other children talked about it. Not that she was short of chocolate and I still buy her an egg every year. I have given in to the idea of having an Easter tree though or in my case some twigs from the garden. This is another new invention by the retailers and you can now buy all sorts of decorations - chicken fairy lights. Ridiculous. I haven't gone that far but here's my tree.
I hope you have had a good Easter. Back with a book post soon.