I have a very strange habit of preparing elaborate meals full of never-before-tried dishes when I have company over. Like yesterday. We had 7 friends over (plus 1 baby and 1 toddler), which, if you consider the size of our apartment, is no small feat. I decided to make lamb for Easter Lunch. I thought that would simple. On Saturday morning I went to the farmer’s market. I checked 3 stalls and no one had lamb. The fourth and last wanted $40 for 1.5 kg of lamb and one hair stuck in the flesh. Um, no thanks. Next, I tried the grocery store: no dice. Recognizing that procrastination is the key to success, I put off checking another store until Saturday night. Varun and I found a lamb shoulder and a sign saying they were out of lamb legs. Doubtful and unsure what the difference is, we bought it. I then went home and prepped it for the crock pot and began making Martha Stewart’s Coconut Layer Cake.
Buddies. Why did no one stage an intervention? I’m not a fantastic baker. I don’t function well after dark. And I’ve never baked a white cake. So why did I embark on this after the witching hour (which for me, is 9:30)?!
Can we just look at the shape of these cakes for a moment? Do you see the ruffled edges? This is what happens when people (ie, me) don’t cut parchment paper to line the cake pans and just throw it in. The parchment paper fights back.
Anyway. Remember how I don’t read recipes well/thoroughly and hate details? Yeah, didn’t have enough store bought frosting so I had to make some myself. Now there’s an exercise for 11:45 at night. Luckily, Varun has been nursing a Hunger Games addiction and was wide awake, listening to the book and making a midnight snack of spicy Indian noodles, Maggi.
As soon as I cut into the cake on Sunday afternoon, I realized my mistake: I used whole wheat flour instead of white. It was like a granola bar, with coconut frosting. Mmmm. Breakfast of Champions.
Besides my cake drama, the lunch went beautifully. Our guests were all friends we’ve met in our neighborhood, and they enjoyed getting to know one another. We played Monopoly Deal, scribbled with our friend’s toddler, enjoyed (well-cooked!) lamb and got to drink tons of yummy chai, courtesy of Varun. It was such a fun experience to open our home to friends who don’t have family nearby or wouldn’t otherwise celebrate Easter; they brought joy, tulips, laughter, lilies, cheesecake and conversation to our house. Somehow, they were gracious with my hosting craziness, tolerant of the lack of cutlery and amused by my ignorance about cooking lamb. And I think that’s what Easter is all about: grace and love.