Sunday, March 27, 2016

THE SAGA OF THE EASTER LAMB

Photo Courtesy of  Brooke Darnell 
I have many Easter memories. Getting all dressed up to attend the Continental Breakfast at church. The breakfast was followed  by a worship service filled with music celebrating Christ's Resurrection.

I remember my hands being every color of the rainbow after all the eggs had been dyed.

The Easter Bunny didn't only leave baskets at my house, he left them at my grandparent's house too. How lucky were we? 

My strongest and most vivid Easter memory is watching my mother bake and decorate lamb cakes. 

Making the lamb cakes was a two day process. The first day she baked them. The cake itself was a rich pound cake that was made from scratch.  The recipe made two. lambs. She made a double batch. 

The cast iron lamb mold was given  to my grandfather. it is well over one hundred years old..The lamb cakes  would bake to a golden brown. The biggest challenge was getting them out of the mold without  an ear breaking off. Most years,  at least one ear, was held together by a toothpick.

The second day was reserved for icing and decorating them. The icing for the face was made from powdered sugar. The eyes, nose and mouth were jelly beans/ The body was iced with a thick white frosting,  .The final step was putting the coconut on to represent the lamb's wool. 

A lamb was sent to out-of-town family. In this case she would start a few days ahead of Easter in order to ensure that the lamb reached its destination on time. 

There was always an extra lamb that would be given to friends with small children. The children did not always eat the cake, but they looked at that cake as though they couldn't believe what they were seeing.

I am not a fan of coconut. I don't how this happened but one year she put chocolate icing on one of the lambs without any coconut. It was delicious. It was the Black Sheep of our family.

The tradition of making lamb cakes was passed from my grandmother to my mother. It was important to me that this tradition  not end with the death of my mother. 

If I were at home and my mom was still alive, a lamb would be the centerpiece of our Easter Table. My niece has the mold now. I am happy that she has made lamb cakes for her  family. A lamb is the centerpiece of her Easter Table now. The tradition continues

Photo courtesy of  Brooke Darnell