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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Preparations

We’re in full swing getting ready for this Easter weekend. In France, the Monday following is also considered part of the holiday. Christophe is planning on serving a leg of lamb. Often served medium-rare, he has found a recipe that takes the dish in an entirely different direction: it’s braised for nine hours. He’ll get up sometime around 3 am to prepare the dish and put it in the oven so it’ll be ready for lunch. This isn’t the first time he’s done this; he stumbles back into bed about 20 minutes later and we wake up to the odor of lamb slowing cooking in the oven. It smells delicious, but it is a bit discombobulating to have dinner odors fill the kitchen when I’m still hovering over my coffee.

I’ve decided to tackle a Boston Cream Cake for dessert. The recipe calls for nine eggs. Nine eggs! I’ll be making it in advance since the oven will be occupied for much of the day. Holidays are often a ballet around the oven; things going in and coming out under a carefully watched eye. Luckily, Easter is more about the main dish rather than having a bunch of sides, so I find it to be much easier in comparison to Thanksgiving, for example.

Unfortunately, there will be no egg dying. It is common in Northern France, but I don’t think I could even find an egg dying kit here because it’s not traditional in our region. Part of Christophe’s family is from the north, so he recalls coloring them as a child with crayons, but he mentioned how he’d had to be very careful so they wouldn’t break. I had to think about this for a while, but then I realized, they were coloring raw eggs.

And thinking of eggs, I haven’t seen a white egg in France, ever, not even once. It’s just the issue of what type of chicken lays the egg, but all the eggs I’ve seen here are brown. This has led me to a question, “How well do brown eggs dye?” While I’m certain the brown eggs take the dye just as well as the white, it’s the starting point that might make the difference. Artists start with a white canvas for a reason, so I think using a brown egg would lead to some mucky pastels. Regardless, I think it’s a better approach than taking the risk of having a raw egg break all over me and my fat purple crayon.

Voilà, just some of the random odds thoughts that fill my mind as I still marvel over the idea of a cake that needs nine eggs.

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