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EASTER.....THE FIRST HOLIDAY OF SPRING


Easter Sunday is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Have you ever wondered why Easter changes every year?...Me too, so I did some research. The exact date changes so much because Easter is part of what's called "movable feast" Holidays. Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, and Good Friday are also "movable feast" holidays. March 22 is the earliest Easter and April 25 is the latest. Easter is set for the first Sunday following the First Full Moon of Spring, based on the Jewish calendar.

Now that we've settled the date......What about all the Easter traditions like why do most people serve lamb or ham for Easter, and what about Easter Egg Hunts, Easter Clothes, Easter Lilies, Easter Basket, and the Easter Bunny Rabbit ? 😁 Yep, I'm full of questions today. Let's take them one at a time, starting with the Lamb and the Ham.


Lamb has been a traditional Easter favorite for over 3,000 years, stemming from Jewish early Passover celebrations and some Christians refer to Jesus as the "Lamb of God". Ham became an alternative because it could be cured and preserved during the winter and would be ready just in time for the spring, not to mention Ham is more economical. So, I got a good Baked Ham recipe for you!!


NADINE'S ROASTED COUNTRY HAM


Country Hams MUST be washed and soaked at least 24-36 hours before cooking. The length of soaking is determined by your taste for salt, the longer you soak it the less salty it will be. If you don't soak your ham it will be too salty to eat....trust me I learned the hard way😯.


10-12 pound Smithfield Country Ham (ham shank removed)

½ cup corn meal

1 cup brown sugar

1 pint pineapple juice

1 large can pineapple rings

1 jar maraschino cherries

Change the soaking water often, at least every 8 hours and make sure to scrub your ham with a hard brush to remove mold and other debris. Mold is a common on aged cured hams similar to the mold on aged cheese and does not affect the taste or quality of the ham.

Wash ham again with cool water. Place ham on a rack in a large pot with enough water to cover it. Bring it to a boil, under high heat, lower temperature to medium and simmer for 2 hours, add more water if needed. The ham is done when it is tender and the bone can be moved. Allow ham to cool in the pot before removing it. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Carefully place the ham on a rack in a shallow uncovered baking pan. Peel off the outer skin and some of the fat, leave at least 1/2 inch of fat. Score the fat in a diamond pattern.

Mix the corn meal and brown sugar and rub it evenly over the ham. Place pineapple rings on ham with toothpicks and place a cherry in the center. Pour the pineapple juice in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 1 hour basting every 20 minutes with the pineapple juice. The ham is done when the inside temperature of the bone section is 155 degrees F. Remove the ham from the oven and allow it to rest and cool 20-30 minutes. Place it in a serving dish, slice thin, and serve.


If the "Country Ham" is just too much prep time, check out the "City Ham" recipe, James' Baked Ham in my cookbook Rock's Soul Food Sunday, available in eBook and Paperback on Amazon and also on my website https://www.rockssoulfood.com/shop


Now, just how did the Easter Egg Hunt get started?

I remember we couldn't get out of our Easter clothes fast enough to hunt for those Easter Eggs we colored all week. It's been said that during the medieval period eating eggs was forbidden during Lent, the 40 days before Easter, so they became part of a celebration Easter Sunday.


Dyeing the eggs spread into Western Europe from the Orthodox Church. Paschal Eggs (the Latin word for Easter) were hard boiled duck or goose eggs with a colorful shell. The first Easter Egg Hunt or.... Easter Egg Roll it was initially called, was held in 1878 at the White House and has no religious significance.



Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday after Halloween. Number one is the chocolate Eggs and Easter Bunnies. Supposedly over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter!







But who can forget those marshmallow yellow chicks😁 Be the first to email me the name of these chicks and win a set of Rock's Signature Teak Wood Collection, evelyn@rockssoulfood.com.













ROCK'S SMOTHERED TURKEY WINGS

Turkey is not a traditional Easter dish, but we can add it as an alternative for the non meat eaters and...I just had a taste for some turkey wings.




Smothered Turkey Wings Ingredients

Always start with fresh clean turkey wings, wash them thoroughly then pat them dry.




6 turkey wings cut in 2 sections

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup vegetable oil

½ stick butter

4 cups chicken broth

½ cup flour

1 medium onion sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Watch the complete video on my YouTube channel, just click the link below.


Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash wings thoroughly, pat dry. Put the wings in a large baking pan with a cover, add the vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon onion powder; make sure the wings are coated well with the ingredients. Pour 1 cup of chicken broth in the bottom of the baking pan. Cover and bake for one hour, remove the cover and cook, about another 20 to 30 more minutes. While the wings are cooking make the sauce. Heat the oil and butter over medium heat; add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and the sliced onions. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until you have a golden light brown paste. Slowly stir in the four cups of chicken broth until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. Pour the mixture over the wings; cover and cook, about 1 hour. Remove the cover and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Turn the wings when they are brown on one side; continue to cook until both sides are brown and the wings are tender.





You will have plenty time to make the gravy while the Turkey Wings are baking for the first hour.






Rock's Smothered Turkey Wings will melt in your mouth, I promise you. Serve them with some white rice, egg noodles, or your favorite mashed potatoes.


















I will post Dining With Rock bi-monthly so the next post will be 3/23... we'll answer the rest of those Easter tradition questions and more. Don't forget to leave me your comments below.😁

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