I decided to go perfectly nuts about Easter this year. I don’t know why. I think maybe it’s because this winter was so long and hard – as winter always is when you have small children. I remember asking next-eldest sister what the hell you do in winter with toddlers and she said “You pray for bedtime.”

Anyway, so Easter to me has been a sort of beacon of sunshine. Everything would surely, I thought, have cheered up by the beginning of April. And then we had the coldest March since the the last ice age, or whatever. And people kept on saying “Three more weeks of blizzards, three more weeks of arctic winds” and I became more and more grimly determined that my Easter egg hunt and lunch, held today on Bank Holiday Monday, was going to be the Easteriest Easter celebration anyone had ever seen.

So I invited round eight people and three children, giving us 10 adults and four kids in total. Mad. MAD! Then I went on Amazon and Ocado and bought about £1,000 worth of decorations, saved packing straw for my quail’s egg display, sent my husband on a scourge of North London for the last available branches of cherry blossom, painted eggs, mass-purchased daffodils and ordered legs of lamb the size of Caribbean non-extradition islands.

And it actually went okay. I mean, it was chaos and the mess and noise was quite, quite indescribable, but the lamb was nice. It was boned, butterflied, stuffed and rolled and I have included the recipe at the bottom, but you will have to wade through my smug series of photographs first. Ha ha!

Easter tree decoration

Quail’s eggs with saved packing straw decoration and celery salt. You can make your own celery salt by baking celery leaves for 10 mins in a hot oven and then crushing the dry leaves with sea salt. Or you can just buy it.

The lamb – in the chaos I forgot to take a photo until it was mostly gone 🙁

I had millions of these foil windmills in the garden and they looked fucking brilliant

Ok guys so everything I find is mine and everything you find is mine and anything left unattended is also mine

For the lamb:

You need a boned and butterflied leg of lamb from a butcher. I got mine from Frank Godfrey in Highbury – don’t even ASK me how much it fucking cost I’m still trying to get over it. Okay it was £50!!!!!

Our lamb was 2.5kg.

You also need some string to tie it up.

For the stuffing:

1 tbsp capers
3 garlic cloves
6 anchovies
1 bunch parsley
some olive oil
2 tsp mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 220

1 Chop all the stuffing ingredients together, loosen with some olive oil.

2 Spread the lamb with the mixture and then tie it up the best way you can see how.

3 Improvise some kind of roasting rack to lay the lamb on and then pour three large wineglasses of water into the tin. This does two things 1) stops the fat from burning in the pan and turning your kitchen in to a smokehouse and 2) makes a gravy, should you want one.

4 Put the lamb in the oven for 30 mins at 220 and then for 1 hr at 180. It rested for about 30 mins. My husband thinks that this was overdone, but I thought it was great.

To cut down as much as possible on stress, I made alongside this couscous and tzatziki, just so that it didn’t really matter when things were ready, it could all hang about for 20 mins this side or that of eating. If you are doing a lot of veg with a roast, this isn’t possible and it can all get quite panicky. Not that I didn’t have, by the way, a massive freak-out at 9am anyway where I nearly screamed at my husband but managed not to.

So happy Easter! This is all of course no bloody use to you now as it’s all over, but you can come back and have a look next year. 

This recipe has already been read 1969 times!

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