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Lamb: it's what's for dinner!

And Strata: it's what's for brunch!

Here in the swanky neighborhood near you, we had a double-header of an Easter: brunch on Sunday with the Aged but Perky Mom, and dinner Monday with the badass friends.  Owing to global warming, both meals could have been eaten outdoors, too, which is amazing in the middle of April in the NYC exurbs.  As it happened, the wind kicked up and brunch came inside.  The awning Mr. Potter and I keep over our deck (another product of global warming--you just get too damn warm out there otherwise) was flapping dangerously in the breeze. 

A good time was had nonetheless.

If you don't know about strata, you should.  I'd long heard knowledgable entertaining gals talk about the stuff for Christmas morning and Easter brunch.  Its chief benefit, from what I gleaned, seemed to be its ease of prep: you put it in the fridge the night before, and in the oven the day of.  But it didn't sound delicious.  Having made it, I see the error of my ways all these years. 

Strata is a savory bread and cheese pudding.  It is as good as its ingredients--and of course, your open hand with the cheese!  I made some with portobello shroomies, cheddar, a bit of gruyere, and mustard, with smoked paprika on top.  It was insanely good.  I followed the ratios described here.  By the way, this Epicurious series about cooking without recipes is very, very good.  I've been happy with a number of their pointers. 

But now on the the LAMB!  I've butterflied and barbequed lamb for years on Easter, standing outside in all kinds of weather so as not to heat the house up with the oven.  Too proud to turn on the AC in April, I was.  But climate change has changed me, too.  The Christmas before last, I ran the AC on December 25th!  And so I resolved to roast the lamb this year and not worry about raindrops.  Turned out I'd have had a perfect day to fire up the grill, but I'm glad I didn't.  There's something tender and delicous about roast lamb that you don't get on a grill.  You can also keep a more careful watch on the roast's temperature.  I pulled ours at about 135 degrees.  I did the NY Times recipe, subbing olive oil for the butter.  A day-after-Easter-dinner that couldn't be beat, served alongside cauliflower with a tomato-olive sauce and tumeric brown rice with currants.

Our bellies are full.  Tune in for some other platters of goodness--the musical kind--today at 4!

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