Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Feasting: An Obsession with the Hindquarter


An Easter Sunday Feast Gone Horribly Wrong

How was your Easter, Everybody?

Since my fairly recent conversion to Islam, I naturally got to blow off attending mass on Easter Sunday. Quite frankly, I not only had little use for the Catholic religion, but I got a little tired of having all those priests eyeball my underbelly every time I stood up to receive the Holy Communion wafer.  So instead, I accepted an Easter dinner party invitation with Mr. Crisp and his partner, Nancy to prepare for them (and a couple of other guests who turned out to be one big nuisance) an amazing Easter feast.

It was so exciting to introduce them to my newest, most favorite cookbook called Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter  featuring so many delicious recipes in it I didn't know where to start! So here in Excerpt: A European Ham Party I beseech everybody to first review the Party Checklist. After that, pay attention to the four different types of ham offerings and by all means, closely follow cocktail directions for the Ginger Pear Cosmos because shortly thereafter is when all hell broke loose. On accident, Mrs. Crisp, who happens to be a teetotaler AND misplaced her reading glasses – screwed up the cosmos by mixing 20 cups of vodka into the punchbowl instead of 2.

Soon, the Crisps' guests - an unusually boring retired accountant and his mincy, old windbag wife started hitting up the punch bowl pretty hard, and for some strange reason, began to ask me increasingly prying, rude questions like “Tell us, Quincy, why do you enjoy walking around in a burqua?” and “What on earth would make a little Pig like you convert to Islam?”

Anyway, I settled the menu selection of the jamón ibérico, a favorite of “vegan” Barack Obama which I paired nicely with a Catalonian Cava (a sparkling wine), moist, pliable sun-dried tomatoes and sheep's-milk Manchego cheese. Meanwhile, the Crisps had their hands full in the family room with their two now surly guests, who began arguing over the Crisps' “curious taste in tivo selections” as they eventually piled onto the couch totally plastered – rendered to channel surf and later pass out before dinner on the vomit soaked Persian rug that had to be dragged out to the patio in the pouring rain since the stormy night itself was neither fit for man nor beast.

Oh boy. What. a. mess.

You can then imagine the finger pointing, with Mr. Crisp insisting on me to “come clean” and confess to my alleged role in “tricking” Mrs. Crsip into adding too much vodka in the cosmos by “losing her reading glasses for her on purpose in order to play games” and “most of all” for “making a complete mess” of their cherished Luribaft Gabbeh. I naturally begged to differ on such unfounded accusations, mustering up every ounce of diplomacy and tact to diffuse the exploding situation. “After all”, I said, “while we still have these two passed  out lushes on your floor, why bicker when we haven't even begun this delicious meal simmering in the kitchen?”

With both Crisps now on-board, we sprightly moved into the beautifully candle-lit dining room adorned with freshly cut rubrum lilies placed in an exquisite Lalique Easter bunny vase to enjoy one of the most delicious dinners ever.

After dinner, Mr. Crisp and I lugged the guests from hell into the back of his SUV and drove them home. Just remember, everybody, the most important thing  is that this cook book is a must have, and you can always substitute ham tofu, too!


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