Celebrating the First Mini-Easter in Lent

Today is the first Sunday in Lent. Not of Lent, for Sundays are a celebration. The Sundays in Lent are apart from the penance of Lent. Does that make sense? Yeah, we Catholics are a complicated bunch!

Sundays should be special all year long. Once upon a time, a Sunday during the six weeks of Lent really was cause for celebration. Back a long time ago, the dietary restrictions of Lent wasn’t reserved for Fridays. It was the entire 4o days of Lent. And since Sundays are only in the Lenten Season and not of the Lenten Season, restrictions were lifted. Can you imagine?

Can we talk a moment? Growing up, ham was a must have twice a year. In the spring, at our Easter Table and again at Christmas. When Hubby, Kiddo and I lived in Nevada, we were on our own for Christmas and Easter. And so those traditions I grew up with became a part of our family celebrations. Since returning to California, Christmas and Easter are spent with extended family. I’m not sure when Dad changed the traditions, or if they just simplified things, but we don’t have sit-down dinners for Christmas and Easter. The ham is still served, but cold, sliced, with bread for making sandwiches. Dad started hosting an open house for Christmas. Cold sandwiches works as people were free to drop in and eat or just visit. It does bother me. I get it, but having traditions are important to me. Especially for Christmas and Easter, the two most important pillars of my faith.

These days sometime during the Christmas Season I’ll make a supper similar to the one I knew as a child. Again sometime during the Lenten Season, I’ll make a ham as part of a Sunday Supper. We are blessed to be able to do both and honor the old and the new.

One does not live on bread alone,
But on every word that comes forth
From the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

Welcome to the First Sunday in Lent. Enjoy!

Spiral Smoked Bourbon Glazed Ham
1 small (2 lb) Smoked Spiral Cut Ham
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon
Additional Bourbon for spritzing

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray and set aside.

Slice ham in half to create 2 hams. If not pre-cut, slice each ham half into serving slices.

In a pie tin, whisk together brown sugar, mustard, and bourbon. Dip pieces of ham in bourbon mixture shaking off excess.

Layer ham in a roasting pan in a single layer. It’s okay if pieces overlap.

Pour remaining bourbon mixture over the ham. Spritz with bourbon to moisten.
Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Remove ham from oven, uncover and spritz with bourbon once more. Serve and enjoy.

Béchamel Scalloped Potatoes
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
8 medium White Potatoes, sliced
4 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Flour
2 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
Additional Salt to taste
Additional Black Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350-degrees.

Peel and dice onion, set aside. Peel and mince onion, set aside. Peel potatoes, slice thin and place in a bowl. Cover potatoes with cold water to retain color.

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook for another 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, combine milk with chicken stock. Pour a small amount of the milk mixture into the sauce pan, whisking to blend between additions. The mixture will become very thick, continue adding a little bit of liquid at a time whisking until smooth.

Once all of the liquid has been added, bring to a boil over medium heat while continuing to whisk. Stir in salt and pepper and let boil 1 minute.

Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole baking dish. Drain potatoes, place 1/3 of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the casserole dish. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Pour 1/3 of the cream sauce sauce over top. of the potatoes.

Repeat layers; ending with cream sauce. Cover with foil. Bake in the heated oven for 45 minutes.

Uncover and bake an additional 35 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender. Set oven to broil, and broil for about 3 minutes to obtain a golden top.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Buttery Peas with Pearl Onions
1 can Peas
1/3 cup Pearl Onions
1 tablespoon Butter

Drain peas and place in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Add onions and butter; simmer until heated through.

Serve and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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