Thursday, April 9, 2009

Foodie Friday - Behold The Lamb...

I'm sure I would have loved my husband even if he wasn't of Polish descent, but he is and happily so am I. Our families kept the same traditions, so there was never an awkward moment when we had to figure out how to marry customs.

One of the traditions that we both grew up with, was a lamb carved out of butter that graced our breakfast tables on Easter morning. Our fathers carved the lamb out of a pound block of butter, but I've managed to scale back to a mini 1/4 pound version.
Here are the ingredients and tools.
First step is to make the basic form. This is one stick of butter that has been cut into various shapes and repositioned. At this point, we call him the sphinx and he's already getting soft, so he goes back in to the fridge to firm up a bit.
Next step is to soften all of the hard edges. I liked his basic shape, so I shaved bits of butter from a 2nd stick to create better curves. He started to get soft again, and had to be re-chilled.
Now we create a 'woolly coat' with the tines of a fork.
After yet another stint in the refrigerator, I transfer the little guy into a 'traveling bowl'. He's going to be going to church to be blessed on Saturday at noon, along with the rest of the traditional foods that will be part of our breakfast on Easter morning. (I hope to be able to take photos this year so I can share the tradition of the blessing of the baskets with all of you. It really is a lovely ceremony.)
Finally our little lamb is ready for some eyes, which are whole cloves with the center bud removed. He also gets a bit of something red to create a mouth. We used to use a piece of jelly bean, but this year I used a tiny sliver of dried cranberry.
We add a little parsley for grass, and his flag, and he's done. I love opening the fridge and seeing that sweet face. It's a gentle reminder of why we celebrate Easter.
You can now buy ready made lambs in the dairy section at the grocery store, and you can also purchase butter molds, but somehow it just wouldn't be the same. Watching the lamb take shape is like watching the fulfillment of the Easter promise unfold. We need to experience it every year. It's part of who we are.
Please stop by Designs by Gollum, and discover who else may be sharing some of their 'foodie' Easter traditions. Our hostess, Michael Lee, will have Mr. Linky ready to assist you.
A Happy and Blessed Easter to All... Nancy


  1. This is wonderful Nancy!! I think it's great you make the lamb without a mold or buy one. Fabulous post!

  2. I've never seen lambs in the dairy section, but I'll be looking. Glad I'm not Polish-don't think I can pull this off! Thanks for a very interesting post!!

  3. I've never seen this -- what a sweet tradition -- carving a lamb out of butter and you did such a good job! He is so cute!

  4. That's great! I remember seeing this done a few years ago, but then forgot.
    Still time to carve me a lamb!
    Have a blessed Easter, NJ! Enjoy ...
    and Rejoice..

  5. Oh, I love this Easter tradition. And it is so much more special doing it free hand.

    Happy Easter

  6. I always just bought the little lamb butter because I thought it was cute. Now I know there is more to the story. Maybe I can get Jacob to carve one for me this year....(I live in MN and we have our Princess Kay's of the Milky Way's heads carved in butter every year at the fair. So one year, the Dentist that I work with had a contest that we had to carve his head out of butter...yep we nuts, I know.) ~ Robyn

  7. This is fabulous! I agree--watching it take shape would be the best part. I hope I can shake this horrid virus and get into the kitchen to make this for Sunday. Have a wonderful Easter!

  8. Oh, you did such a fantastic job of shaping this little lamb. I know if I did this, everybody would have to ask me what it was! Thank you for sharing this lovely tradition. laurie

  9. What a sweet tradition. I would like to try my hand at making this. I enjoyed watching the transformation.
    Hopefully mine will look like yours.

    Sweet Easter wishes,

  10. I'm impressed at how talented you are! That's amazing. I fear my butter would look more blobby than lamb-y!! :-O Nice job!

  11. I just love your lamb! I've never seen one -- I'll look forward to your basket blessings pictures - what a wonderful tradition.


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