Lamb Can Be More Than Just an "Easter Thing"

My family and I eat it year-round.

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As a Croatian-American, lamb was a staple food in my childhood, and still continues to be part of my life as an adult today.

Though most people associate it with Easter, for my family and me, eating lamb is a year-round thing. For birthdays, engagements, even retirements, roasting a lamb is not only a tradition for Croatians, a lot of times it’s also the pinnacle of whether or not an event or party is successful. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my parents sum up a wedding they’ve been to by saying, “They didn’t even have lamb.” (Translation: The wedding was a bust.) Or seen them ask a waiter to whip them up a plate of lamb, even though it wasn’t listed anywhere on the menu. (To this very day, I still can’t show my face at the Time Square Olive Garden.)

All jokes aside, roast lamb has been an important part of my life. Whenever my parents have been proud of my twin sister or me — be it for things as big as graduating college or as little as turning sixteen — they’ve celebrated it by making us roast lamb and potatoes for dinner. It’s also the meal my 81-year-old grandmother always makes for me when I go to Croatia to visit her. And while we do also eat it on Easter, lamb is more about us being together as a family than anything else. No matter how busy we all are or how hectic our lives get with work or school, if there’s lamb on the table, we’ll all stop what we’re doing and come together. It represents good memories, laughs, fun times and most of all, love. It’s a reminder of who I am and where I come from, of the very things that make me, me. Not to mention, it’s also absolutely delicious and super easy to make. Some salt, a dash of pepper and a few hours of roasting — that’s all you need! You can even marinate or grill it if you’re feeling really fancy.

So whether you make it this upcoming weekend for Easter, or you’re just looking for a special meal the entire family can share together, give roast lamb a try. Just take it from me — whether it’s your very first time eating it or your thousandth like mine, it’s sure to be a meal to remember. Dobar tek! (Bon appetit!)

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