Tag Archives: easter

EASTER!!I’ll never forget it.

Saturday was the day for yardwork at our house. (after pancakes, of course.) As a kid it was my job to mow the lawn. We had a big back lawn and a big front lawn. It took about an hour to complete. At age 7 it became my job. I’m not sure how it became my job. But it was.
I took pride in doing a good job and it was especially important that I did it all by myself – with no help. It’s a kid thing I think. Because these days I’ll take any help I’ll can get.
Our back lawn was not particularly smooth. Ruts, divots and bumps were the norm. Why? That’s a story for another day. Earlier in the year my dad had purchased a new electric lawn mower. It was orange. It was an amazing lawn mower – except the LONG extension cord required to make it go. It was a job in itself to manage. You see, it’s bad when an electric lawn mower and the cord collide. The result is not pretty.
It was the Saturday before Easter about 45 years ago.
It took just a split second for the world to stop and change my life forever… It’s like I left a piece of my young self behind that day.
The rest of the story tomorrow.

Traditional roasted lamb called “abbacchio”

The cuisine of Rome, Italy is authentic, earthy, simple and substantial. One of the most popular dishes is roasted abbacchio – a hearty, and rustic dish, that make you look great, without having to waste too much time in the kitchen.

Usually ‘abbacchio’ in Lazio and in many areas of Central-South Italy is popular — with the Easter holidays. In fact, in Rome and its surrounding areas, sheep meat is also eaten for Christmas, because the agricultural tradition is strongly rooted in Lazio and especially Agro Pontino.

This traditional dish is very easy to prepare. All you have to do is put all the ingredients in the oven – and it practically cooks itself. Success is guaranteed: Your family will love it and you won’t have to stay in the kitchen to ‘spignattare’ (turn the roast), while everyone else enjoys good food, wine and company. It’s up to you whether you want to use chopped lamb meat or a more elegant leg of lamb, however. (In the second case, make sure to extend the cooking time by about 20-30 minutes).

Just make sure to serve it with potatoes, which must be cooked in the same pan as the meat, so as to absorb its juices and flavor. And then, abbacchio meat should be eaten hot, very hot, almost hot enough to burn your fingers. That’s why this dish is also called ‘alla scottadito,’ which means ‘finger-burning’ in Italian.


3 lb lamb in pieces (or a leg of lamb of the same weight)

2 garlic cloves

4 sprigs of rosemary

1 bay leaf

1 glass of white wine

2 lb potatoes

Extra-virgin olive oil



How to make roasted abbachio

Spread the lamb with the peeled and chopped garlic cloves, rosemary sprigs and bay leaf in a pan. Sprinkle the meat with white wine and season it with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bake the meat at 355°F (180°C) for about 20 minutes (30-40 minutes if you use the leg of lamb). In the meantime, peel the potatoes and dice them into cubes (or larger pieces depending on personal preference).

After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, and stir the contents of the pan. Continue cooking for another 40 minutes. Serve very hot.

This was a tradition to eat this great dinner on Easter Sunday. You can make this simple, but hearty meal at your home, at the http://www.StarLoftsPgh.com

Regards, Charlie

Slow down, you move too fast

…but this weather is making me feel groovy.

I can’t believe it’s the end of February and we are 2 months into 2021. And then we get weather like THIS?! The Simon and Garfunkel song Feeling’ Groovy pretty much nails it.
While I’m humming that tune, I still have this weird sense of speed, Twilight Zone, Groundhog Day and grooviness all intertwined into this weird existence I call “living in Pittsburgh during a pandemic.”What to do about it?

The answer will come shortly!