Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Monday, March 24, 2008

Channelling the Easter Bunny

This past weekend, I donned yet another new hat in my lifelong career as Mummy: EB. You know, that clever little species of rodent that comes around the same time each spring, dispersing coloured, candied eggs for which spastic children can hunt the next morning. I was positively giddy with delight, having carefully divided the right ratio of chocolates and toddler loot into little plastic eggs that I tucked into cushions, shoved under tables and sneaked into houseplants. (I made sure to keep a count - Mom and Dad are always telling me about the chocolate eggs they'd find in the bottom of the couch in July. Thank you, no.)

I don't know who was more excited about it - me, or the Doodle. I had trouble falling asleep, and then woke up an hour before it was human, eager to shout out a rousing cry of "THE EASTER BUNNY WAS HERE! THE EASTER BUNNY WAS HERE!!" I did manage to restrain myself until I heard my dear child coo in her crib, then poked my husband awake before skipping down the hall to announce the wonderful news.

The Doodle's eyes lit up as she spotted her first egg. And then another. And another! They were EVERYWHERE!!! I could tell she was thinking, 'What amazing creature managed to get into our locked house to leave all these eggs filled with CHOCOLATE for me? He must be related to Santa Claus.' The expression on her face was priceless. Even cuter when you add a handful of mini eggs smeared from one dimpled cheek to another.

After we'd pried the rest of the chocolates out of her vice-like grip, she played with her new toys: the eggs. She opened them, closed them, opened them, closed them, opened them ... well, you get the picture. She twirled them on the floor, hurled them down the stairs, had all her Buddies take turns sitting on them, wearing them as hats, eating them and cuddling with them. She wanted the eggs in the bath, in her boots, in the car, upstairs, downstairs and all points between. I never have to buy her another toy ever again.

And she's not allowed anywhere NEAR the dozen real eggs sitting in the fridge.

Quaff this:
Our Easter feast was from the April issue of Canadian Living: Leg of Lamb with 40 Cloves of Garlic. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth perfection: a bit of well-done near the skin, infused with slivers of garlic. Closer to the bone, it was so rare it was still baa-ing, just the way I like it! I mixed the rest of the roasted cloves with red and white fingerling potatoes for a savoury side dish. A honkin' big mixed salad filled up the rest of the plate.

And the wine? After much agonizing and researching, I picked out a favourite, the Maleta 2003 Meritage, making sure to pick up a second bottle just in case ... and thank goodness I did. I knew something was wrong when I pulled out the cork and saw that it was stained all the way up one side. This is a bad sign: wine coming out means air getting in. Sure enough, the wine was oxidized beyond all hope - flat, bitter, with all the usual delicious aromas and flavours lost. Bummer. (But I was still pretty jazzed that I, the budding sommelier, successfully identified a wine fault. Most people would be rather dismayed that a $30 bottle of wine has gone bad. Here I was prancing around the kitchen, giddy with the prospect that, yes, I was S-M-R-T. I need to get out more ...)

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