The Fanciful, Fun and Family Side of Easter

~ By Catherine Mahrholz ~


Easter brings to my mind the joy and excitement I felt as a child while searching for hidden Easter eggs. While living in California, the mild climate made it possible to search for the colorful hidden treasures outside in the backyard of our home.


While the Easter meal served at my family’s home varied, I do remember that ham was often part of our Easter dinner.


One of my mother’s cookbooks and a favorite of mine to this day, is the “Joy of Cooking,” a popular all purpose cookbook; no photos, just lots and lots of recipes!


My mother and I always made homemade cranberry sauce for the Thanksgiving turkey and she loved to serve Cumberland Sauce with ham.


The sauce is based on the tangy flavor of currant, and raspberry or tart cherry are equally as good. You start with purchased fruit spread and when combined with the zest of orange and lemon peel and a hint of mustard it is delicious with ham or game. It takes just minutes to prepare!


City Market, Safeway and Walmart each have an option for the sauce base.


Divide Venture Foods has about seven options for the sauce base, and the Cripple Creek location has a suitable cherry spread. Both are all fruit with no added sugar.


My top pick for this sauce would be the St.Dalfour Black Currant Conserve from France, affordably priced at $4.25 for a 10 oz. jar and in our area available only at Venture Foods in Divide.  


Easter Specials at Divide and Cripple Creek Venture Foods include ham for $0.99 per pound and asparagus for $1.89 per pound. And there is no tax on food at Venture Foods in Divide and Cripple Creek.


Cumberland Sauce is one of those recipes you can play fast and loose with. Precise measuring is not required.



Perfect recipe

What follows is my version of the recipe for Cumberland Sauce. This tart and tangy condiment is the perfect complement to a slice of smoked ham:



Cumberland Sauce                                     about 1¾ cups


Good with ham or game, such as venison or duck


1 cup tart fruit spread (currant, raspberry or tart cherry or a mix)

1 teaspoon Dijon or other spicy mustard

zest of one lemon

zest of one orange

juice of one lemon

2 Tablespoons powdered sugar


Combine all ingredients. If the sauce seems a little stiff, put it in a saucepan, add one or two Tablespoons of water and stir to blend over low heat.