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lamb butter

By 12:03 PM ,

lamb butter
Originally uploaded by looseid

Be a lamb...

Last weekend I attended a Holy Saturday Easter dinner. There I encountered this lamb made out of butter. My hostess informed me that it's a Polish tradition to have one at the dinner table.

I have often felt conflicted about food formed into cute little creatures. It began with hatosabure (pigeon sablé), my favorite cookie growing up in Japan. They are buttery crisp cookies shaped into sideways facing doves. My mother doled them out when I exhibited favorable behavior or performance. Each dove is the size an open left hand and individually wrapped in cellophane, as the Japanese love to do.

In the beginning of our relationship, I gingerly bit off the tail feathers first, because they're just feathers.  But as you work your way up to its bum, belly and chest, I was left with the perfect little head as the final bite. Birds have expressionless eyes to begin with, but somehow, as a little girl I sensed the disappointment in my victim. The head would witness its body being munched while helplessly awaiting to have you devour it. So then, I switched it up to biting off the head first. This allowed me to eat the rest of its body in peace. However, the drama of the experience diminished significantly. While I loved the cookie so much, it was at an emotional cost.

Anyway, at dinner last Saturday, the first knife went into the lambs tail. Predictable. And by mid dinner, we had run out of bread so the lamb was spared the front half of his body - which is a different type of indignation. I don't know what it is about Easter, the secular holiday, but if we can fetishize the rabbit made of chocolate (both solid and hallow) or chicks made of marshmallow, there must be room for lambs made of butter. I found the leaflet ears and peppercorn eyes particularly charming.

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  1. "Hatosabure"...!

    I do remember it was your favorite, but I don't remember its taste clearly.

    What if its shape was a devil.
    And, you may not feel guilty to eat it out.

  2. It doesn't matter. If it has a face, it's always personal.