Well, this is one of those weekends I’m happily leaving in my dust. It was imbued with more drama than a Lifetime movie marathon. I have to admit it wore me out and sent my mind happily off in search of a warm sandy beach, a wide-brimmed straw hat, a fruity alcohol laden drink with an umbrella, and quiet, heavenly, elusive peace and quiet. Sigh. Sadly though this was the desired agenda, chaos manned the reins and once leading the pack there was no holding it back. Whew.
On a bittersweet note, our young charge has moved back in with her parents, which places the universe back as it should be. However, her energy and creative crazy making behaviors will be missed. It has been a whirlwind first half of the year with so many changes, and I, for one, will welcome a bit of decadent boredom for at least a day or two.
Last night I was telling my daughter about the comings and goings and she brought me up to speed on all the things I didn’t know about what she’d gotten away with while living under my roof, and truthfully could have finished out my days without ever catching up on. There were stories of taking my 300ZX out for a joyride while I slept the sleep of the blissfully ignorant, and an apology for not appreciating me as much in those days as she does now. This I believe coming from the fact that she has two girls who suddenly find her far less interesting than their group of friends. Payback, well you know.
Last night I just had to have my lamb fix. This is the first lamb we’ve indulged in for a while because the kidlet wasn’t fond of it, so it was a real treat. Recently I went to our local butcher to price a leg of lamb and was quoted a price of $131.00 so I loved it from afar and have feelings for it still but our relationship ended with a fond look and a package of pork chops rode home in the car with me.
Growing up lamb found its way to our dinner table often. My uncle had a dairy farm which along with the farmer’s house, also had a large country manor house on the property. The property itself was located in the fertile farmland of Nova Scotia on a good size piece of acreage. It was a beautiful place to visit, with pastures lush with long flowing grasses and dotted with a painter’s splash of wildflowers for color. I milked my first cow there, and coincidentally my last, and was chased by an extremely grumpy goose and soundly chastised with a healthy bite on my behind for teasing her in the yard.
The thought of living on a working farm has always floated around in the back of my mind. Certainly aware of the hardships, or at least having heard or read about them, I can imagine that it might be extremely rewarding as well as endlessly backbreaking work.
I mentioned before some blogs back that I had the opportunity to fly to Manitoba about twelve years ago and spend ten days on a farm in the northern part of the province. While there I drove a tractor, sprayed crops at 1:00 in the morning, had a barbecue in the woods before the sun came up and bonded with a herd of cows who I fed treats of lettuce leaves in the pasture in the mornings and I was told actually pined for me after I left.
On my first weekend with the family the farmer’s daughter fixed a leg of lamb with spring potatoes for dinner seasoned with sprigs of fresh rosemary from her garden. Meals were served in their sunny kitchen on a long wooden table with a fresh linen tablecloth. Always in the center of the table was a vase brimming over with wildflowers from the fields nearby or roses from the bed to the side of the house. The lamb, I was told, was one of their own. This, perhaps would be the part of producing your own food that would be a stumbling block for me, so I had to put that out of my mind and concentrate on the wonderful savory flavors having their way with my taste buds.
A young woman, the farmer’s daughter, with two small children of her own, it seemed to me that she never stopped to rest. Life started early on their farm and ended when the work was done, which during the spring could be long after the children had gone to bed. Loaves of golden brown white bread and coarse wheat appeared on racks every morning and were enjoyed with her homemade preserves and eggs fresh from the source for breakfast. Not a fancy kitchen, the sun shining through the window, the aromas, hand stitched tea towels, bins of onions and dirt laden potatoes, contrived to make you want to linger there with your coffee in the morning.
Some experiences in my life have sent me home with much more than I arrived with, and this was such a time. I surprised myself and at this age that’s always a blessing.
This lamb was delicious. I didn’t ask for names.
Lamb Chops with Lemon Chimichurri
8 loin lamb chops
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon infused olive oil
Mix garlic, olive oil, and lemon olive oil together. Place chops in large resealable bag and pour marinade over all. Squish together to coat evenly and refrigerate for 2 hrs. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Season chops well with salt and pepper before cooking.
Place chops 6″ beneath broiler on rack. Cook until desired doneness. About 4-6 mins. per side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees F. med., 160 degrees F. well-done, 170 degrees F.
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. flack pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
Finely chop parsley. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasonings. Refrigerate for 1 hr. Bring back to room temperature and serve over lamb chops.
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