Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lamb, full circle

It arrived in a leather suitcase, on Trudeau International Airport’s baggage claim. It was heavy and cold. It came off the rolling carpet and onto the floor with a thump.

The suitcase was full of lamb! Ground lamb, leg of lamb, lamb chops, lamb garlic sausage, lamb breakfast sausage, and a few delicious misfits: some goose and venison. My dad brought the suitcase, a gift from the farm.

He spent the weekend with me, in Montreal, and I took him to some of my favorites parts of the city. We had a lovely weekend, we walked a lot, stopping every few hours to eat or have coffee. It was a vacation in my own city, and it reminded me of trips to Winnipeg with my dad when I was a little girl. Endless ice cream and hamburgers, treats the whole way. Things have not changed.

But back to the suitcase: I’ve only made a small dent in my now-meat packed freezer, and already, I can feel my red blood cells dancing.

On Friday, we fried some garlic sausage with some perogis. There was some left over garlic sausage, and this caused a kind of chain reaction.

On Saturday, we left the sausage in the fridge, and my dad made a chili with the ground lamb.

On Sunday, we made a delicious leg roast, with maple syrup and rosemary. (Earlier that day, we went back to the market, and my dad bought four litres of maple syrup. It went into the emptied leather suitcase, Winnipeg bound.) We had some friends over that night, so we served some leftover chili as a starter.

With the bone from the roast came a noodle soup on Monday night (inspired by Mark Bittman ). It was packed with vegetables and Friday's garlic sausage.

Those leftover noodles became a chow mein (well, sort of) with a sauce made from Monday’s broth.

The leftover sauce inspired egg foo yung (again, sort of).

By then, my string of leftovers was broken, so I had to dip into the freezer again for some breakfast sausage.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Legume love

As it turns out, my love affair with lentils is not over. I think they love me too, the way they’re treating me (very well, that is). Don’t worry, I’m all right. I’m weaning myself off them. I came very close to writing about them again, in this week’s blog, but I know it would be too much. Too many lentils, too soon.

To compensate, I’ll write you about another legume. Cheap strategy, you say? You haven’t tasted this salad yet.

It’s warm and spicy, with its roasted butternut squash and allspice. Chickpeas are not lentils, and they don’t try to be. They charm me just as much, with their cheeky little bums, those cutties.

Also: My father is in town, and he arrived at Trudeau International Airport with a suitcase full of lamb. And now, I have a freezer full of lamb. So next week, I promise to write about it. No more legumes. I promise.

Warm butternut and chickpeas with tahini dressing
Adapted from a recipe by Molly Wizenberg in

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash (2 to 2 ½ lbs), peeled, seeded
and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, pressed
½ tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinced
½ of a red onion, finely chopped
1/4 to ½ cup fresh cilantro, corsely chopped

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
4 tbps lemon juice
3 tbsp well stirred tahini
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil, or more, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Combine the squash, oil, garlic, salt, and allspice and roast for 10-15 minutes on a baking sheet, until soft. Let cool, but not completely.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, water and olive oil.
Combine the cooled squash, the chickpeas, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Toss with the tahini dressing and serve (or toss with half of the dressing, reserving the rest so each person can add dressing to taste).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A quick note on Pavlov's dog

When I make dinner, I like to listen to CBC Radio’s As It Happens.

Andrew told me that when hears clips from As It Happens any other time of day, his stomach grumbles.

Pretty, though

Also, here is a picture of a cake I made on Sunday. It wasn't very good, honestly, but I did think it was pretty. Here's it's glamour shot.