Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Local Fare

"I bought a lamb today" Shawn says to me nonchalantly over our morning coffee (that we are gulping as we are trying to get everyone out of the house on time)
"OK.....I thought we were talking about getting goats, maybe some chickens again, we never talked about a lamb"
"Yep, well we just have to decide how we want it cut up"
Oh, now I get it, he bought meat, not a "pet".
OK, so now I have to clean out the freezer (needs to be done anyway) to accommodate 50 pounds or so of lamb.

The day the lamb arrives, we are in Picton playing at the beach, visiting some wineries and enjoying the last week of summer. Fortunately, Nana can go and meet the "lamb lady"
Two days later, I pull some lamb out for dinner, musing that it has been a really long time since we have done a tour on our culinary adventure. You know how summer can be.....
Being the end of summer, it is one of my favourite times of year, harvest time! I adore buying vegetables and fruit at the side of the road, and harvesting whatever small successes I have had out of my own garden. I am very quickly able to put together a local meal and call it a stop on our "Round the World Culinary Tour.

I find a recipe for the lamb in my Chez Piggy Cookbook (for those of you not from Kingston, Chez Piggy is a local gourmet restaurant) and I scrub up some potatoes from the road side veggie stand up the road.
For dessert, I spy the pint of blueberries I picked up in Picton, I think of Shawn's favourite, blueberry pie. But alas, he does not eat wheat, and I have yet to experiment with pastry.....but I do have some organic, locally grown and milled spelt flour, hmmm should be able to come up with something, how about Blueberry Spelt hand pies? See recipe
For a starter, I settle on a mixed baby green salad (locally grown of course) with blueberries, walnuts (OK..those were not local) and blue cheese we had picked up from Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co in Picton and made a maple vinaigrette (with maple syrup we tapped and boiled ourselves this past spring)
Oh....and of course we need some drinks!
As I said, we had just returned from visiting some wineries in the Picton area, and came home with 6 bottles from Sandbanks Estate Wineries.
Also, did you know that Picton also has a vodka distillery?  66 Gilead Distillery Hmmm.....before dinner cocktail perhaps??

My Blueberry French Toast Martini
In shaker shake 1 1/2 oz 66 Gilead Distillery Rye Vodka
with ice.  In the bottom of martini glass, pour a wee bit of maple syrup and top with vodka from shaker. Garnish with blueberries

The lamb is marinating in a mix of
1 cup fresh mint (from my garden!)
a couple of red chili peppers (yep...from my garden!)
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup white wine

I also made a mint chutney to serve with it:
4 cups mint leaves
1 cup raisins
1/2 small sweet onion
6 pieces of candied ginger
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a paste.

Blueberry walnut salad....I added goat cheese and blue cheese crumble before serving

They were good, but not overly first attempt at pastry using spelt flour....
it's apple season soon, I won't give up!!!

And dinner is ready....note the newly painted deck!