|the work of a domestic goddess.|
But I let a beautiful post by Soule Mama, who makes every household task look like poetry, sway me. Yesterday, I canned applesauce.
|our apple tree|
Even at this advanced age, I still confuse the symbols of domestic happiness with actual domestic happiness. Canning is just not my thing.
|My misspent Sunday|
After the applesauce was done, the day quickly improved: Isabel and I went to see Contagion. As someone who has in the past worried obsessively about infectious disease, I approached the movie with trepidation. But I never even had to stop eating the popcorn. Nothing Steven Soderbergh conjured was as horrifying as what I've imagined while staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m. It all looked pretty tame to me, though I don't know how anyone could ever cheat on Matt Damon.
Back to cooking and cookbooks: Owen turned 11 and his cousin Stella turned 6 last week. We threw them a joint party at which I served Marcus Samuelsson's za'atar roasted leg of lamb out of Soul of a New Cuisine. It was good, but not photogenic and not something I'd go out of my way to make again. The next day, I used the rest of the meat to make a Fannie Farmer casserole that I have served many, many times. It is the best vehicle I've ever found for leftover lamb, one of the less appealing leftover meats. Make sure the mixture is good and lemony before you put it in the oven; this rich casserole needs bite.
CRACKER-TOPPED LAMB CASSEROLE
2 cups chopped leftover lamb roast
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 cup lamb gravy, lamb stock, or chicken stock (listed in order of preference)
2 cups cooked long-grain rice
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and oil a casserole dish.
2. Mix everything but the butter and Ritz in a big bowl. Scrape into the casserole dish.
3. Melt the butter and mix with the Ritz crackers. Sprinkle this on the casserole.
4. Cover the casserole and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.
Just to keep up with my cookbook reporting, I also baked Marcus Samuelsson's peanut cake from Soul of a New Cuisine over the weekend. It's a gremlin recipe. Even in the best of cookbooks, you'll find recipes that simply don't add up. (Hopefully not in mine, but I'm pretty sure. . . in mine.) I knew when I poured the thin, scant batter into the pan that it was not going to right itself in the oven and I was correct. We ended up with a spongy, chewy, very flat, very wrong loaf cake. Complete fail.
|It was about 1 inch tall.|
On another subject entirely, eighteen months after my mother died, my childhood home has been sold.
|I will miss you, dated pink bathroom.|
|I'll miss you too, creaky stairs.|