Monday, October 22, 2007

Leg of Lamb

Does it get more gorgeous than this? I was literally stopped while mowing the lawn and asked if I wanted to help cook this beast, apparently hand fed 4-H project, though I never learned its name. Nor can I explain how it ended up in Christine's freezer, and then Dave's kitchen, then mine. Just so happens William Rubel was coming over this day, and alas he couldn't stay to eat it, but helped me tie it up, and start the fire. Here she is about 45 minutes into roasting before a serious conflagration, being turned slowly on my mechanical wind-up turnspit.
The word succulence doesn't even begin to describe it. Seasoned only with rosemary and salt, and as you can see there were practically no drippings; everything stayed within. If you have a yen for such cooking, I can highly recommend the spits sold by
The leftovers became a really dandy chili last night too. Oh man, making me hungry again, first thing in the morning. But now I must go give a test. Ciao.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Almond Handling

I really do wish I brought a camera, but today I brought a few students to an almond orchard and handling factory near Ripon, CA. We spent about two and a half hours ogling at monstrous, loud machines designed basically to separate the almonds from rocks and twigs, then from hulls and shells, and then grade, etc. It dawns on me only after that all of this was only necessary because the nuts are shaken violently from the tree with a truck, that grabs them by the trunk with huge arms and drops them into the dirt. (Each of us got to shake a tree with the truck, was was serious fun - earthquake in sensurround) And then another truck needs to rake them into neat winrows, then another scoop them up, then another take them away. As all this was happeneing I was envisioning people actually knocking the almonds down with sticks, cleaning them on the spot and needing no machinery. Apparently it was done this way not long ago, on some of the same trees. But then there wasn't a global market, and the best nuts didn't go to Japan. I don't think it was immediately obvious to the student what his had to do with food history, but I hope it will sink in by the next class.

Ok, So in the meantime, Please leave comments! Either no one is reading this, or you're not finding my rants stimulating, in which case tell me what you'ld like to hear!