This Little Piggy Went to Market

Daylight Saving Time started today with a spring forward on the clocks. Hopefully you’re ready for this sleep pattern change and can adapt quickly to losing an hour. (And yes, I wrote saving instead of savings because I have a minor peeve about how frequently an “s” is added to the end of that word when it has no business being there at all.) There’s an interesting map on the Wikipedia page for DST showing where it’s observed, where it isn’t, and where it used to be. It’s surprising how little of the world actually gives a crap about it. I didn’t realize there are even parts of the U.S. that don’t pay attention to it at all. Good for them and their non-conforming, energy-reducing ways.

Yesterday was a relaxed day of cleaning, cooking, and exploring our city like tourists. We strolled through Baxter Woods to pick up a nice cut of meat from Pat’s Meat Market.

2013-03-10 woodsI had never been to Pat’s, but Colin’s mom had cooked up some lamb shanks and lamb patties from there when she visited in November, and the quality was divine. I had found a copy of the leg of lamb recipe from Garlic and Sapphires (thanks, Google books!) and was curious to try it out. I had anticipated Pat’s as being a dingy butcher shop utterly lacking any charm or appeal. Thankfully, my preconceived notions (primarily gleaned from ’90s sitcoms) had no basis in reality.

2013-03-10 meat marketIt was more a cozy neighborhood grocer, with a line for the butcher counter roughly 5 people deep. They had one leg of lamb left, and at $6.99/lb it cost somewhere in the unfriendly neighborhood of $42. It was far more meat than I’d anticipated or knew what to do with, so we opted for another cut, the “filet mignon of lamb” as the butcher recommended. This one was about half the price, and after getting brief instructions on how best to cook it, we decided to go for it. Colin grabbed two massive potatoes to mash up and we each selected a fragrant pluot to try. The woman behind the deli counter kindly obliged in washing our fruit so we could munch as we went wee-wee-wee all the way home.

2013-03-10 pluot

Pluot: a plum-apricot hybrid

Vegetarians, vegans, and animal lovers, this next section gets a bit gory. If you prefer not to see photos of lamby parts, you are advised to stop reading now.

2013-03-10 lamb package

When it was time to start cooking dinner, we unwrapped our meat parcel and Colin set about chopping it into steaks.

2013-03-10 bloody lamb

It was a bit bloody. I felt a little like I was in a horror movie, a little like I was in a hospital, and a little like I was in a horror movie taking place in a hospital. (You know the one.) But I was also hungry and the cuts really looked phenomenal.

2013-03-10 lamb cut

After cutting up the meat into steaks and salting and peppering them generously on both sides, Colin seared them in the cast iron pan at high heat (2 minutes per side) and then threw them into the preheated 275-degree oven. They finished cooking in there for about 30 minutes, and then we feasted on juicy, tender lamb turds.

2013-03-10 cooked lambDelicious, yes, but admittedly they bear a striking resemblance to what they would eventually become. I had made baba ghanoush (eggplant dip) earlier in the day, so I had that as my side while Colin dove into his mashed potatoes. It was a soft and satisfying meal, made all the sweeter by the helpful staff at Pat’s and the quaint sense of community I felt there. There was so much warmth and welcome, it was like when you visit a new city and the sense of belonging you feel is so strong you can’t help wishing you lived there. Only this time, I do live there.

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