Culinary Adventures of a Long Weekend

We started off with pancakes. Of course they were from scratch! I looked up a recipe and it seems that Epicurious has monetized its site. Too bad, Gourmet was one of my favorite magazines and I did like their recipes.

It was pretty basic, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. Wet ingredients included milk, eggs, half a stick of melted butter.

I ended up with over 50 pancakes so started giving them away, with a big jug of pure Grade A maple syrup! It was fun.

Then my husband wanted a burger. The other day he went through a burger book I’ve had for years (he’s more into numerical recipes as a physicist) and he placed post-it notes on the ones he wanted me to try. Unfortunately I hadn’t gone through them while at the grocery store.

I bought two lamb shanks and ground them in the Kitchenaid mixer with the grinder attachment, added one egg, salt and pepper, 2T plain Greek yogurt and a few panko crumbs, some fresh dill and basil. I made sliders to go on small potato knot rolls. Then I mixed up some tsatziki with Greek yogurt and garlic and served it on top. Yum!

We drove by the annual kite festival, impressive. Walked Zoe, of course. It was a gorgeous day.

Today, we’ll see what’s on the menu. In 14 years I don’t think I’ve ever made my husband Lamb Robert a la Jacques Pepin. I would bone and butterfly half a lamb leg (too much to start, will have to give away the extra at least to the dog) and keep it all day in a fantastic marinade with soy, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, honey, I don’t remember the recipe and have to look it up. Perhaps I’ll use some Indonesian soy sauce and even mirin. That will be cooked on the grill.

I’ve got some green beans and may also make scalloped potatoes. It’s a good weekend, only five in the morning and my loved ones are sleeping soundly. We live in an interesting place filled with professionals, including newscasters, weather forecasters, and ball players and hockey pro’s. Architects, techies, finance gurus and very interesting empty nesters who wanted to live in the city.

Yesterday we got a medium-sized seedless watermelon. My husband is from Texas and always adds a bit of salt. I’m more of a purist. We picked up a few Campari tomatoes that I usually use for salsa but we just may eat raw with a little salt, pepper and basil and olive oil for lunch with some cold lamb burgers.

One thing we couldn’t resist is roasted, salted plantain chips and I’ll make a black bean salsa for those as I rarely deep fry. We loved this one Brazilian restaurant in Texas and couldn’t stay away from this little gem.

I brought a St. Louis rib recipe to our local grocery the other day, I’d promised I’d let the butcher know what I did with them my first day at the St. Louis rib rodeo. A lady butcher asked rudely, “Where did you get this?” I said I made it up on the fly the day before. I think she then knew that they could take it and make it their own.It was not exactly the reaction I expected. The gent asked “Can we use it?” Of course. St. Louis ribs, full rack in a huge roasting pan. Rub of equal parts salt, pepper, smoked paprika and a pinch of sugar. Roast three hours covered @325. Glaze of equal amounts peach (or apricot) jam, soy sauce, sriracha then honey to taste. Uncover and roast for 30 minutes or watch on the grill until brown and delicious. Voila.

I love cooking for family and friends, always have since I made my grandfather “carrot curls” at age eight. It was just peeling carrots and placing them in an ice bath in the frig for an hour or two. He called them “suicide carrots” and I’ve been cooking ever since. Thanks, Papa. Papa tried to serve in WWI but was too young and was sent back home at the insistence of his parents. He did serve in WWII and lost a leg. As a kid I thought every grandfather only had one leg.

Happy Memorial Day! Dee

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